Dancing the Night Away

May I help you?


Louise was in aisle 22 of her local supermarket vainly trying to get hold of a packet of Honeyed Nuts just out of her reach on the top shelf.

“Allow me”.

A man – holding a placard with the legend ‘May I Help You?’ – retrieved the product and handed it to her.

She looked at him and was about to thank him when she realised that his features looked familiar.

His hair was greying at the temple but his looks were still youthful.

She looked at him quizzically and he said, “Remember me, Lou?”

“Paul, isn’t it ?”


These exchanges triggered memories of a fateful night many years before when she had been asked if she’d like to be his date at the college prom. He was the best-looking boy in her class and she was delighted to have landed such a catch.

When she got to the ballroom, Paul was already dancing with Melanie, dressed all in white, and totally fascinated by her. Louise understood that she had missed her chance.
She had dilly-dallied so long while choosing a dress that she was the last to arrive at the venue.
Now she realised that she should have been the first.

“Serve me right for being so indecisive”, she reproached herself.

Didn’t show her disappointment though and danced the night away with a cohort of young men.

After the ball, back in her flat, she analysed the situation and came to the conclusion that Paul’s behaviour in paying a great deal of attention to Melanie was due to the girl’s father being a millionaire industrialist rather than her beauty. It revealed Paul’s mercenary nature.

 She guessed that she would read of an engagement very soon.


“How is Melanie?”, she enquired.

“We are divorced, it didn’t work out. And what about you, married?”

Louise saw that he was desperately hoping that there was an opening and he could somehow resume the relationship.

“Yes, happily married and with two lovely children.”

His shoulders slumped as she started walking towards the check out.

“Well, goodbye Paul. It was nice to meet you once again. Good luck”


© Luigi Pagano 2016


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