She stopped for a moment, her breath catching. Around her the dancers continued to move, dresses swirling; blurring into an intricate web of silk and crystal and colour. So close, almost intimate, but somehow never quite touching.
Standing with his usual group, she had felt his presence almost before she had seen him.
They had spoken of this night, this annual gathering. There was safety in this crowd of revellers. In this sea of carefree extravagance.
This ball. This decadence, this cheerful abandon.
It was all pretence of course. A night to forget the storms that raged. A night to imagine a different world. A night to become someone else, even if just for a few hours.
We must be careful.
A year ago she had been a nobody. She wouldn’t even have been able to attend this ball, much less host it. Her life had been simple then, harsh perhaps, but simple.
Then came the choosing. And, suddenly she was no longer unknown. She was gifted. She was special.
But, her Cinderella moment was not without consequence, and this sudden freedom from her previous life also became her prison.
But, I met him.
As she moved through the room, stopping to exchange a word here, a reassurance there, her eyes never strayed far from him. He had turned so that he could watch her, a faint smile on his lips.
When she finally arrived by his side, she joined in with the meaningless small talk. Laughing in the right places and saying the right words. Playing the role that had been thrust upon her.
All the while her eyes held his.
Do we have the strength for what comes tomorrow?
[This story happens sometime before the events in A Letter.]
You can find this weeks #ThePrompt linky here. I do hope this week’s prompt inspired you; I look forward to reading your posts.
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