Mirror To the Past

by Alyssa G

 

Ever since she’d met Lisa, Samantha had wanted to be a dancer, and now she would get her chance! She would give her first performance tomorrow night at Winterfest. Entering the Great Hall, she quickly lit the candles and began dancing around the room, enjoying her final dress rehearsal. Her pink ballet shoes, the beautiful costume Mary had sewn for her, the candlelight, the music that she heard in her head…all of it wove a spell upon the young girl, so much so that she did not hear her audience enter from the stairs to her right.

Vincent caught his breath, feeling as though time itself was holding up a mirror, allowing him to see into the past. He was an adult now, and Lisa was standing tall beside him; and yet, there on the dance floor, if not for the minute differences in color and shape, he could have sworn Lisa, his Lisa, danced before him. She had been a vision of loveliness, and she had pulled him in, wanted to pull him in. He risked a glance at Lisa, only to find her risking a glance at him.

“You’re thinking about the past again, aren’t you?”

Vincent stared out across the room, across time, a whispered “yes” his only reply.

“Well…I suppose I can forgive you…just this once”, Lisa teasingly replied, as she took his hand in hers, “seeing that I’m thinking about the past, too”.

Vincent turned to her quickly, a lifetime of guilt evident on his face. “You must know how sorry I am, how much I wish…”

Lisa stopped him with the hint of a smile and a gentle finger placed lightly on his lips. “I was not thinking about that part of that night. It happened, yes, but it was an accident. We were two children playing at being grown-ups, trying to figure out the mysteries of love. We were young, we made mistakes.”  As he shook his head she softly laughed. “Yes, Vincent we both did. I could have written, you know, come for a visit.” Lisa paused here for a moment, lost in her own memories of the past. “It was just…suddenly it no longer felt like child’s play.” She turned then and took both of his hands in hers. “It felt real and so very grown-up. I was scared!” She smiled mischievously at him. “And I don’t mean of your too long nails! I felt like Wendy must have when the Darlings first told her it was to be her last night in the nursery. I felt like being an adult was right around the corner, and I didn’t want that. I wasn’t ready. I wanted the magic of a first crush, of holding a boy’s hand in mine, without any of the complications of real feelings and all the hurt that could bring. When you pulled me closer, I knew…”

 “Knew what?”

Lisa sighed, and smiled sadly at him. “I knew you had already left the nursery. You had, hadn’t you?” Her smile brightened at his puzzled expression. “You had gone from a child’s innocent crush to something far more adult than I was ready for. You had fallen in love. And that is what frightened me, what made me want to run away. It had NOTHING to do with nails and fangs and hairy bodies…you’re blushing!” Lisa’s smiled brightened even more at that, and she shook her head merrily before continuing. “Poor Vincent, if you only knew how we girls talked about your differences, and in the most immodest of ways. We were all dying of curiosity…sigh…just what would those hands and lips feel like against our innocent skin?”

Vincent looked at Lisa, the shock clear on his face. “You…you can’t possibly mean…you must be teasing.” Lisa smiled softly at him, and shook her head slowly. “I’m sorry if I’ve caught you off guard, but no, I’m not teasing. Well, maybe I am teasing, a bit, but I’m being truthful, too. We really were curious about those things.”

Vincent broke eye contact with her and once again stared out over the Great Hall. “I never knew…I always thought…”

“That you were seen as different?”

“Yes.”

“Vincent…look at me, please.” Vincent looked at Lisa, expecting to see pity. Instead, he saw that her customary teasing look was back. “Somewhere along the way you must have realized that women are attracted to men who are…shall we say…a little out of the ordinary?” Lisa smiled when she saw him reluctantly nod his head yes. “Well, then, what do you expect? Young girls are, after all, merely women in disguise.”

Vincent found himself chuckling at that. “I thought you said you weren’t looking to leave childhood behind?”

“Yes, well, that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t aware of a young boy who was merely a man in disguise, now does it?” Lisa shook her head, then turned again to face him fully. “It wasn’t your differences, not in the way that you mean, that caught the girls’ eyes. You seemed so much more than the other boys. They were still being children, and you – you already had the thoughtfulness and quiet strength of a man. And I liked that. But…”

“But?”

“I wasn’t ready for you to be completely a man. To be a boy acting like one was fine, but to have grown-up thoughts and feelings and needs? That was just too much for me, I’m afraid. But I am sorry that I hurt you. I never meant to.”  

“It was I who hurt you, Lisa.”

“Well, how about if we simply leave it at, “we hurt each other”?”

“I’d like that.”

“Good.”

They stood together for a time, watching a young girl dance before an audience unseen, wondering if she dreamt of princes and young boys, or of first crushes that could turn to love before her very eyes.

 

The End

 

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