She was a feisty and devastatingly beautiful 4’11” Puerto Rican girl from Brooklyn in New York City. So delicate and soft in her appearance but had the fight to chop down the most powerful of men if she felt even slightly crossed.
Our indulgent night of excess and bar hopping is winding down in the pounding bass of the FDR at Delano dancing the night away in the dark that provided hardly any reprieve from the humidity and heat of a South Beach, Miami summer night. Even though the night is winding down, this club is redlining. Models in bikinis, well dressed men and women, the waitresses in sexy clothing all seem to move as one on the dance floor and I’m in the dead center of it all with a new lady friend I just met the day before.
In a long flowing and floral print dress which hugs her curves, she closes her eyes surrounded by the heavy bass and under the flashing lights. She runs both hands over and along the sides of her head to hold her long and dark, wavy hair up. With the pulsating lights I see small glints of sweat trace slowly down her neck. She continues to hold up her hair and starts slowly moving her hips side to side. At times all I see is her silhouette before the static lights of the DJ booth between the rapid white flashes of light.
She’s rejected and ignored every guy that wanted to get close and stayed at my side. A photographer scours the club for the most beautiful girls he can find and asks for her picture for the club website and swiftly denies him without a second thought. She wasn’t there for anyone else but her own need to be lost in the desire to just let go.
She looks up at me and grabs my neck to pull me towards her so she can say “come with me” into my ear. She takes my hand and leads the way through the pack of people to a quieter place to get some air and another round of drinks.
She doesn’t say much in our time at the bar but she does want to thank me. “Thanks? What did I do?” I ask. “At The Clevelander when they tried to rip me off last night by stealing my card. You fought with the manager to make sure everything was okay with me.” “You were the one that tore into him and went full ‘Puerto Rican’ on him. I think he was about to cry. Besides you don’t need to thank me for that. Just helping a damsel in distress and being a gentleman.” “I did go full Puerto Rican on him” she says laughing while stirring her drink. “Can I ask you something?” “Sure.” “Remember last night at Club E11even when I asked about if you had a girlfriend?” “Yes.” “Well why not? Why don’t you have a girlfriend back in Phoenix?” “I don’t want one.” “Why not? You would make a great boyfriend for some chick that probably won’t deserve you.” “Because I like my freedom to be able to do things like this without having to answer to anyone.” “Things like this?” “Dancing with a beautiful woman in South Beach.” She just looks at me. First with a smile and then with a flash and instance of pain in her eyes. “Finish your drink” she says.
When we’ve both finished our drinks, she grabs the lapel of my shirt and drags me back into the crowd. She wants to dance and reaches up to grab my neck to pull her body to mine. This is more than just a dance among new friends. She turns around and grabs my hands to put them on her hips. Then leans her head back and rests it on my chest, reaching her left hand up to run her fingers through my hair before she slowly starts to move her body down towards the floor. Her hand wraps around my neck then down to my chest, feeling her body against mine, my hands caressing the curves of her body.
There’s a slowness that’s seeping into my senses. The fading music, the blurring lights. We’ve both been drinking and have had more than enough to make bad decisions. I can’t help but think that what’s quickly fading from her memory is the location of, back home, her boyfriend.