THE DANCE • by Christina Arregoces

It all started with a glass of champagne. As the man in the black bow tie poured the almond-tinted liquid into her flute, her eyes began to water. She sat at a table crowded with people, utterly alone. Behind the dance floor was a band. Surrounding the band were white-clothed tables, as smooth and delicious as molded marzipan. The food was decadent, the grass was fresh, the laughter tinkled with the silverware. And she was there, and she was beautiful, and among the dancing and the camera flashes, no one noticed a woman in a shimmering dress with shimmering tears trickling down her rouged cheeks.

The music swam into a soft melody and the dance floor cleared but for two people. The bride wore a white dress, as pale and pretty as her skin. Her eyes flashed and glowed, her ruby red lips stretched into a smile too big and too beautiful for her flushed face. But to the woman sitting at the table, surrounded and deserted, there was only one person on the floor. He smiled down at the woman in the white dress, and his eyes reflected every inch of the future promised to the two of them. He held her in his arms, protecting her from the music and the lights and the laughter, and to him, she was the only person there.

The woman at the table raised her glass and peered through it. Within its bubbly liquid, she caught the dancing couple swaying from side to side on the floor while the smiling guests looked on. Back and forth they swayed, lost in each other’s eyes, all the while, unknowingly contained in the little glass champagne flute held chokingly in the woman’s hand. As the tears ran down her face, she smiled darkly and freed the couple from the contents of the glass world she had created for them. She downed her drink and picked up her purse and left the wedding tent, turning her back at last on the cruelty of fate and the beauty of the dancing man.

Christina Arregoces was born in Vienna, Virginia. At the age of thirteen, she moved from her much loved home on the east coast to Scottsdale, Arizona and completed her high school education at Phoenix Country Day School. She is currently a Barrett, The Honors College undergraduate student and an English major. But most importantly, she is a reader. She hopes one day to become a novelist. Her favorite subject to write about is people: relationships, expressions, and most of all, those little moments in every day that separate one from all the rest.

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