Taking his hands
Stuart wore a white half sleeve plaid shirt and khaki chinos. He wore a watch with a stripe-colored band on one wrist and a tennis wristband on the other. He had an I-shaped beard from the bottom lip to the chiseled chin, and his dimples showed even with a half-smile. “I feel shy now,” he said after our introduction. We exchanged a few words before he went back to his team.
The first group on the dance floor was the immaculately dressed young ones from the London office. I stood at the bar watching them when the corner of my eyes caught sight of the sly Mr. Aoyama. His cunning eyes glistened like his bald forehead, and his mouth was in lopsided sneer under his charlatan beard. He grabbed the elbow of the saggy-faced in-house lawyer and brought him to me, pushing his back lightly. As I turned and said, hey, I saw Mr. Aoyama turn his back and walk away, his shoulders jiggling with joy. I knew what he was doing, but there was no harm in chatting with the lawyer over a beer. So I half-heartedly engaged in a conversation while still facing the dance floor.
Alcohol sufficiently relaxed me to catch the rhythm. I was enjoying the moment of the shift from self-conscious to carefree, but the mood accelerated when Stuart came down from the dance floor and reached out his hands. When I took them, it felt like a familiar and comfortable place, like the shapes of yin and yan. Together, we joined the rest of his colleagues, and I danced away. I was light and playful at the center of the dance floor as Stuart looked at me admiringly.
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