His tattoo-covered hand stretched out in front of him, inviting me to dance. The faint melody of the song played from his phone while it rested on top of his motorcycle seat. Our song. The same song Carlos and I first danced to when he and I met as teenagers out here by the lake.
The tall green grass surrounding the rippling lake whispered to the nosy breeze as we stood in silence. The full moon watched overhead like being put on a spotlight as everything around me waited for my answer. Goosebumps riddled my arms from the chill air and I tighten them closer to my stomach.
My chest tightened at the thought of risking to return to the same tango of fire and ice that led to our break-up. My teeth nibbled on the tip of my thumbnail, hesitant to let myself touch him. My mind needed to think as my eye wondered across the calm waters to the horizon.
Oh, Carlos. From the scrawny, charismatic teenager I first met at Physical Fitness who could barely fill out a size L shirt, maintained honor roll, to a muscular build nearly stretching out his shirt, dark tan skin covered in tattoos, and hard times written over him in the form of scars and dark circles under his black eyes. But that smile remained bright and strong.
Based on what I have been told and witnessed, three years ago, Carlos moved away from the neighborhood that led him down the dark path that tainted his beautiful soul. He secured a well-paying job in a town that could afford him a home and pay off debt, and began taking laser-removal treatments on some of his tattoos. He even quit drinking altogether because alcohol had triggered so many arguments between us and fist fights with others. Four years clean.
My heart fluttered with confidence that he had improved himself for good. Because over time, he had learned his lessons. He had learned from the mistakes from his past and has done everything to rectify the pain he inflicted onto others through actions.
Tonight, Carlos wanted to make things right again between us. He wanted a second chance, and he certainly earned it. My heart yearned for him and my mind approved it. He proved himself.
A wide smile and a head nod, my hand slipped into the rough palm of his large hand and his long fingers wrapped around them tight. His signature smile shined bright, making my chest swell with eagerness as his hands pulled me into him, readying our arms and legs for our dance. The scent of leather and aftershave caught my nose as our bodies locked together.
To the tune of our song, Carlos and I danced with our bare feet touching the crisp grass as the cool breeze passed by us every other turn. Everything seemed irrelevant right now, including our difficult past together. I can look into his eyes and see the kind, loving Carlos was back as well as the hard work he did to be the man he knew he could be.
Tonight is the night of new beginnings.