I park my craft below in the bay below the deck just like everyone else, but unlike everyone else, I am the one who steps out of the drivers hold and gets stared at. If you are at this party you have enough money to have someone else pilot your ship. I prefer to drive myself, and tonight I needed a way out. It mustn’t help that I am not usually found at one of these elaborate parties – but Zahli insisted I be here as support.
When I finally make it past security and into the main hall it isn’t difficult to see that someone has put in a lot of effort to replicate a period dance hall. The cream wallpaper isn’t much to be desired, but for anyone not from this is a minor oversight. The immense glass ceiling is the main feature, and the proof that this isn’t the old earth at all. The galaxies and space dust beyond stretch on as far as the eye can see.
I am unsurprised to find Zahli over at the refreshments table, she once told me that ‘a party without a good drink isn’t a party at all’. She turns back around to see me and the most beautiful smile lights up her face. Her lipstick matches the deep red of her dress, and the dark curls of her hair brush the top of her shoulders as she turns; as always, Zahli looks gorgeous.
While we talk I let my gaze wander. The room is filled mostly with people I’ve never met before, but that doesn’t bother me. I am here for Zahli.
“Oh Aine, can’t you relax?”
Zahli’s warm voice brings me back from my thoughts. “I am relaxed.” I lie.
“You’re looking for someone…” She frowns, following my gaze with her own.
“I’m scouting out the quality of possible partners for you.” I choose my words carefully, Zahli knows me well.
Zahli sighs but it is almost too quiet to notice. “My dad put you up to this didn’t he?”
“Sure did,” I smile apologetically.
“I have a different plan, though, if you’ll come with me.” I continue anyway. Offering Zahli a wide smile. She is watching me intensely, but doesn’t reply, so I speak again. “There are plenty of handsome men who have noticed you.” That captures her attention, but not in the way I think it will.
“Don’t lie to me!” She gasps dramatically. “They’re all looking at you.”
I roll my eyes. Zahli must be wrong; she is the woman they are here for after all. “Slander,” I joke.
Zahli laughs with me, but only half-heartedly. She doesn’t believe me. I take another drink then put down my glass. “Dance with me.”
Zahli replies with a nervous sounding yes and so I gently take her hand and lead her to the centre of the dance floor. She dances beautifully, I’m honestly not suure what she was nervous about.
I pull Zahli in closer. “I thought it would be easier to talk like this. When you dance with someone you make your own world. No one will hear us talk here.”
“I see.” She smiles.
“Zahli,” I start, but then manage to stumble over my own feet. Zahli catches me.
“Yes?” She encourages.
“I want to ask you to run away with me.”
Zahli’s eyes widen. “When?”
“Tonight, I brought my own space-craft, we can leave right now if you want to.” I wait, watching her reaction.
“Is that you asking me?” Zahli gives me a wide smile, and even then I know that she’ll say yes.
“Is that you saying yes?” I ask anyway, letting my words echo hers.
“If you’re asking, then yes, more than anything else in the world, yes!”
“In that case,” I pull her closer so I can brush a kiss to her cheek, “I am asking.”
I take her hand again as the song finishes and we run from the crowded dance hall, to a much brighter future than before
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 May prompt to re-write January’s 1000 word piece from a different point of view. I chose to keep this piece in first person but write it from Aine’s perspective instead.
This was a lot of fun to rewrite from, Aine’s perspective. Their voice and intentions are quite different so it was a great writing exercise.