As the song comes to an end the crowd stop dancing and all turn clapping vigorously towards where the band, Mars Rox and The Turtle Men stand.
“You’re all too kind!” Mars Rox says as he lets loose with one of his trademark, knee wobbling smiles and a wink of the eye. “We’re going to take a small break and will be back in ten minutes or less, and then my wayward, hip, rockin’ friends, its dance off time!” The crowd cheer with delight, as wolf whistles and screams of ‘Rox’ fill the room until generic music blares out through the speakers and Mars and his band shuffle off stage and through a side door to the back area.
“Mister Rox, do you have a moment to spare for an old friend,” a voice says from the hallway, Mars turns to face a woman in her late sixties and smiles.
“Millie, look at you, haven’t you grown?”
“I’m touched you remembered me, it’s been a long time,” she says with a smile, he quickly picks her up and hugs her tightly.
“It feels like days for me,” he says as he kisses her passionately on the lips. “You must tell me what you’ve been doing with yourself since we last stood here?”
“Getting old is all I’ve been doing Mars, while you keep looking as handsome and young as ever,” she says with a laugh, he smiles.
“You look as beautiful as you always have, my sweet, beautiful Millie,” he says as he runs a hand across her cheek and through her hair. “Are you staying for the second half? We’ve really got them in the palm of our hands tonight, it’s almost the best show yet.”
“I wish I could, maybe next year’s show I’ll stay.”
His brow furrows, and then he smiles, “At least stay for the next song, surly you’ve got time?”
“You ask me every year, and I always tell you the same answer.”
He pulls her close, gripping her by the buttocks and running his hand through her hair again, “And each year I’ll ask you the same question until you stay,” he says as he kisses her.
“I miss you,” she says as she runs a hand over his cheek, and cuddles up closely.
He continues to stroke her hair, “I’m always with you, my love, and one day, soon, we’ll be together again, for the rest of time,” he says as they separate and stand facing each other holding hands, and looking deeply into each other’s eyes. “Until then, we’ll always have next year to look forward to,” he says as he hands her a single red rose.
“Next year,” she says softly, as she stands there in the dark, rundown old hall, and looks down at the rose in her hand and smiles as a tear runs down her face. “We’ll always have next year.”