“You're not doing it right, Adil!”
“What did I do wrong?” exclaimed a tired Adil.
Taranna showed him the correct steps to the song Thinking Out Loud. Adil tried again, but still couldn't do it.
“God, Adil, are you even trying?”
Adil snapped. “What does it look like then? I'm just taking all of these days of practice for granted?”
“Seems like it, at least,” whispered Taranna under her breath.
“Taranna, I am trying my best, I don't know why you're pressuring me like this.”
Taranna looked down. “You're right, let's try that again.”
They both practiced till the afternoon, afterwards Adil said goodbye and left.
He looked back at her porch, hoping he'd see her there. He didn't.
It had been weeks since Adil met Taranna and both of them ended up being paired up for the upcoming dance competition. Adil felt like he was only doing it since his name was unfortunate enough to be called during the draw. But as the days passed, that mindset slowly started to change.
Only a day was left before the dance competition. Adil was now standing at a completely empty living room of Taranna's house. Almost all their belongings had been packed up and taken away. When he asked her why she was leaving, she just said that her dad had found a better job near the city. She wouldn't meet his eye.
They quietly went about their dance routine. Adil even got through the main songs without messing up. When the time came to part, Taranna nodded and said, “You did great today, Adil.” She looked up at him. He saw pain in her eyes and couldn't understand why she was like this. He smiled and said, “Well I had you to teach me this past two weeks.”
She lightly punched him on the shoulder.
Adil and Taranna both arrived together at the same time, Adil had offered to pick her up. He wore a black suit with a navy blue tie, while Taranna wore a sky blue gown and a tiara on her head. Adil couldn't help but say, “Taranna, you look amazing.” She gave him an annoyed look and shook her head. He knew she liked the compliment.
They waited backstage for almost 15 minutes before their name was called out. By then they were already nervous. Some of the participants said the judge's panel was extremely strict this time and the music selection was odd too. Adil said to Taranna, “Don't worry, let's just give it our best.” Taranna smiled and nodded.
As they took to the stage, the twin spotlights illuminated them in the near darkness of the auditorium. They held hands as they walked to the center. The lights dimmed as the first song started. 'Can't Help Falling in Love' by Elvis Presley blared from the speakers and the crowd watched as the pair put up a show on stage. They went through the first two songs beautifully. But the last one caught them off guard.
Darling I, will be loving you…
Both of them felt like they were back at home again. Adil took Taranna's hands and slow danced to the beat.
People fall in love in mysterious ways…
They danced across the whole stage as the crowd cheered and the song finished.
Maybe we found love right where we are…
Both of them were gasping for breath. Adil looked at Taranna and she gave him the biggest smile he'd ever seen. They stood there as the people stood up to applaud them. A panel of judges didn't need to decide who the clear winner was that night.
Few days later, Adil watched as Taranna and her parents packed up the last things before they left.
“There's no way I can convince you to stay?” Adil asked her.
She bit her lower lip and said, “I loved all those practice sessions, Adil. I'm sorry if I was a bit too harsh.”
“No Taranna, I took some things for granted. I should be the one apologising. But yes those days were amazing. I wish you didn't have to leave so soon.”
“Me neither,” she gave him a pained smile.
Adil watched as their car drove away. Maybe the dance competition was the best thing that had happened to him after all.
He received a letter from her the next day. It was just 4 words long.
I never said goodbye.
The writer is a former A2 student from SFX Greenherald International School.