The dress I’m wearing is far too tight in all the wrong places. I’m dumpy with next to no waist. This does not do well in ladies’ high fashion these days. You would have thought that the earth colonies wouldn’t have reverted back to the clothing of the 1800’s yet here we are.
The hall has been fitted out to mirror that of an old earth period dance hall. The wallpaper stretches to the ceiling from which hangs a chandelier. It would be almost believable, if it weren’t for the glass ceiling which is stretched out above us. A glass ceiling looking out into space. The darkness beyond is spotted with stars and distant planets, all surrounded by swirling galaxies of planets, rubble, and space dust.
I can always think up an excuse to find myself at a party, especially one with an intergalactic guest list such as this. There is just one problem with this one. As the eldest daughter of the leader of this galaxy sector, I am expected to marry outside of our sector et cetera, et cetera, soon too. Soon being tonight, but that is the last thing on my to do list (if it is there at all). The need for women to marry well, or to marry at all is archaic, I think so anyway.
I consider running (always a suitable option), but I haven’t even had a drink yet, or a dance. That’s when I spot Aine through the crowd and all thoughts of running disappear from my mind.
Aine looks stunning, as usual. Their midnight blue suit looks like it has been sewn from the fabric of space itself, and I am in no doubt of this being true. The Lakree are beyond talented when it comes to being a seamstress. I notice the galaxy over their heart is the same purple of their eyes. Something which I’m sure is intentional.
My own dress is a deep red. No stars or galaxies here, but the trimming does shimmer. This is thanks to Aine, of course. They sewed the trimming on for me. I’d been rifling through their box of offcuts and took a fancy to the trim.
We stand off to the side of the party, near the refreshments table. The table itself runs along one side of the grand ball room. Beside me, Aine’s gaze flits around the crowded room, but they never move from their position next to me. There is no doubt in my mind of what for.
“Can’t you relax?” I don’t mean for my words to sound so harsh.
“I am relaxed.” The lie seems to roll easily off their tongue.
“You’re looking for someone…”
“Almost.” Aine replies in a tone that clearly says, ‘I’m plotting something’. “I’m scouting out the quality of possible partners for you.”
I can’t help but sigh. Knew it. “My dad put you up to this didn’t he?”
“Sure did,” Aine smiles apologetically. “This is just for show though.” They then whisper, gesturing to their eyes with the hand not holding the glass of champagne.
“Oh?” The sound is out off my mouth before I can stop it.
“I have a different plan, if you’ll come with me.” Aine’s smile brightens the already well lit room. When they look at me it is as if the room just slips away.
“There are plenty of handsome men who have noticed you.” Aine continues.
“Don’t lie to me!” I gasp dramatically. “They’re all looking at you.” And I don’t blame them. Not when it comes to Aine.
Aine rolls their eyes. “Slander,” they joke, a chuckle leaving their lips.
I smile, and take a sip of my champagne as I gaze around the room.
“Dance with me.” Aine asks as though dancing is the easiest thing in the world. For me it is not.
I splutter a yes as they lead me to the centre of the dance floor. Once my steps are synced with Aine’s I can’t help but feel like I’m just as graceful as they are. We spin in time with the music, weaving in and out of the other dancers with ease.
Aine draws me closer in time with the beat to whisper, “I thought it would be easier to talk like this.” They spin me out and pull me back in close.
“When you dance with someone you make your own world. No one will hear us talk here.”
“I see.” I reply with a smile.
“Zahli,” Aine begins. They miss a step and stumble, but I steady them easily and lead us on.
“I want to ask you to run away with me.”
My breath catches in my throat.
“Tonight, I brought my own space-craft, we can leave right now if you want to.” Aine’s deep purple eyes never leave my own.
“Is that you asking me?”
“Is that you saying yes?” They mirror my question, a knowing smile on their face.
“If you’re asking, then yes, more than anything else in the world, yes!”
“In that case,” Aine pulls me in to brush a light kiss to my cheek, “I am asking.”
Aine takes my hand again as the song finishes and we run from the crowded dance hall to a realm of endless possibilities.
Aine is pronounced ‘AWN-ya’
Lakree is pronounced ‘LACK-ree
Zahli is pronounced ‘ZAHL-ee’
This was written for the 2020 Hindsight project with the March prompt to re-write January’s 1000 word piece using a maximum of 25 descriptors.
This was harder than it looked, and if I’m honest I probably missed some, but it was a fun (and somewhat frustrating) exercise 🙂