The Waltz

Fiction By Ariel // 1/13/2010

 Based on a true story… 

          The lights were dim; people milled around the dance floor. Girls in simple costumes of plaid cotton stood in groups, talking and laughing among themselves. The rustling of skirts punctuated by a booming laugh from a gentleman in the corner filled the air. Several couples promenaded around the room, stopping only to introduce themselves or to visit with old friends.

          A broad man stood near the stage at the far end of the room. He leaned against the raised platform holding a microphone loosely in his hand and laughing boisterously at the gentleman opposite him. He had long, slightly curling blond hair hanging out beneath the brim of his velvet tri-corned hat. An elegant coat, made of the same material, hung almost to the hem of his fawn-colored breeches. A gold waist coat contrasted nicely with the dark coat as did his lacy collar and cuffs. The most eye-catching piece of his costume was the rose in his hat -- pure white, with a few green leaves surrounding it. Its pure whiteness shone like a beacon through the dim light of the hall.

          On the stage above the man, several people sat hold their instruments. An older woman cradled her cello in one hand and reached down with the other to smooth the skirt of her black dress. She straightened and gazed out at the people on the floor below her, perhaps wishing that she was free to join them. Across from her, a tall thin man leaned against a grand piano holding a dark fiddle in his hands. He leaned his ear close, trying to catch the soft notes that his thumb was making on the copper colored strings. He frowned as a sour note fell on his ear and turned the tuning peg slightly. He listened again and this time smiled at the sound he heard. He lifted the fiddle to its resting place on his shoulder and waited.

          The other musicians began readying their instruments just as their leader lifted the microphone to his lips. He began speaking loudly, his voice was deep and cultured, but with the thick accent and rolled r’s of a Scotsman.

          “Step lively now, lads! Find yourselves some partners…it’s time for the waltz.” People began linking arms and moving into the middle of the floor. Near on the back corners, a young girl stood in the shadows. Her face cleared showed her nervousness as she twisted her hands together. She strained her neck in hopes of catching a glimpse of her friends who had been whisked off immediately. She stared openly as a young man bowed to his partner and the two began whirling around the room. Her eyes were wide with wonder and them something passed over them. She moved as if to turn back toward her seat, when she was suddenly arrested by a voice just behind her. She turned ever so slightly and found herself looking up into a pair of dark eyes.

          The young man was not especially tall, just tall enough that the girl had to tip her head up slightly to look into his face. He had thick brown hair that curled over his neck slightly. He was lean and tan, looking like he had just stepped off the green hills of Scotland. He wore a pale green cotton shirt and a burgundy plaid that fell past his knees. His hands were strong, but not rough and he had a warm smile. The girl’s eyes widened as she looked at him. He smiled again and nodded his head slightly.

          “May I have this dance?” He asked in the customary way. The girl began to nod, but then checked herself, a flush of embarrassment creeping over her cheeks. She twisted her hands together and looked down at the tips of her shoes peeing out from under the hem of her dress.

          “I don’t really know how to waltz.” she whispered, wishing that she know how to sail daintily around the room, like she had seen so many of the other girls doing. In truth, she had never even danced before and the prospect held a mixture of fear and excitement. She glanced up at his face, expecting to see a look of disgust or even worse, pity pass over his eyes, but she was met by the same steady smile. He held out his hand and looked deep into her eyes,

          “Don’t worry,” he whispered, “I’ll teach you…” The girl’s eyes sparkled and her cheeks grew pink. She placed her trembling hand in his and they moved onto the dance floor.

          The music played smoothly; it was a lively tune that was easy to follow. The boy took the girl’s hand and lifted it to his shoulder. She felt a thrill go through her as he placed his hand on her back and began coaching her through the steps. It was such a new experience, one she had only ever dared to dream about. The lights were dim and the other couples whirled about them.

          The dance was simple, but she was nervous. The girl’s cheeks burned with shame and anger at herself when she tripped over the boy’s feet.

          “I’m sorry,” she would say with a laugh, “I must have two left feet,” and then hate herself for not thinking of something more original to say. The boy’s easy smile would always reassure her though and he would patiently go over the instructions once more.

          He counted in time to the music and they moved off again. The girls felt a surge of complete ecstasy fill her soul when she realized that they were finally moving in perfect rhythm with each other. She concentrated on the floor, watching the tips of her shoes and counting under her breath. The mood was enchanting; unlike anything she had ever dine before. The music; the lights; the colorful costumes; the tall ceilings: they all melted together into a bright light that whirled around her. For a moment she was sure that she would lift off the ground in flight.

          A wave of warmth swept over her cheeks at the touch of the young man’s hand on her back. She felt a soft breath on her hair and realized that he had bent his head closer to hers. She looked up, straight into his dark eyes and was lost in the moment. He lifted her right hand higher and moved away slightly. Confusion flooded her soul until she found herself spinning gracefully under his guiding hand. Her full skirt flowed and billowed around her; her eyes were shining; her hair swung around her face and a song flowed in her heart. She spun back toward him and placed her hand once more on his shoulder. They began moving again, but she felt her feet, no longer moving in perfect time with the boy’s, become clumsy again.

          It was over; the feelings of complete and utter happiness were replaced once more with feelings of embarrassment over her gawkiness. The music ended and they moved apart. She hardly dared to look into his eyes as she curtsied low before him. She cheeks were flaming as she turned to rejoin her friends.

          The evening wore on; her eyes followed the boy constantly. She wished that he would ask her to dance once more, so she could apologize for her awkwardness, but he never did. Her parents arrived and she slowly collected her things. The dances were still going in full swing; a feeling of loneliness swept over her as she descended the stairs to the exit. She could hear the music still playing and the laughing of the guests. She envisioned the boy’s fathomless eyes and his effortless smile. She remembered the feeling of his hand, guiding her through the steps of the dance and his breath in her hair. She smiled sadly to herself; there would never be another night quite like this one; it was an experience she would never forget – her first waltz.

          She leaned her head against the cool glass of her bedroom window and looked up at the stars; memories floated through her head and she smiled once more. She sighed deeply and moved back into the darkness. As she drifted off to sleep one thought ran through her mind, “I don’t even know his name.”

Comments

This left butterflies in my

This left butterflies in my stomach :-)

Did this happen to you? If so, I am incredibly jealous! Haha. I loved this piece, though. Everything was lovely! My favorite paragraph was this: 

"A wave of warmth swept over her cheeks at the touch of the young man’s hand on her back. She felt a soft breath on her hair and realized that he had bent his head closer to hers. She looked up, straight into his dark eyes and was lost in the moment. He lifted her right hand higher and moved away slightly. Confusion flooded her soul until she found herself spinning gracefully under his guiding hand. Her full skirt flowed and billowed around her; her eyes were shining; her hair swung around her face and a song flowed in her heart. She spun back toward him and placed her hand once more on his shoulder. They began moving again, but she felt her feet, no longer moving in perfect time with the boy’s, become clumsy again."

E | Wed, 02/17/2010

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

...

I want to scream, I want to cry, I want to laugh and smile and whirl about, I want to lay back and think about it.  I feel like that was me.

Bridget | Thu, 02/18/2010

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

*happy*

Erin - I'm SO glad you liked it. That's actually one of my favorite paragraphs too. This did happen to me last August. I embellished it a teeny bit (notice the teeny) to make it more - what's the word? - romantic, but most of it did happen exactly like that! Such good memories :)

Bridget - I want to scream, I want to cry, I want to laugh and smile and whirl about, I want to lay back and think about it.  I feel like that was me. I feel like a have accomplished a great thing! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

Ariel | Thu, 02/18/2010

*****************************************
"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it." -- Herman Melville

I want to dance...with him.

I want to dance...with him. Did she ever see him again?

KatieSara | Thu, 02/18/2010

Katie:-)

"Are all humans like this? So much bigger on the inside?"
-Idris/TARDIS

:(

No...she never saw him again.

And somebody told her they thought his name was Chuck...she still refuses to believe it. :P

Ariel | Thu, 02/18/2010

*****************************************
"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it." -- Herman Melville

oh, please...

anything but Chuck....

KatieSara | Thu, 02/18/2010

Katie:-)

"Are all humans like this? So much bigger on the inside?"
-Idris/TARDIS

Ariel: That means I am

Ariel: That means I am incredibly jealous, even if it was slightly exaggerated :-D lol, just kidding (maybe ;-). And please don't let his name be Chuck.......

E | Thu, 02/18/2010

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

There is no way his name was

There is no way his name was Chuck.  I will list my reasons.
1.  No one names their kid Chuck anymore.
2.  No kid named Chuck would be as nice as this one was.  Being named Chuck would sour almost anyone.
3.  Chuck does not fit him in any way.  It could not be his name.  Maybe the person who told you that meant Chad.  That fits a little better.
4.  Eh, I got nothing else.  But three reasons should be enough for anyone.

(And I glad I was able to make someone so happy!)

Bridget | Thu, 02/18/2010

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

I'm so glad you guys agree...

As I said before, the girl still REFUSES to believe that Chuck is his name. :P lol

Bridget - you are so right! Those three (four) reasons should be enough to prove to anyone the error in their thinking. And Chad...why didn't I think of that before? I love that name. Chad...*sigh*

Ok, girls...I said it was based on a true story. See if you can find the girl and Chad (we'll call him that because we all agree that anything is better than Chuck) :D Just click on the link!

http://www.highlandball.com/

Ariel | Thu, 02/18/2010

*****************************************
"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it." -- Herman Melville

I found him...but where's the

I found him...but where's the girl?

KatieSara | Thu, 02/18/2010

Katie:-)

"Are all humans like this? So much bigger on the inside?"
-Idris/TARDIS

I love the way this is

I love the way this is written, Ariel--like Bridget, I feel like this was me, and I'm every bit as excited, fluttered, embarrassed, disappointed, and wistful as "the girl." Very vivid.

p.s. I like your profile picture--is that you?

Annabel | Thu, 02/18/2010

:D

Katie Sara - Well, the girl is me...;) I'm in a red lace up vest, red and blue plaid skirt that is split down the front and white dress under it all with lace at the sleeves and hem. Find me? BTW what did you think of him?!

Annabel - Oh, I'm so glad it made you feel like that. I feel like I have reached a milestone as a writer :D Yes, that is me in my profile pic. I had to adjust the color a little bit and my hair came out redder than it normally is, but I still love it :D

I just noticed something...I don't think I've ever gotten so many comment on just one of my posts. I feel special ;-D

Ariel | Thu, 02/18/2010

*****************************************
"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it." -- Herman Melville

I'm glad that you put the

I'm glad that you put the link!!! Was "Chad" the guy with the green shirt in the Tuscon clan pic? If so, I like him :-D 

E | Fri, 02/19/2010

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

OK, so this made me start to

OK, so this made me start to cry...you really wrote this well, Ariel!

LoriAnn | Fri, 04/16/2010

Awww

You don't know how much of a compliment that was, LoriAnn! I've never made anyone cry with my writing before :D Thank you....

Ariel | Fri, 04/16/2010

*****************************************
"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it." -- Herman Melville

incorrect

 you've made me cry before

Keri | Sat, 04/17/2010

:O

I did? I'm sorry darling. When was this???

Ariel | Sat, 04/17/2010

*****************************************
"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it." -- Herman Melville