Electronic dance music. It was the kind of music that got your feet tapping, your head bobbing, and your hips swaying. The people in front of her, next to her, behind her, all around her jumped enthusiastically, whooping and cheering. The familiar smell of sweat and weed invaded her nostrils. Mira, beside her, wiggled and swayed, her arms moving like ribbons in the wind.
Aria had taken the pill the same time, yet she stood there, amidst the crowd, staring absently at the laser lights sweeping across the air above her. They flashed from white, to blue, to pink, to green, to yellow, to red, to everything in between.
Then the room began to spin. Aria embraced the sudden ringing in her ears. Her entire body pulsed in tune with the beat of the bass blaring from the massive speakers near the stage. A laugh escaped her lips, drowned out by the music and she swore she could see the song come to life and dance around her. Her torso rocked from side to side for a few moments before her hips followed. She began rotating her center in a clumsy circle. She closed her eyes and just moved, not caring how she looked or if what she was doing even qualified as dancing. A wide grin appeared on her face, impossible to get rid of.
Aria hummed at the new feeling. Warmth pooled in the pit of her stomach and spread until she was enveloped by a tingling sensation. Heat flashed through her, and then left her as quickly as it came, and the pattern continued. It was numbing yet so overwhelming at the same time. Another silent laugh escaped her.
Mira smiled a ridiculous smile and intertwined their fingers, serenading Aria in a voice wildly out of tune. The two girls twirled around each other, rubbing their bodies together, occasionally stopping their dance to simply hug. Words of love were exchanged and hands roamed any and every inch of skin visible to each other, the feeling foreign yet amazing. Aria caressed the side of Mira’s neck before moving up to stroke her face. She gave her friend a kiss on the cheek and laughed. Her mind became blank as she closed her eyes. Her heart beat jumped up her throat and into her ears. The music faded and the comforting heat left her once again, but didn’t come back. A cold darkness engulfed her. Her breathing shortened to shallow breaths. She felt overwhelmed. She felt alone.
She remembered the feeling. She went back to high school, back to sitting alone at the lunch table. She went back to never being invited to a birthday party, never having anyone to invite to her own. She went back to spending prom at home, curled up in her reading chair with tear stains dotting the printed pages. She went back to looking forward to college, to getting a fresh start. She went back to meeting Mira for the first time as they unpacked in their new dorm. And then the cold melted away as a distant steady beat gradually grew louder and louder until it was all she knew anymore.
Aria opened her eyes and the lights, the music, and the tingling feeling took her once more. Mira was staring at her, confused, but Aria just smiled, coaxing Mira to smile back. They clasped hands and danced once more, lost in their own chemical-induced bliss.
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