"Mr Tango" by Nora Nadjarian

It isn’t often I run into people I know. Especially not in the middle of the night, on my nocturnal walk when I’m trying to get away from everyone and everything around me.

Imagine my surprise when I heard my name in the dark and had to turn round. I had no other choice. “Mr Thompson?” the voice asked. And then, more emphatically, and without a question mark: “Mr Tango!” I have been retired for six years .

“You haven’t changed!” the voice said. “Do you still dance?” I squinted in the dark and tried to make out who it could possibly be. It was a woman’s voice, middle aged, high-pitched. It almost hurt my ears and I couldn’t wait to get away. And yet. It isn’t every day I run into people who call me Mr Tango.

“Dance with me,” the woman said. I froze in the shadows of the night, not knowing which way to turn. The woman was hugely overweight and looked grotesque in her red dress and high-heeled shoes. “I’m Irene,” she announced. “Don’t you remember me?”

Irene. Jesus. The name made my heart skip a beat. Irene, the girl every man on earth was in love with, years ago. The brightest, lithest body on the dance floor.

“The lights! The lights!” she said. “I wanted them so much, I wanted them badly. Mr Tango, dance with me.”


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