"A dance!" my mum shouted as a smile lit up her face. This was the first time I'd seen her happy in a week. With a puzzled expression, I turned my face to her.
"What?" I asked.
"We've all been invited to a dance at the Martin's home this Saturday!"
Great. Because that's exactly what I needed. To be surrounded by a bunch of strangers dancing, while I sit in a corner alone. I can't dance and if I have to do it, I'd rather do it with someone I know; not some know it all stranger who speaks only of himself. That's happened to me before. I forced by my mother to dance with some silly boy with moppy brown hair, protruding buck teeth and sweaty hands. The only thing he could talk about was himself. There wasn't a single sentence that didn't begin with "I".
I dropped my scone on my glass plate, then set it down on the table. I brushed the crumbs off my skirt and cleared my throat. "I'm sure you and dad will have a great time."
My mum looked at me with confusing spiraling in her eyes. "What's this 'you and dad'? You're going too, young lady! And I don't wanna hear any if's and's or but's about it!"
"But mum! Remember?"
She stared at me having no clue what I was talking about... or at least pretending that she didn't. I sighed harshly and rolled my eyes. "Buck teeth boy!"
"Oh, dear God, Alice. There was nothing wrong with that boy!"
"Easy for you to say! You didn't have to dance with him!"
"Alice! You're going to the dance! That's my last word on it!" she said stomping her foot and crossing her arms.
A silence over took the room as she walked to the window. I watched as she stood at the window, huffing and puffing. She was angry with me for even attempting to argue with her. "Mum?" I broke the silence.
"What?" she said, annoyed.
"Is Will going to be there?"
"Of course not. You know how the Martin's feel about his family."
"But mum, if he doesn't go, I shall be forced to be a wallflower the whole night!"
"You certainly shall not! You'll dance with a good young gentlemen and you will like it! Alice, this conversation is over! My God! I never understood why these social events gave you so much anxiety! Get over your own selfish fears and face the world!" she stomped out of the room, leaving me alone with the pastel sunlight. And she thinks I'm the difficult one.
But to an extent, she was right. My anxiety over social activities was a selfish fear. It was a concern of how I would look at social events or how I would feel.
I stood slowly and realized my mum had left the invitation on the window sill. I picked it up and read the beautiful cursive writing.
Dear Stanford family,
You've been invited to a dinner and a dance at our humble home this Saturday. Please come dressed appropriately and bring your dancing shoes! You're allowed one guest. We anticipate the joy of seeing you!
You're allowed one guest. This was perfect! We could take Will! I grabbed my shoes and ran out the door. The brisk wind turned my cheeks pink. As I reached Will's house, I brushed my hair out of my face and fixed my skirt. I knocked on the door anxiously and waited.
"About time you came by today," he said swinging the door open.
"Will! There's a dance at the Martin's this Saturday! And you'll be our plus one!"