You Seem Unusually Fixated On ABBA
(drabble, 422 words)



For John

I smiled as Ray laced up his skates with his customary verve and vigour. "I wasn't aware you knew how to skate, Ray." 

"Hey! I like to roller skate. Wanna make something of it?" He fixed me with a glare and I held my hands up in surrender. 

"No, of course not." 

With another glare, he pushed himself upright and skated onto the hardwood floor. I watched him circle the rink a few times and then I followed after him, easily catching up to my partner. He was singing along to the song that was playing through the loudspeakers. 

"You seem unusually fixated on ABBA," I said to him as we skated side by side.  

"Huh?" He looked confused. 

"Well, this is an ABBA song, correct? And you told me once you sang ABBA while you were shot?"  

We split up then, going around a gaggle of teenagers. 

"I like this song," Ray said with a shrug. "Flying high, high, I'm a bird in the sky I'm an eagle that rides on the breeze, high, high, what a feeling to fly over mountains and forests and seas and to go anywhere that I please..." he looked at me then. "Wouldn't that be great? Not to have to worry about what people thought of you or what you did or who you chose to love?" 

I looked away then, not sure how to answer him and almost tripped over a boy who stopped right in front of me. 

I knew Ray loved me - he'd told me so, often. But I hadn't ever answered him, and I suppose he thought I didn't love him in return. He was wrong. I loved him dearly, but was a coward. I knew Ray wouldn't hurt me like others had in my past, and I knew it was time to give him what he so desired and to 'buck up' like my father often chastised me. 

When they called for couples skating and he started to leave the floor, I held my hand out to him. "Ray? Would you?" 

He smiled then, one of those breathtaking smiles that lights up his whole face, and took my hand in his, and we skated slowly around the rink with other couples in love, listening to ABBA sing, Lay all your love on me, Don't go sharing your devotion... 

And even though I didn't share Ray's fondness for ABBA, I knew I'd never forget this song or the look on Ray's face when I told him, "I love you, you know."