“Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?” 3/1/08

The music from the quartet filled the night air, surrounding her even as she entered the grand ballroom. It felt as if she were floating on it. Felt as if nothing mattered but the rhythm of her feet in time to the notes spilling out from the instruments of the four men she knew had to be there somewhere. The thong of people made it impossible to actually see them. The grand dresses blocked the view of the musicians. Which was fine by her.

A thousand galas, a million parties, hundreds of masquerades, and none of it had found a way to bore her yet. Her heart would flutter from the moment the invite was delivered, all the way up the front steps (there were inevitably front steps), and until the last of the warm bodies had gone off home. Long into the night she would retain the feeling of joy that such occasions brought her.

Tonight’s party was nothing different. It was somebody’s birthday, she knew that much. It was affirmed when she saw a table piled with gifts of all sizes, wrapped in soft cloths and ribbons. Somehow they’d all managed to be coordinated in the same three colors. She guessed it had nothing to do at all with accident.

One day, she thought, one day she would have something like this. She wouldn’t be merely attending, she would be the center of attention.

Her name was announced as she passed her invitation off to a greeter. Only a few stopped to look at her. She wasn’t as important as most of these people. Not royalty. Just society. She had made her name in the proper circles, so she got invited even when she didn’t know the people throwing it. She was a face that you wanted to have seen at your get together.

It was only moments until a young gentleman approached and asked for a dance. Only a few heartbeats. And this was the part of the evening she could never get enough of. The young man who she would keep by her side until everything was over. The one young man whom she would dance with until the quartet could play no longer. He whom she would instantly love, and love intensely for the entirety of the night.

Doubtful that he would remain in her heart beyond the rising of the sun, but for the long glorious moments until then, he belonged to her and no other.

Perfectly in time, wonderfully gracefully, her gentleman whisked her away into the thick of the other dancers, turning in time with the music and passing through the rest as if they were trees, standing still in a colorful silk forest. Her head tipped back in marry laughter, and the flow of the song overtook her.

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