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Couples Dancing

by: Caroline Hand September 15, 2020

You enter a ballroom wearing a pale pink and shimmery gold gown. Your hair is neatly braided and weaved with ribbon. 

The host announces your name and you pad slowly down the stairs. You are wearing ballet slippers and can feel the cold stone beneath your feet. Your pearly gloved hand rests lightly along the railing as you descend to the guests below who welcome you enthusiastically. You smile but stick to the edges of the crowd and slowly, determinedly make your way to the back fireplace where you can observe.

The musicians play a few notes and announced is the name of the coming dance. A wave of excitement rushes through the room. You stand by the fire watching the figures pair. You admire the blushed cheeks of the women and the genuine smiles of the men. 

And then, a man you haven’t seen before appears before you. He bows deeply and offers you his hand. He’s inviting you to dance with him. You curtsey and take his offered hand. He wants to dance with me! Your heart flutters. 

He doesn’t say a word as he leads you to the dance floor. You admire his features. His well-tailored black clothing and brown hair. Couples are aligned and ready. The song begins all at once. He leads you well. You never take your eyes off his deep green eyes. There’s something to him. 

Intoxicating, freeing.

A vision flashes. Seated, the grass below you is the same color green as the man’s eyes. The sky above is a perfect pale blue. The air is crisp, fresh. You breathe deeply, close your eyes, and intertwine your fingers into the cool grass.

When you ease your eyes open again, the man with brown hair and green eyes is sitting next to you, gazing compassionately at you.

Who are you? You desire to ask.

He replies with a smile as if he truly heard the question being asked.

The keeper of your soul is the answer that rings through your being. 

For some reason, it all makes sense. He offers you his hand to dance. You take it and stand. An intimate dance. You and him. He knows the steps. The rhythm is your heart beating.

He spins you in a circle and suddenly you are back in the ballroom. 

Except now, the place has darkened. It’s empty of people and light. You look down and instead of a gown you wear dirty rags. But wait—you see something on the dusty ground. 

A shining golden ribbon. 

You bend down and admire the one piece of evidence that your visions had been real. Slowly, boldly, you feel the smoothness of the ribbon with the tips of your fingers and then pick it up and tie it in your hair. The abandoned ballroom around you, you realize, is the perfect place to dance. You begin. First one step and then another. The vision of the past is so fresh you feel like you can still hear the music in your ears. You twirl and twist and make your way to every corner of the floor. Occasionally you catch glimpses of the golden bow tied in your hair. 

Smiling and dancing you lose track of time. When, all of a sudden, the upstairs door to the ballroom swings wide and white light pours forth into the room. Someone is about to enter. You gasp and quicken your steps to hide in the shadows. But, oddly, no one enters. Slowly, quietly, curiously you move towards the stairs. Your bare feet pad along the ascending steps. Closer and closer you get to the door and still all you can see is pure, undiluted light. You now stand at the threshold of the doorway. 

You have to decide… 

Do you take a step into the white light while unsure of what will be there? Or stay in the place that is familiar to you? 

You think you catch a glimpse of green eyes in the distance, so instead of stepping out into the unknown…

You leap.