They went through the house to the front door. As she collected her coat, she said,
“Thank you so much for this afternoon. I’ll see you tonight.”
“I can’t wait,” he said.
As she walked back to her car, she didn’t notice Beryl Wilson in her garden watching.
Saturday 23rd April St Philip’s Church Hall – The monthly Social Dance
As usual, the monthly Social Dance attracted many more people than the weekly dance. Because so many people usually wanted to come, it was a ticket-only event. One of the reasons was fire-regulations, but the available place for tables and chairs also made it necessary. Living so close to the Hall, Steve was one of the earliest arrivals and he made sure that the others at the table knew to expect Cathy and to keep a seat for her. In the event, she too was quite early. She was wearing a flowing, knee-length red and black short-sleeved patterned dress with a black belt and shoes. Like most other people, there she carried her black patent-leather T-strap ballroom dance shoes in a shoe-bag. Her hair was in a bun, high on her head, showing off her slim neck. She made her way straight to where Steve was sitting, together with Mike, Helen and George. Beryl and Mary were stood by the hatch where tea and biscuits would be served in the interval. They had already been discussing Cathy’s visit to the Crescent that afternoon and watched her and Steve as she reached their table. Steve stood to let her pass and it was clear that they would be sitting together. There was nothing new in that of course. It happened often at the weekly dance, but recent events lent extra significance to the arrangements.
The couple – that’s how it looked to Beryl and Mary – were talking animatedly, smiling and laughing a lot. Without appearing deliberately to exclude anyone else, they weren’t saying much except to each other. When Geoff announced the first dance, they walked onto the dance floor holding hands, still chatting. Now that was new.
Beryl made her way to the table where George was waiting for her to join him in the dance. She didn’t want to excite any disagreement with George, or to be accused of being a gossip so, as they danced, she kept her questions low-key and interspersed with other matters. Nevertheless, she was discreetly pumping him for information about what Cathy and Steve had been discussing. From what he had been able to recall, it had all been about books and current affairs. Beryl didn’t know what to believe – her eyes or her husband – and her eyes kept returning to Cathy and Steve as they danced.
They were dancing the Silverdale Rumba, a dance that could look too flowery in the context of a social dance, but both Cathy and Steve were good dancers who left the competition-type taradiddles for professionals to perform in competition. The dance-steps were expressive enough to look simple but beautifully elegant, yet sexy. To those who seldom saw them together, they were just a couple who danced well together. That they looked well-suited as dance partners was undeniable, but to those who knew them better, they were much more animated than when they were usually partnering each other. In the Open-Out steps and the various turns, the way that they looked at each other smiling and chatting implied a much closer relationship than usual.
To Beryl Wilson and to Mary Heath their closeness spoke volumes. But what about the couple themselves?
Back to dancing for both photos today.
EXIF data were: Fujifilm X-T4 camera plus Fujinon XF 16-55 mm f/2.8. Shutter speed was 1/1000 secs @ f/2.8 and 47 mm. ISO was 6400.