Mountain Dew

The last of the winter sun is on its way out to make way for its brighter cousin. He sighs softly, but it doesn’t make a difference because no one’s paying him any attention anyways.

It is always like this, at every social gathering: family reunions, birthday parties, weddings, wedding anniversaries, etc.

There is almost always him, sitting in a corner by the table with the drinks, either twiddling his thumbs or trying to clean the dull leather shoes that pinched his toes.
His proximity to the drinks table was of no interest to him; he was underage, and besides, it’s no fun to get drunk by yourself anyways.

He was at the in-between. He didn’t belong with the page boys, but neither did he belong with the groomsmen.

A red-haired girl in a blue dress walks over to the table set up with glasses and bottles of different sizes. She looks to be about his age, tall, lanky, and thirsty.
She pours herself a glass of Mountain Dew and heads back to her table on the other end of the banquet hall. Just as she was about to leave the boy’s corner, the strap on one of her sky blue heels gave out and she spilled her drink onto her dress.

“S***!”

He leaps out of his fabric covered chair and goes to help her.

“Are you alright?”

“Yeah, but I doubt this dress is ever going to look exactly the way it did before.”

“I wouldn’t know too much about that, but do you want another drink?”

“Mountain Dew.”

As she tried to get her old drink off her dress with an embossed napkin, the boy came back with a new one.

“Thanks. What’s your name?”

He told her his name, and then asked her for hers.

“Ruby. My parents obviously have a bad sense of humour.”

He chuckled and asked her if she liked her name. She told him she didn’t mind it as much as she pretended to.

“At least it’s easy to spell and pronounce, right?”

“I guess you’re right.”

The boy found himself smiling at this strange girl and wondering if she was here because of the bride or the groom. He wondered where she was from, and if she and him were related in any way. He then blushed and asked her how she knew the couple getting married.

“My mom’s best friend’s brother is the groom. And you?”

“The bride is my second cousin.”

“Ah. So, do you like music?” Ruby asks.

“Doesn’t everyone?”

“Well, many people like to believe they do. They like music as something to have in the background, something perhaps to move to, something to help them destress.”

“It seems like you’re of a different opinion.”

“Well, yes, I am. I don’t think I’d be able to live without it. It’s endless, timeless, and everything I could ever ask for from the universe.”

“Whoa, that’s quite deep. Do you have a preference, in terms of artists?”

“Nah, not really. For me, it’s a bit like a blind date everytime I come across a new artist or song; I go into it having a general idea of what to expect, but still wind up surprised. There’s no single interpretation of a particular set of lyrics or musical idea, even if there is a general one established by the artist.”

The boy thought it over for a moment, and then he said, “I think that music, or anything for that matter, only touches us if we let it.”

“I think you’re right.”

Ruby pulled off both her heels and set them on the carpet.

“Would you like to dance?” she asked

They stepped onto the dance floor and danced together. They were just two young people moving in time to a rhythm as endless and as infinite as they felt.

The scarlet-haired girl and the boy with the shoes that were too tight danced till they were tired, and then went to sit back down in the corner again. They continued to talk and found that while they didn’t have a lot in common, they shared quite a few similar values.

All the pictures had been taken, all the confetti had fallen, all the champagne had been finished, and still they were talking. The servers had just begun to clear up the table with the drinks, when Ruby asked the boy if he wanted something before everything was gone.

“Mountain Dew.”

-N

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