It had been a few years since we'd first met in college. Now, we were both done, and we had jobs in different cities--I lived in South Dakota, and she lived in Minnesota. However, she was passing through, so Rach decided to swing by and visit.
Rach and I were not doing much of anything. Mostly just shooting the breeze, catching up (we hadn't talked in a while), and discussing the various attractions of our new locales. Mine was boring as hell, honestly. Small town South Dakota really didn't have anything interesting going for it. Rach lived in the Twin Cities in Minnesota, so there were a lot more attractions. Bowling alleys, laser tag, restaurants, dancing--
"Ooh, bet you go dancing a lot," I interrupted her. "Have you ever been to the Caves?"
Rach looked confused. "The Caves?"
I realized that sounded a bit too much like a non sequitur (also known as an average day in the life of an ADHD nutjob like me) and clarified. "I'm still on dancing. Yeah, the Caves are an underground dancing place. I fifth-wheeled with the twins when we went there. It's super cool--I think it used to be an old mining system?"
"That does sound cool," Rach admitted, "but no, haven't been there. I don't actually do much dancing."
"Shame. You'd be good at it."
"I know, right?"
I laughed and itched at my knee brace. (I'd tweaked my knee pretty bad earlier in the week, but it was mostly healed. The brace was more a reminder to not get too crazy during Taekwondo practice, as opposed to actually being useful.) "I tried to teach the twins a few moves, but they wussed out."
"Wussed out on what?"
"Oh, a couple of the more complicated flips." I shrugged. "I told them I'm a great spotter, but they didn't believe me. Or their dates didn't, anyway."
She cracked up. "Oh, that's totally understandable. I've always wanted to try flips but I haven't yet."
"I supp--wait, what?" I demanded.
"You haven't ever flipped before?"
Rach suddenly remembered that admissions like that were practically a guaranteed way of inciting me to introduce new experiences. "Uh...yeah...um..."
"You gotta try it," I declared. "I'll get the camera."
"Yeah, we need to document this for posterity," I declaimed dramatically, unaware that I would unfortunately lose said video in a few years to unfortunate circumstances. (Oops.)
"Oh boy," Rach muttered under her breath, opting to stand up and move to the open section of floor anyway. Guess she really did want to try it.
Admittedly, she was in the middle of psyching herself out when I returned with the camera. I plopped it on my TV stand, hit record, and turned to see her pacing in a circle. "Uh--"
"I'm gonna die," she said dramatically.
I snickered. "No you're not."
She gestured to my leg. "Are you sure your knee is okay?"
I rolled my eyes. "I'm fine."
Rach put her hands on her hips and gave me the stink eye, probably recalling all the injuries I'd powered through in the pursuit of entertainment in the past. In my defense, I had a high pain tolerance and a low threshold for boredom, but in this case my leg actually WAS 99% recovered. I figured if I could squat 400 pounds, I could flip someone who was a fraction of that weight. Before I could say that, though, she cut me off. "Is your knee sturdy enough for this?"
"My leg is fine. I've flipped people with sprains before, come on," I grumbled. "Honestly, I'm in better shape than I usually am."
Rach made a humming noise that sounded vaguely whaleish. I opted to ignore that in favor of instruction. "Don't worry, it's easy. You just keep your legs together and tucked in, and jump. I'll do the rest."
She sighed, then smiled a little. "I'm gonna die."
"You are not gonna die," I protested. "You know how long I've been doing this?"
"Well, I haven't," she pointed out.
"You know how many people I've dropped?" I demanded.
Rach looked a little concerned. "How many--"
I held up both hands in the shape of a donut. "Zero. I'm good at this."
"Good for you. Well, I'll be your first then," she reasoned.
"HEY!" I got in position anyway. "Ready?"
She paused. "No."
"Quick psyching yourself out." I left my position and stripped off my flannel shirt, reasoning that it was a little slick. The t-shirt I had on underneath would be better for this.
"You know, I've been purposefully avoiding doing aerials," she admitted.
I raised an eyebrow. "Why? Aerials are fun! They're like the best part of swing-dancing!"
"Because...I've always felt like I'm too tall to do this," she admitted.
I shrugged. "For some partners, maybe, but I'm way taller than you. If anything, you're like the perfect height in this instance--you're not even close to too tall. Besides, the tallest person I've flipped was six-five--taller than me--so if I can flip her, I can definitely flip you."
"Well, the guys I was with were completely incompatible," she explained.
I grinned mischievously. "You mean they're wimps."
She grinned and conceded the point. "Yeah, they're wimps."
"See, that's why you should come out to the barn dances and do country swing," I reminded her, as part of my ongoing effort to get her to go to barn dances. "Everyone out there is a farmer. They throw tractors around for a living."
Rach giggled at my wild exaggeration. "Well..."
I got back in my position as she put her arms on my shoulder. "Are you ready?"
"WOW, your hands are really freaking cold!" I noted.
"Yeah," she admitted and went for the back of my neck. I ducked. "Don't you DARE!"
She laughed. "Couldn't resist."
I shook my head. "I should have remembered before I said anything. Ready?"
I let out an exasperated huff.
"Awesome." I got my arm behind her legs. "Ready, three...two...one...jump."
She jumped. I guided her up and over. Textbook perfect. I mean, if you disregarded the eep! that was emitted shortly before landing. (Not from me, though.) I didn't tease her about it--at that precise moment, anyway--instead choosing to throw my arms out in a bit of a flourish. "And there you go!"
Rach started laughing. "Okay!"
"See, that wasn't so hard," I said (a tad smugly) as I turned the camera off. "You want to see it?"
"Sure!" she said eagerly, joining me on the couch.
I fast-forwarded to the flip. "Bam! Look at that, you nailed it--but what was with that noise?"
She clobbered me with a pillow.