Jesse and Melody spent the rest of the evening playing poker, slots, and even tried playing roulette, a game which always made Jesse choke. He didn’t want to see too hasty, but Jesse felt himself begin to build up feelings for this girl he had only just met. Jesse was so distracted by the good time he was having with Melody, he barely even noticed Jasmine and her boyfriend Ken Peaches making out over by the blackjack table.
“Ladies and gentlemen, can I have your attention please?” Pastor Boe asked interrupting the band. “We have a treat for the couples in the auditorium tonight,” Pastor Boe began.
Jesse felt Melody squeeze his hand tightly out of excitement. “Oh, Jesse did you hear that?” Melody cooed.
Jesse pulled his hand away hesitantly, “Yeah sounds fun,” Jesse said nervously. “Shh, I want to hear what he’s saying,” Melody said putting her cold white finger to his lips.
“For the next hour, we will be opening up the floor in front of the stage here as a dance floor. During that time, the band will be taking a short break–” Pastor Boe was suddenly interrupted by a wave of loud moans—“Not to worry dear friends, in preparation for this we hired a DJ who will be taking requests for just about song you’d like him to play,” Pastor Boe finished. The crowd clapped and cheered after hearing this. “Now, to all you couples, take each other by the hand and make your way out to the dance floor and enjoy yourselves,” Pastor Boe said with a smile as he walked off stage.
“Oh, Jesse that sounds like fun, let’s dance,” Melody said excitedly. Jesse began to walk to the back of the auditorium. “Now where do you think you’re going?” Melody asked with a lighthearted tone grabbing Jesse’s hand before he got too far.
Jesse thought carefully about his words. He really liked Melody and didn’t want to hurt himself or her.
Melody could feel hesitance pulsing off of Jesse, she took him by the hand and pulled him to the back of the auditorium and sat him down at a small table.
“Jesse, I know we’ve only known each other for like a minute, but after all the time we’ve spent together tonight, and after all the fun I’ve had with you tonight…” Melody began as she took a deep breath.
“Yeah?” Jesse asked certain he knew what she was going to say.
Melody looked up at Jesse with her big bright cobalt blue eyes, “Uh… Would you… I mean to say…” She stuttered.
“Melody I’ve really enjoyed my time tonight with you as well. I’m really no good at these kind of things, but I feel I can be honest with you. I really like you Melody, and… uh… well…”
“I really like you too Jesse,” Melody said as she waited for Jesse to conjure up the courage to ask her the question.
“Melody, would you like to be my girlfriend?” Jesse asked the words piercing through his body like knives.
Melody looked up at Jesse and smiled, “Yes Jesse, I would!” she said excitedly as she threw her arms around him.
Jesse smiled and looked deep into her eyes, “Melody, would you do me the honor of dancing with me?” Jesse asked suddenly filled with emotion and confidence.
“I’d love to,” Melody said with a smile brighter than that of the dancing lights that filled the auditorium.
Right at that moment, someone requested the song Every Moment, by Jet Black Stare. “C’mon Jesse, let’s dance,” Melody said as she took him by the hand and pulled him into the middle of the dance floor.
“Melody, I don’t know how to dance,” Jesse admitted as they stood there together. “That’s okay, I’ll teach you,” Melody said as she stood on his feet and showed him how to properly dance with a woman.
“Melody, I don’t think I’m going to get the hang of this,” Jesse said at the end of the first song.
“You will Jesse don’t worry,” Melody said with reassurance. Just as the words left her mouth the song Touch Me When We’re Dancing, by Alabama came on.
“Hey, this was the song my step-mom and dad danced too at their wedding,” Jesse said with a smile at the memory.
Melody smiled and took Jesse by the hands, “Spin me around Jesse, like this,” She said. Jesse felt he was getting the hang of dancing with a woman, but was mesmerized as he watched the beautiful young Melody being spun around the dance floor in her silky black and crimson red dress.
He felt like he was dreaming, and he never wanted to wake up. How could it be that he met someone so special by just a two minute conversation at a pizza shop? Jesse didn’t want to let his emotions get the better of him. At the same time he didn’t want to come across as not caring about Melody, because nothing could be farther from the truth.
The music began to slow down and Jesse felt Melody lay her head into his chest, “I don’t want this night to end,” she said.
“Me either,” Jesse said with a big smile.
“I can hear your heart beating, it’s a warm and soothing rhythm,” Melody said as she buried her head deeper into his chest.
The couple moved from the dance floor and sat on the steps leading up to the stage. Upon seating himself on the steps, Jesse pulled out his phone, as he did that familiar feeling of rage and anger returned. “Geez mother thirty-seven missed calls, and three from my father,” Jesse said aloud rolling his eyes.
“They must really care about you to call you so much,” Melody said.
“Well, I know my dad does at least,” Jesse said with a sigh.
“They’re your parents, you should cherish every moment good and bad with them,” Melody said trying to refocus Jesse’s mind.
Jesse held his phone up to his ear to listen to his voicemail, “Jesse Aaron Sterling! If you don’t answer this phone I hope you’re out looking for a place to live! Call me back!” His mother shouted.
“She sounds pissed,” Melody said shaking a little after hearing the angry tone of a concerned mother.
“Jesse, Tod and I are packing your bags for you, they will be waiting for you on the lawn when you get here in the morning. I’m sorry you’re making this choice,” His mother said.
“Well now what am I supposed to do?” Jesse asked rhetorically. There was a short pause between the couple for a brief moment.
“You could stay with me for the night, my parents are out of town for the next week, and I have a spare bedroom,” Melody offered.
Jesse smiled, “I don’t know Melody, we haven’t known each other that long,” he said hesitantly.
Jesse looked over to Jasmine and Ken Peaches swaying together on the dance floor, “When will we ever get another opportunity to dance like this Jesse?” Melody asked with large puppy dog eyes. “Besides, do you really have another option?” Melody asked knowing full well the answer to this question.
“I could go pick up my stuff and drive to my dad’s house in Ohio,” Jesse replied, disheartened by this option.
“Jesse, I really don’t want this night to end, and I’m comfortable enough with you to offer you a place to stay. So maybe just cool off and get your head together and stay with me until the morning, I promise I don’t bite,” Melody offered again. Jesse smiled at her, “Alright Melody, I’ll stay with you tonight,” Jesse said as he leaned over and gave her a hug.
Melody smiled back at him, “I’m glad this night doesn’t have to end,” She said as they both stood up and walked back to the dance floor.
Jesse could have danced the night away with Melody, as soon as they returned to the dance floor “I Don’t Wanna Believe”, by Hinder started to play. “Oh, Jesse, I love this song,” Melody said with a smile. As the chorus begun to play, Jesse spun Melody around, her dress sashayed and glimmered in the spot lights as the couple continued to dance.
“Is this a dream?” Melody asked as she returned to his arms as the song was ending.
“No, it’s better, it’s a fleeting fantasy captured in the web of reality,” Jesse replied as he smiled down at Melody.
She sunk her head back into Jesse’s chest, “This has been one of the best nights of my life,” Melody said wrapping her arms tightly around Jesse.
“Ladies and gentlemen, can I have your attention please?” Pastor Boe asked, returning to the stage. Everyone in the room turned their attention to the stage, “We’ve all had a fun evening, but it’s now time to announce the winners of today’s grand prize. So please turn your score cards into the tithe box near the doors at the front of the auditorium, so we can tally up your points,” Pastor Boe announced.
Melody and Jesse walked to the front of the auditorium and put their cards in the box. “It doesn’t matter to me who wins tonight, because I got to spend the evening with the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met,” Jesse said kissing Melody on the cheek.
“While we tally the points, please enjoy this next song,” Pastor Boe announced from the stage. As the words left his mouth “Africa”, by Toto begun playing throughout the room.
Melody looked up at Jesse, her eyes sparkling like sapphires in the colorful auditorium lighting. She put her hands over his shoulders and wrapped them around his neck and began to sway herself and Jesse to the rhythm of the song. No words were exchanged between the couple, just expressions of joy and content. Melody leaned Jesse’s head down slightly her silky smooth red lips met with his, taking the breath right out of him. Jesse didn’t question it, he just went along with the music of the moment and enjoyed his first kiss with the most beautiful woman he’d ever met.
He could feel his heart beating faster and faster, “I can feel it, I can feel your heart beating,” Melody said softly just barely lifting her lips from his, Melody brought her hand up to Jesse’s chest and felt it. “It beats with a fiery passion… a passion… for me,” Melody said, her lips brushing gently over Jesse’s as she spoke. Jesse could feel his body temperature rising as the couple stood there in this intimate moment, kissing each other passionately.
Jesse gazed into the eyes of his lover, “Melody your eyes, they’re red,” Jesse said as he released Melody from their embrace and backed away slowly.
“Jesse, that’s not possible, do you need to sit down for a minute to cool off?” Melody asked with concern.
Jesse gazed into her eyes again and saw only her natural diamond blue eyes, “Must have just been my imagination,” He said as he wrapped his arms around her.
“Ladies and gentlemen, can I have your attention please?” Pastor Boe announced from the stage. “I’m happy to announce that we have made a total of one-hundred and fifty thousand dollars tonight, all of which will be donated to our friends at The Wounded Warrior Project!” Pastor Boe announced excitedly. The audience up roared in applause. “Secondly, I’d also like to announce tonight’s winners,” Pastor Boe began. The room went dead silent, “In first place for the grand prize of a $5,000 check… Sean Sarlon! Come on up here Sean!” Pastor Boe announced.
Jesse watched as he saw his best friend run up to the stage in excitement, high-fiving and fist bumping everyone he saw on his way up. “Congratulations son, remind me not to bet against you in a poker tournament,” Pastor Boe jested.
“Thank you, sir, and thank you to all of you too for coming out tonight to have fun and donate to a good cause. I promise I’ll put this money to good use,” Sean said as he held up the check proudly. Sean quickly ran off stage to Jesse and gave him a big hug, “This is really going to help me with school,” Sean said excitedly. The crowd cheered for Sean as he ran off of stage.
“Congrats brother,” Jesse said as Sean released him from the tight embrace.
“So, Jesse, who’s your friend,” Sean asked as he turned his attention to Melody.
“Sean this is–” Jesse began to say before being interrupted by Pastor Boe’s announcements.
“In second place! For $3,500… Ken Peaches!” Pastor Boe announced. There was another large uproar from the crowd as Pastor Boe announced the winner’s name. Jesse watched Ken as he walked slowly up to the stage shaking the hands of everyone he passed. “Thank you Reverend Boe, and all of you as well. I plan on taking this money and putting it towards my move to North Carolina, where I’ve been offered an amazing job opportunity to work as a car dealer for Chevy. Thank you one and all,” Ken announced as he shook the pastor’s hand and walked off stage.
“Anyway Sean, this lovely young lady is–” Jesse started to say again before being interrupted by Pastor Boe.
“And finally, our third-place winner, for the check worth $1,500 is… Nick Oliver!” Pastor Boe announced followed by another load uproar of applause. Nick ran up from the back of the auditorium chest bumping everyone he saw on his way up to the stage.
“Thank you, Pastor, I will also put this money to good use. The first thing I’m going to do with it however, is buy a pizza!” Nick said loudly into the mic. Pastor Boe reached out his hand to shake Nick’s, but instead Nick took that as a high-five and slapped the pastor’s hand and then fist-bumped the pastor. Nick proceeded off the stage and joined Jesse and his friends.