“I don’t want to start a riot
I don’t want to blaze a trail
I don’t want to be a symbol or cautionary tale
I don’t want to be a scapegoat for people to oppose
What I want is simple as far as wanting goes”
It was quite a normal day. The two friends sitting in their backyard. It was dark and they were under the bright stars, oblivious to the rest of the world.
They sat there listening to music and Max was resting her head on El’s shoulder.
They listen to the soft indie tracks, sharing their earphones and at that moment El was so happy.
They could imagine the both of them sitting on a couch near the fireplace, under the blanket. And they would kiss her on the forehead and she would look at them in such a way that they would feel giddy with butterflies.
But they came back to reality where Max was sitting there, unaware of El’s feelings toward her.
Then the song changed to “Dance with You” from The Prom.
They had seen the musical a few weeks back and El cried . It was so beautiful, with that kiss at the end. They were filled with emotion from a bootleg musical on an old laptop and they didn’t care. The thing was that the story reminded them of their crush on Max. It gave her hope that if Emma could get her girl, why couldn’t they get theirs?
They put forth their hand and said, “Do you want to dance?”
The words were carefully pronounced and they felt nervous. They just wanted to dance; that’s all.
Max gave her a small smile and nodded. She took their hand.
El’s heart fluttered with joy.
They swayed along with the slow music in the background.
It was different than dancing with Mike, they mused. With Mike, they were awkward. Both of them kept stepping on each other's feet and it was weird.
But with Max?
They were confident; they could be their self.
The music kept playing in the background and El wanted to remember this moment for the rest of their life. The bright stars, the moonlight and the beautiful girl in front of them. Max’s eyes were on them, and they felt their face flush red.
She leaned forward, and their foreheads touched. El was so close that they could count the freckles on her face, there was one there and two and-
They closed their eyes.
The music was over but they kept swaying from side to side as if dancing to their own music.
There was nothing straight about this dance, that was something even they knew.
Max pulled away fast from their grip.
“Sorry.”, she mumbled, “I have to go”, she said packing her bag.
El stood there dumbfounded, and unmoving.
They wanted her to stay with them.
Stay with them under the stars, under the moon.
Stay and laugh with them over some cheesy rom-com.
Stay with them till the break of dawn, and maybe they could kiss?
They just wanted her to stay with them.
They reached their hand out toward the girl’s back, but they didn’t dare to tell her anything.
“Tomorrow, then?”, she asked, turning back to them. It was dark but El thought she saw a blush
“Tomorrow.”, they said, adding a smile.
“Two people swaying slowly
Nothing more and nothing less
Why anybody fears that is anybody’s guess”
But they didn’t meet the next day.
Or the day after.
Or the next week.
They tried to reach Max.
They sent her texts and called her.
But Max kept ignoring them.
That’s when they decided that two could play at that game.
The thing was that it was hard to ignore Max for more than a few days. She was such a presence in their life that there was a hole without her in her life.
But she was stubborn. And so were they.
And they left each other alone, giving longing glances when the other wasn’t looking.
El kept staring at Max in their English class. The red-haired girl was scribbling what the teacher was saying, and she looked so pretty with her brows furrowed in concentration.
They zoned out, lost in their thoughts of a redhead.
“ - Hopper! ”, the teacher said deadnaming them, and they winced inwardly.
They were just about to correct her, but Max did it first.
“Their name is El, Miss. How hard is it to remember?”, her nose flaring in anger. She looked as if she was about to fight the teacher on it.
She turned toward them and mouthed if they were ok?
El just looked at her dumbstricken.
But why was she standing up for them? After all, that happened between both of them?
They were confused.
Max: im sorry. can we head to your home with me after school?
They thought for a while on it.
El got out of the school and spotted Max under the big tree, her skateboard under her arm.
Their gaze still on Max, they said to Will, “You go on, I’ll come a little later”
Will had his hands intertwined with Mike’s and he looked quite confused. He gaped at her and would have asked further but El walked toward Max.
They walked to their house in silence. Max and El kept a distance between each other, and the boys walked in the front.
Mike and Will kept looking back and whispering to each other, and they knew they would have to interrogate their dear brother afterwards.
Till then there was Max they had to worry about and their mind kept making up scenarios.
After reaching home both of them went to their bedroom.
They sat shoulder to shoulder on the bed, mirroring that night. El thought of it and they blushed,
Max looked nervous, which was weird; she was never nervous. She was always carefree and didn’t care what others thought of her. This was weird and El was already panicking.
What was going on?
“I’m sorry for ignoring you”, Max spoke up suddenly.
El looked at her and- was she crying?
“Hey, it’s ok”, they said and hugged her.
“I- I hate feeling like this.”, she said, quietly, sobbing into her shoulder.
“Feeling like what?”, they whispered back at her, several thoughts rushing through their mind.
“Feeling like you just want me as a friend. Feeling like you mean so much more to me. Feeling like
El could have said a million things, but all they said was,” Do you want to dance?”
Max looked up at her, wiping her tears away and she laughed.
“I just wanna dance with you
Let the whole world melt away and dance with you
Who cares what other people say?
And when we’re through no one can convince us we were wrong
All it takes is you and me and a song”
When their foreheads touched again, Max whispered nervously, “May I?”
“Yes”, they whispered back.
Their lips touched and El felt like they were in heaven.
And this time she stayed with them.
She stayed with them under the stars, under the moon.
She stayed and laughed with them over some cheesy rom-com.
She stayed awake with them till the break of dawn and they kissed again and it felt just as great as the
She stayed with them, for a long time through the ups and downs.
She stayed and that was enough.
And that was enough.