He was listening to music as he walked. Actually, he was using music as a way to drown stuff out. Marsha had walked passed him without a smile, a nod or anything. The music filled that space in the hollow of his stomach. Ms Bartosik tried to get his attention but he feigned deep concentration, bopping his head to the rhythm. Dave walked by his side for a bit, sullen and grumpy, which suited him fine.
Dave knew instinctively when he needed support. Having him by his side made the music recede a little in the background. They were shuffling in synch, which lifted his spirits. He started doing some fancy footsteps which Dave matched and then embellished. Pretty soon they had stopped and were dancing in the hall. They were striving to take as little space as possible, as though dancing on a tree trunk, whilst being as extravagant as possible. He had cranked up the music so that Dave followed without missing a beat. They were getting hot, and out of breath, but neither wanted to be the first to stop. They locked eyes and grinned. A small crowd had gathered and were cheering them on.
The bell rang. They broke it off. Fist pump, then they each headed to a separate class. Geography for him, calculus for Dave. Masha appeared by his side – you were awesome! I didn’t know you had it in you. What’s that you’re listening to? The only music now was her words and her eyes.