50 first dates that never happened

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Chapter 2 (v.1) - A Quiet Tapper

Submitted: August 07, 2016

Reads: 83

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Submitted: August 07, 2016

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“Hi I’m Nick and that’s my brother Ryan. Who are you?”

“I’m Sam, one of the newest members of the New Jersey Tap Ensemble. Miss Karen asked me if I would be interested in dancing on Christmas at a senior center and of course I said yes.”

“That’s awesome! She asked us to be in it too. Right Ryan?”

“Uh huh,” his brother replied quietly from his side of the room.

“So how do you guys know Miss Karen?” I don’t see you at the Sunday rehearsals.”

“We were apart of NJTAP way back when. Now we take classes at one of the studios she teaches at.”

“That’s pretty cool.” I lowered my voice to a whisper. “ Is your brother always that quiet?”

Nick shrugged. “ He’s just a little shy. Growing up we’ve only really had each other so he’s not always good around new people.”

~

Boy was Nick wrong about that one. After that Christmas performance, the three of us became very close. We would go rollerskating, tap together, and I even convinced the boys to take part in a lift class at my dance school. Of course the odds weren’t in their favor since there were two of them and at least fifteen girls. Ryan was also very nervous lifting the girls which made him an unsteady lifter that girls didn’t want to partner with. Well, all the girls except for me. I trusted him enough to not drop me and if he did, to at least keep my head from hitting the floor. We had some mishaps and one near drop that would have ended very badly for me if Ryan hadn’t somehow caught me and got me safely back on the ground.

The closer we became, the more I realized that I liked Ryan. Although he was shy and a lttle awkward, he was sweet and easy to talk to. Knowing how I felt and how bad he felt after the lift class, I suggested that we go on a date which went a little something like this:

“Are you sure we’re going the right way?”

“Of course. The entrance to the exhibit should be right here,” Ryan replied as he walked up to a huge door marked exit. “I guess the entrance is on the other side.”

We finally made it to the bird exhibit at the zoo where Ryan was able to tell me a bunch of stuff about the birds. Actually, he was able to do that with quite a few of the animals we saw, almost as if he were a walking encyclopedia. We eventually stopped to eat lunch where Ryan sat down on the curb and looked at me, hoping that I would sit next to him. 

“So are you enjoying the zoo?” I asked.

“It’s pretty cool. I just haven’t been here in forever.”

“Me neither. I only remembered it existed because I was taking a class with Kyle at NJ Ballet and my mom and I would pass it on our way home.”

“Are you taking a lot of classes this summer?”

“Just one with Kyle and another with Miss Karen. I’ll probably end up doing Jersey Tapfest again too.”

“Maybe we’ll do Jersey’s tap festival this year. Nick and I usually do the one in New York. “

“Tap City? That one seems pretty interesting. Maybe one of these years we’ll end up doing it together.”

“Sounds good to me,” Ryan answered as he stood up and held out a hand to help me up. “So are you ready to continue our zoo adventure?”

I took his outstretched hand and smiled. “Let’s do it.”

~

Unfortunately a relationship never manifested out of our date, but a close friendship certainly did. Being friends with Ryan allowed him to open up more, break out of his shell. Him and his brother even started coming to parties where they got to meet my other crazy friends. They’ve been there for me when I was having trouble, especially after I was diagnosed with a seizure disorder. I was also there for them when their dad passed away. Over the years I noticed that although it would have been nice to be with Ryan, we work much better as a trio. We kill it at open mics when all of us are dancing together and the boys attracted quite a bit of attention(especially from the girls) when they came to see me at school. I can’t wait to see what adventures we have next, especially Halloween since I told them my idea of going as Belle, Gaston, and the Beast. No matter what, I’m sure it will involve dancing and something very unexpected.


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