you’re at the physical culmination of what happened when your first love didn’t work out and it’s not like you did anything wrong, it just wasn’t meant to be and yeah, you’re sad, but you’re happier more for the newlyweds because something about how they dance together makes more sense than anything you ever did with her.
and you’re at this wedding you kind of expected to happen, even in your first year when you were naive and blinded by her beauty and kindness and everything she was to you, and your friends are all on the dancefloor but you’re at the bar stirring your mixed drink with a little straw and wondering why there wasn’t anything you did wrong, why there’s not something to blame all this on.
it’s something you’re over until you’re not, until it runs up at you and pounces, sinks its teeth into your neck how tobio’s kitten bites your finger. you pry it out of your skin but it’s too late, the venom has long since been in your veins; you just choose to ignore it. there’s no point in harboring resentment towards good people, people who shaped you into this new, stronger person you’ve become, people you love despite how some days it feels like your heart has been ripped out and spat on.
you twirl this little straw around in your glass in time with the music pulsing through the dance hall, watching ice hit ice hit the rim of your cup. someone slides onto the stool next to you, not a girl but not a woman yet, either, and she smiles. you know her from somewhere, and you tell her as such, and she tells you her name and it all fits together. she is like you, someone who’d believed for some time that home was to be found within the man with a band on his left finger. she smiles at you once more, tells you she remembers you as well, and you know for sure she isn’t sad to be here. it makes you feel warm.
you and kanoka talk for a while about nothing, really, but it feels good. she’s tall and pretty and her eyes shine when she laughs. your hands leave the little straw you once paid your full attention to and gravitate towards her own, and the two of you scatter chaste touches across wrists and forearms. your fingertips burn, your heart more so.
she asks you to dance. you are no longer the girl you were when you were 15. you no longer hesitate.
kanoka dances with all of the due grace of someone who towers above most of the people in the room. it makes something in your chest ache, seeing someone so gorgeous move with not a care in the world. the tempo slows and you come together, your hand on her waist, hers on the small of your back. you come together and you sway and she spins you once, twice, and you’re both laughing. something is alive in you for the first time in a while. you see yourself in how kanoka’s eyes shine.
“you should come watch me play,” she murmurs, not quite into your hair. “i’ve gotten really good.”
your stomach flutters. “and you’ll come see me after?”
kanoka laughs again and it’s the only thing you ever want to hear ever again. “well, you have to come watch first, don’t you?”