Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Anniversary (04/11/05)
TITLE: I Can't Dance - Don't Ask Me
By Linda Germain
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For weeks she had been able to keep the suspicion- monster at bay by staying busy; shopping, cleaning, and now this picture project. Tonight’s poignant trip down memory lane was merely a detour to confronting her worst fears. She was not ready to be a victim of Frederick’s mid-life crisis.
One photograph she had not thought about in years caught her eye. She smiled, remembering how much she had loved to dance. "In fact," she reminded the empty room,"I was the Dancing Queen."
Then she met Frederick. He was a little shy and very handsome but he made her feel warm and safe and loved. He could not dance. By then, it seemed unimportant.
The phone rang. The caller ID told her it was her sister, Carol. She hesitated then grabbed the receiver.
“Hi, Lillianna. Are you and Frederick busy?”
“No. He has to work late again tonight.”
With only a brief pause Carol began her usual happy talk about her family and pets and husband.
“Oh, by the way, are you busy on Saturday night?”
“You mean with all my invitations waiting for an RSVP?” Lillianna laughed.
“Seriously, Joe’s boss gave him a gift certificate to a real ooh-la-la place with an orchestra and everything.”
“ I would feel like a third wheel.”
“Uh, Lil, aren’t you forgetting your spouse?”
“You must be kidding, Carol. The man is up to his ears in work.”
Lillianna had to admit she was tired of moping around worrying about her husband’s strange behavior.
“Okay, Sis, count me in. Sounds like fun.”
After she hung up and turned to make a note on the calendar it dawned on her that Saturday was her wedding anniversary. Oh well, the way Frederick was acting, she didn’t care. “Let him eat cake,” she murmured.
Lillianna spent a long time getting ready to go to the lovely dinner she had been offered at the well-known swanky place. Her absentee husband had left while she was at the hairdresser’s. She found some insipid little note on the table telling her not to wait up. He had no clue where she was going tonight.
She felt like Mrs. Got-Rocks, handing her car over to a valet at the ritzy restaurant. She was wrapped in an exquisite ambiance the second she entered the door. Even the smells were delightful. Strains of a live orchestra were coming from one of the banquet rooms. It was difficult to stand still.
“Sis!” she heard Carol before she saw her. “You look gorgeous. Where’s Frederick?”
“Sorry, Carol, I told you he probably couldn’t make it.”
She followed her sister and Joe towards the music. The waiter led them to a table at the front, right next to the classy orchestra. They sounded wonderful. She was mesmerized. Just then the lights dimmed, except for one big spot on the floor. A man dressed to the nines in tie and tails danced out alone.
She did not have her glasses on but could tell this would be some show. He seemed to be dancing over to where they were sitting. Wait! Now the spotlight was on her…what was happening?
The elegant tuxedo clad man held out his hand. Lillianna was stunned but managed to croak, “Frederick, is that YOU?”
Before she could catch her breath, her darling husband pulled her close with one commanding swoop and whirled her out on the dance floor to show off his ability to execute an exuberant Tango. By now she was giggling. Suddenly the tune changed again and they were swing dancing and laughing like children; the other patrons applauded.
Back at the table he presented her with an armload of red roses. “To my Dancing Queen,” he whispered in her ear.
“Oh, Fred, you were never working late!”
“Yes, ‘Ginger’ he teased, I have been working diligently to give this gift to you. It seemed like the right thing to do.” Then, he actually winked at her.
When the Anniversary Waltz began to play, Fred and Lillianna had retired to the terrace to look at the moon.
There would be plenty of time for dancing later.
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