The beat was pulsing. All around, bodies were moving to it, bumping into each other, spinning around.
Angela felt a trickle of sweat run down her neck. Her hands moved up her sides and she pulled her hair up. She let it fall back over her shoulders a moment later as she still swayed to the music. It moved her, she was completely in the zone, completely captivated by it. This outing had turned out more enjoyable than she’d have thought.
Germans still called it ‘disco,’ and it wasn’t quite like a club she knew from back home – the ones that admitted minors. Of course, this German ‘disco’ also offered beer and wine to the mostly young crowd and Angela had already made some use of the more lenient German alcohol laws.
While she was glad that her parents had respected her wish to come here alone tonight, she felt a little isolated from the crowd. Most of them were Germans, talking German – not a single English accent had yet met her ears. But in dancing, they were all just young and understood each other without words.
Angela’s gaze roamed the dance floor, catching one or two pairs of eyes that turned out male and continued its search. It found a target in a stunning red-head who was watching her over the rim of her glass.
Angela threw the girl what she hoped was a sexy smile and continued dancing as if she wasn’t aware of being watched. The tune of the song changed and something older, something Angela’s mother would have liked, played. She recognized ABBA, but not the song. The crowd seemed to like it and Angela saw the red-head push off the bar and dance in her general direction. ABBA may not have been Angela’s kind of music, but it grew on her as she watched the other girl. She came closer and they were now dancing in close proximity without really dancing together.
Angela turned and passed the red-head who threw her arms up, swaying her hips.
“Voulez vous?” ABBA sang and the whole room answered with: “Ah-ha!”
Angela had to laugh, a kind of wide-spread sensuality gripped her. She danced closer to the red-head, their bodies touching as if by accident. The other girl didn’t shy away, but Angela felt her touch her arm and suddenly their hands held for a second, then released again.
The song ended, another began.
“Hi, ich bin Judith!” the red-head yelled into her ear to be heard.
Angela shook her head. “Sorry, no German!”
Judith held out her hand. “Nice to meet you, Angela.” As Angela shook her hand Judith pulled her toward the bar. She ordered two beers and gave one to Angela.
Judith merely nodded and her eyes dived into hers for just a moment, before they were both roused by somebody laying an arm over Judith’s shoulders. It was a tall, lanky guy with shaggy blond hair. He said something to Judith which Angela couldn’t understand because of the noise, though she was sure that it was German and she wouldn’t have understood anyway.
Judith pushed the young man away from her, rolling her eyes at him and saying something that sounded like: “Hör schon auf.” Then she leaned closer to Angela, saying: “That’s Hannes. He’s from school.”
Angela smiled at him, not too friendly, but it was all the encouragement he needed as he reached for her hand and pulled her close. His thumb caressed the back of her hand. “Na du,” he said into her ear.
“I don’t speak German, sorry,” Angela told him and looked at Judith.
“No German? Well, I speak a little English. No worries.” Hannes seemed determined to occupy her attention but then Judith talked to him in German. Angela didn’t understand but he started looking around himself. Judith pointed toward the door and he walked away in that direction.
“He’s going to look for some friends,” Judith explained to Angela who nodded.
“You’re from here then, Koblenz?”
“Yes, I am. You’re obviously not from here. Where are you from?” Her English was a little formal but she didn’t have much of an accent – Hannes had one.
“Salt Lake City, it’s…”
“Utah, right?” Judith interrupted with a smile.
“Germans know so much about America. I wasn’t even entirely sure where Germany was before my parents suggested we spend our vacation in Europe.”
Judith laughed. “Well, I’m not sure where Utah is, either, so we’re kind of even. Is it in the middle?”
“More to the west, next to California.”
Angela shook her head, but smiled. She found her eyes captivated by Judith’s, the intense blue making her dizzy, or maybe it was the alcohol she was not used to.
“So, how do you like it here so far?” Judith asked.
Angela shrugged. “It’s okay, not quite Paris, though.”
Judith looked bewildered, obviously confused about the connection of her hometown to Paris.
“I wanted to vacation in Paris.”
“Oh, okay. Yeah, that’s certainly a nicer spot than our little corner of the world,” Judith agreed.
“Well, my mom wanted to go to England, my dad to Italy. Mom had the brilliant idea of writing down some destinations and draw. The results were Spain and Germany.”
“Spain is nice. We went to Barcelona a couple of years ago. It was great, I still have a letter friend from back then.”
“Letter… oh, a pen pal.” They both laughed at the mistake.
“Yes, a pen pal. Her name is Lucia.”
Angela nodded. “It was okay there, but it was too hot and we left early. I mean, how do you enjoy your holidays when you can’t move because of the heat? It was oppressing, and my dad got this rash. We still don’t know what that was about.”
They were interrupted when Hannes came back with a couple of friends. The girls hugged Judith and the two new boys kissed her on the cheek. Angela didn’t mean to frown, but if it had been up to her they could have spent the evening just by themselves. Judith seemed lovely and her English was the best Angela had encountered since coming to Europe.
Judith introduced Angela to her friends, most of them seemed interested if not able to communicate their interest. Two of the girls didn’t seem to care for her, though to be fair, they talked only between themselves.
Hannes lay an arm around her shoulders. “Do you like to dance?” he asked.
Angela grinned and nodded. She pushed his arm from her shoulders and grabbed Judith’s hand. She led her to the dance floor as some German song started to play. Everybody seemed to know it and many sang along.