The Last WaltzA Story by Deepshikha
Softly; lightly; we are entering the land of the final promises, where love is declared under a serenade of movement; the land where we rule as King and Queen.
It will be the last waltz of the ball -- a final celebration of the night, one last dessert. I have danced all the waltzes save for one, where I was rather unceremoniously pulled away from the great hall by my poor bladder. But now, I am ready to dance my heart out for the last time tonight.
The floor is cool beneath my feet (my shoes are safely
hidden away) as I walk around the ballroom with my best friend, searching for
someone to dance with. I see Rolf, my other best friend, looking jovial and
light hearted -- but I have already danced twice with him, and I cannot bear
to tear him away from his Marie, with whom he has become quite close. I also
see the others -" Sir Kensington, Mr. Jackroy, Lord Mason, the Duke of Livsley, Count
Marseille, and some others -" with whom I have already waltzed with. None of
them, as handsome as they are, catch my fancy as they did before.
As the orchestra rests before the final grandeur, my friend
and I linger near the garden doors
“What is it, Kitty?” I ask. “Has someone caught your fancy?”
She steps closer, and I can see mischief on her face. “Have you danced with every soul here, Victorique?”
“Oh, heavens no,” I laugh. “Everyone but the Lord of Eldrich, and who would want to dance with that old drunk?”
She giggles and takes my arm. We start walking across the floor, content with each other’s company (if not that of a handsome suitor). We happen across many of our friends, who are dressed in lovely colors, but we stop for none of them. This is a sort of dance between Kitty and myself, where we silently sweep across the floor in the relative silence before the spring rain.
Kitty and I stop before the staircase that lands right before the dance floor. Here, we await the re-entry of their royal majesties who have temporarily departed to dress into simpler wear, so they too might enjoy and savor this last dance.
We catch each other’s eyes, and Kitty dreamily smiles.
“What is it?” I ask her, hoping that she will tell me something extraordinary.
“Oh, Victoriqe, can I trust you?”
I nod; she seems so breathless. “Of course! Now,” I move closer to her, “Do tell me.”
“Lord Evanston, what do you think of him?”
“He is rather handsome,” I giggle, “Has he promised to dance with you?”
Her smile brightens. “Yes, but I have not seen him yet. Please, Victorique, will you search for him?”
I turn to face her and put my hand on her arm. “Of course.”
Then, as if it were a sudden twist of reality; as if it were meant to be, I see Lord Evanston walking towards us, Rolf and Marie at his side. I catch Rolf’s eye, and give a slight nod towards Kitty, who is chattering on. He understands and the party stops by our side.
“What do you truly think of Lord Evanston, Kitty?” I ask, feeling devilish.
“He’s too delightful, Victorique. He’s charming, and witty, and very handsome,” she says, dreamily.
Lord Evanston looks happily shocked, and I know he has heard. “Kitty, turn around; your prince awaits.”
She spins and I hear her breath catch as she sees him. “Lord Evanston!”
“Lady Katherine,” he nods in return, blushing ever so brightly. He takes her hand and kisses it. “You are too kind, you know.”
Kitty also blushes. “You heard? I did not mean to speak too much " ”
“No, no, I rather enjoyed hearing your lovely voice,” he says with a happy smile, “ You have nothing to apologize for.”
I see that he is indeed very charming, and I notice that Kitty has never looked as dazzled as she does now. I give her a little nudge and say, “Oh, Lord Evanston, will you stand with Lady Katherine for the royal parade? I have some business I must attend to.”
He gives me a small bow and leads Kitty away on his arm. She turns briefly towards me and waves, looking ever so radiant on Evanston’s arm.
“She’ll know what you did, eventually,” says Marie, coldly, turning her nose up at me. I do not know why she does not like me, only that she does.
“Contessa Marie,” chides Rolf. “We’re here to enjoy ourselves, not to keep ourselves restrained.”
“Now you will use that excuse for getting drunk beyond reason,” she mutters.
Rolf laughs, and Marie scowls. I wonder how such opposites could have such adoration for each other. But I am pleasantly surprised when Marie also begins to smile as Rolf takes her arm and holds her closer than is proper.
Presently, we walk along and watch their royal majesties enter the ball room. Her Royal Highness, Queen Annabelle, is on the arm of her consort, Edward; behind them come their two sons, the Princes Eric and Adam (Prince Eric being the next in line to the throne). They are dressed in simple, yet elegant clothing, with the heir apparent looking as dashing as ever. But it is Prince Adam who catches my eye. I have, of course, never noticed him before outside of his brother’s shadow. But while Prince Eric looks as every other man of our kingdom does " blond, blue-eyed, fair " I notice that dark curls fame Prince Adam’s elegant face, and I notice, for the first time, his striking green eyes.
As per etiquette, I give a small curtsy as he passes by, but I do not take my eyes from him as I should. The Queen and King Consort stop at the center of the floor, the Queen’s lovely lavender dress drawing all eyes to her.
But my eyes neither go to the Queen; nor Prince Eric; nor to anyone else. No, my eyes stay on Prince Adam, as he searches for a lady to dance with.
Rolf takes the arm of Marie to go to the dance floor, but as he does, he gives me a poke, as if he knows something that I do not.
I realize that Prince Adam is walking towards me, and I also realize that I had turned him down before -" when my bladder called me away from the floor.
I feel heat rising in my cheeks, but I nonetheless politely curtsy when he stops in front of me. A nod of greeting from him; a kiss on the hand; a flustered acceptance to dance; and I am whisked away to the dance floor, beside Prince Eric and the Duchess of Burbury.
There, Prince Eric gives us acknowledgement in a small nod; the Duchess does not care enough to look. I see the Lord of Eldrich and Lady Lizabeth of Etrua stand on our other side, and other couples start to take their places as well.
Prince Adam, however, soon draws my entire attention to him and to only him. “I finally have this dance, Contessa Victorique.” His smile is warm as warm as a summer’s breeze, and I mentally chide myself for being so rude before.
“You must forgive me for before,” I whisper back, heart beginning to race. “But nature called.”
He grins and the orchestra begins to play. We take each other’s waist and arm, and begin the waltz.
It is a very popular waltz, one that has many twists and turns. We start slow, stepping in precise time to the soft staccatos of the violins. One-two-three; one-two-three. Softly…lightly…we are entering the land of the final promises where love is declared under a serenade of movement; the land where we rule as King and Queen. I spin the first spin, and our hands rise up to meet the other's as the tempo quickens.
“Are you ready, Contessa Victorique?” he asks, as he spins me.
I grin. “Only if you are, Prince Adam.”
I twirl again, and though we are nearly strangers, we are taken to another world, where only the music, the dance, and we exist. My feet, still bare, grip the floor easily and lift me up in the air just as easily. His arms are strong, like the limbs of an elderly oak; catching me every time "- so much that I fear I am not touching the cool marble of the floor at all.
The music’s tempo increases, and our arms change places; his to my waist, and my own to the skirt of my dress. I lift it ever so slightly, so that I may move freely, and spin unabound within the ball room. In this way, Prince Adam and I become lost in each other, like baby blossoms entwining together as they bask in the sunlight. I hear both of our hearts race as we bloom together, spreading our petals under the warmth of music.
We are spinning, spinning; stepping, stepping; swaying to the rhythm coming deep within ourselves. It is not our bodies but our souls that dance, I realize, as I am overwhelmed with emotion. The orchestra begins to crescendo, and we are now truly flying, adrift in a sea of colors. Faster, faster, we spin and spin; this is the last waltz, the final dance, the joy of living within the palm of my hands.
And it is over; as quickly as we were spinning, it is over. I give Prince Adam a final curtsy, and he gives me a final bow, perhaps holding on to my hand longer than is proper. Then he is gone, back to his family, where he is a Prince; never a king, and I am again a simple Contessa, never a queen.
My body is still tingling and I am still giddy when I meet with Kitty and Rolf on the way to the carriages. They look as joyous and as radiant as I feel, and I am certain that this was truly a final dance, the last celebration of the night, the last dessert…the last waltz.
© 2011 Deepshikha
Added on April 4, 2011
Last Updated on April 5, 2011
Where Time Passes, PA
AboutI am not active on this site anymore. I only post poetry from time to time, as this is my personal archive. If you try and contact me here, you may not get a response for a while. If you need me (wh.. more..