Chapter 21:

The Dance (Part 3)

The Lonely Lovers Club

Ginko and Nellie danced like no one was watching. Nellie was one of Sandra’s field hockey teammates. She was younger than Sandra and had just moved up to the varsity team. Which meant Sandra and Nellie did not know each other well. They had only played together this season, but were becoming friends. The team went through so many challenges, a special bond was formed between all of the field hockey girls.

That, of course, was about to change. As soon as she saw Ginko and Nellie dancing, Sandra turned away and started fleeing the dance floor. Willie and Maria stared in shock at Ginko. Not noticing Willie and Maria across the crowded room, Ginko continued dancing the night away with Nellie.

Before Sandra got too far, Willie shouted, “Sandra, wait.”

But she did not stop. Maybe it was the loud music or maybe she was ignoring Willie, but she faded away into the crowd.

Willie turned to Maria, “ugh, I’ll go talk to her.”

“Wait, no…” said Maria.

Just as quick as Sandra took off, Willie followed after her. Maria felt that was a bad idea. Sandra was obviously upset that Ginko was dancing with another girl. Who wouldn’t be? It was the school dance and Ginko dancing with someone else’s date. Sandra had to be mortified. It was something that Willie should not get involved in. Not right now, at least. The last thing Sandra would want is to talk to a boy.

But more than Sandra, Maria was thinking about Ginko. What was he doing? What was he thinking? Maria looked at him. A look of disgust covered her face. Sandra could not have been gone for more than 10 minutes. Had he begun dancing with Nellie the minute Sandra left him with the field hockey team?

Maria was ready to give him a piece of her mind.

Sandra burst through the doors and into the courtyard. A couple who had snuck outside to secretly kiss under the moonlight jumped back when they saw Sandra. But Sandra paid no mind to them. She walked over to the bench next to the overgrown flower bed and sat down as quickly as she could. With the back of her hand she brushed away warm tears that were running down her cheeks. She sniffled and sobbed.

Following Sandra, Willie crashed through the doors as well. The couple who were enjoying their private time in the courtyard angrily moved past Willie. They plowed through the doors and back into the party. As the doors slowly shut behind them, the loud thumping music faded. Once the doors were completely closed, it sounded only like a faint heartbeat in the background.

Or maybe that was Willie’s own heartbeat he heard. He couldn’t tell. The silence in the courtyard was daunting. Sandra was sitting only a few steps away wiping tears from her eyes.

Willie sat down next to Sandra. Her face was in her hands looking down to the ground. Her hair fell down, hiding her face from Willie’s view. Willie went to put his arm around her, but stopped and pulled back. Instead he put his hands on his knees.

“Don’t worry, Sandra,” said Willie. “Ginko was just dancing. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

Through her sniffling, Sandra said, “Can you just leave me alone?”

But Willie was not shaken. “No really,” he said. “I’m sure he was just waiting for you to come back.”

“But he’s never danced like that with me,” said Sandra.

“This is the big school dance, Sandra. You just probably haven’t had the chance to dance like that.”

“That’s not the point,” said Sandra. She finally looked up to face Willie. Her face was completely red. Her cheeks were wet from tears. Her makeup had started to smear around her eyes. “It’s been a long time since Ginko has done anything for me.”

This is the first Willie had heard this. “What do you mean?”

Sandra wiped another tear from her face. “When we were too slow to do Miles' proposal, I felt terrible. I had ruined the school dance for Miles. But when I talked about it with Ginko, it’s like he didn’t even care that I felt bad. He didn’t try to help me at all. He just kept saying it's not my fault.”

“But Miles didn't ask Rena because she was asked to go to the prom with someone else first,” said Willie. “Surely that’s not your fault.”

“Well you didn’t make it seem that way.”

Willie felt a pit in his stomach. This was just what Sandra said when they first heard about Miles’ proposal. Sandra got angry because Willie blamed her for failing. Willie said that the proposal would have worked if he was in charge. Not only had she felt bad for Miles, but Willie helped rubbed it in. And now she revealed that Ginko was not there to help her either.

Sandra had not come to the Lonely Lovers Club meetings a few days after that event. And when she came back, Willie remembered she seemed angry with Ginko before Jakub’s proposal.

There was a lot more going on here than Ginko’s dancing, and Willie didn’t dare to ask. How could he be so blind not to see it?

Sandra broke the silence between them. “Even before Miles, I felt like I was forcing Ginko to hang out with me.”

Sandra’s eyes were staring unfocused into the distance. Her eyes looked glossed over from the tears. Willie felt a pressure in his chest. It forced him to sit still and listen.

“I would call him and make him come over to my house. Sometimes I would make him buy me these milkshakes.” Sandra almost smiled a little when she mentioned the milkshakes, though she never broke her unfocused gaze.

“But I don’t know if he liked them,” said Sandra. “I don’t even think he would have come over if I didn’t ask.”

This was all a surprise to Willie. Sandra and Ginko were like a perfect couple according to Willie. They both laughed at each other's terrible jokes. They had a terrible gift for sarcasm and back sass. They even looked cute together. But now Sandra said their compatibility was all a lie. No, this couldn't all be in Willie’s mind.

“Don’t worry,” said Willie. He stood up. “I’m going to fix this.”

“No. Willie don’t,” said Sandra, beginning to get upset again.

“No,” replied Willie. “You two are a beautiful couple. The Lonely Lovers Club brings people together. We can’t have our own members breaking up.”

Willie leapt to the courtyard doors and bounced through. There was no stopping him. He was going to make this right. Surely it was all a misunderstanding. Ginko and Sandra would be together and stronger than ever in no time.

Willie disappeared through the school doors. Once again the blasting music filled the courtyard. As the doors slowly shut again, the music slowly faded away. Once they had shut, the only sound in the courtyard was Sandra’s sobbing.


“What the heck,” shouted Maria. She grabbed Ginko’s ear and pulled him away from Nellie as they danced.

“Ow. ow ow,” said Ginko. Maria dragged him a few steps away, tugging on his ear like it were a dog’s leash.

“What the heck are you thinking?” demanded Maria.

“What are you talking about?” asked Ginko.

“You’re dancing with Nellie,” said Maria. “That’s what.”

It was obvious to Ginko, and everyone else around them, that Maria was furious. But Maria did not care what everyone else thought. She only felt rage. Maria could not remember a time when she had been this mad. Ginko was in trouble.

“I didn't think I was doing anything wrong,” said Ginko.

“That’s just it, isn't it?” said Maria. “You boys don’t think. You just do whatever it is you feel like doing and you’re blind to everyone else around you.”

“I don’t even know what you’re talking about.”

“I’m talking about you, idiot,” said Maria. She shoved Ginko as she said it, but it did not move him much. “You’re supposed to be here with Sandra. You can’t go around dancing with some other girl.”

“Sorry,” he said, clearly not very apologetic. “Sandra left. I was just having fun until she came back.”

“Well why didn’t you go with her?”

“I don’t know,” said Ginko. “She just left. I didn’t know.”

“You couldn’t have paid attention to where your date was? Were you so caught up with Nellie that you didn’t even notice Sandra left?”

“I don’t see what the big deal is. I was just hanging out.”

“You really are an idiot,” said Maria. She noticed Ginko’s clothes. “You couldn’t even match the color of your tie with Sandra’s dress.”

“I don’t see what that has to do with anything,” said Ginko. “Now you’re just being mean.”

“Well you should be upset about this,” said Maria. She shoved him again, this time a little harder. She turned away from Ginko to hide her face. Maria was clearly more upset about this situation than Ginko.

More than upset, Maria was frustrated. Frustrated with Ginko. And frustrated with Willie for running off to comfort Sandra, instead of getting Ginko to do that. Willie always needed to solve everyone’s love problems. This was a problem that only Ginko could solve. And if Ginko could not solve it, then Willie would not be able to force it.

But Willie was with Sandra. And Ginko was not.

“What’s this all about?” asked Ginko.

Maria took a deep breath. “Sandra saw you dancing with Nellie. She was upset with you and ran off.”

“Ugh, I’ll go talk to her,” said Ginko.

Ginko started to walk away but Maria said, “Don’t bother. She probably doesn't want to talk to you right now.”

Ginko rolled his eyes and began walking down the hallway, away from Sandra. His night of dancing was over. Ginko left. And so did Sandra.

MyAnimeList iconMyAnimeList icon