The old photos made her conscious of her age, of how much time had passed – and of what an interesting life she’d had.
She had never been one for adventure. She was always the quiet one at the table, that friend who was always there to listen to other people and not tell them of her own lives. Several times throughout college she had been asked to explain her own life because she never willingly gave that information away. And she was honest, there was never anything much going on in her own life. She spent most of her time in her room alone, either studying, watching Netflix, or reading a book. Maybe once or twice she would go out to parties with her friends and enjoyed herself, but she was more of a homebody than anything else and she enjoyed being alone.
But if she looked through the photo album that she kept for herself she saw how exciting her life was, and how much fun she had. She could feel time, well settled in her bones and wrinkles, it made her joints ache and her knees hurt, but she liked the photos she liked the way that she looked in them. Each instance was something precious.
When she was 22 that was when she first met a Faery. They were as tricky as all the tales said, but still, they were enjoyable company.
At 22, she was tired of the bars and clubs that her friends dragged her to. At 22, she thought that they were too loud and less fun now that she was legally allowed in. At 22, she thought that she needed something more sophisticated.
That is when she found Louie’s. Lousie’s was sophisticated polished wood with wine-colored walls and a jazz band with a lead singer whose voice sounded the way she imagined honey did. The dance floor was gleaming gold tiles and the booths were more velvet and wine. It was old and cozy and it was everything that she was looking for. So she sat herself down and enjoyed the atmosphere, she ordered a glass of wine and watched as couples took to the dance floor swaying to the sighing of jazz music.
She would haunt the place weekly, Friday and Saturday nights were for her to enjoy her time there.
“I see you here every Saturday night and you’ve never stepped on the dance floor or talked to anyone.” She looked up and into the face of one of the bartenders. He was eclectic, stark blue streak in his hair and dark tattoos visible from underneath his white dress shirt. The uniform here was hipster-inspired, a white dress shirt with black slacks and a suspenders. It was modern but retained that old feel. The man slid into her booth sitting close to her, but not infringing on her personal space.
“I can’t dance,” she said. She turned her eyes back to the dance floor. She fiddled with the fabric of the dress she was wearing. It was knee length and a cutout dress, something she saw and bought on a whim the night before. He looked her over.
“I doubt that,” he said with a sharp grin. She laughed and looked down at her drink, but he took a quick look at it. “If I can change this wine from red to blue, will you dance with me?”
“Sure. Go ahead.”
He never made any flamboyant moments. None of the wild gesticulations of magicians or the cheesy rhymes that witches said on TV. He simply ran his finger over the rim of the cup, slowly. Looking her straight in the eye all the while as the cup gave a low note and the wine changed from a deep maroon to an electric blue. Breath escaped her, as the color changed again, from blue to purple, from purple to green, from green back to red. He pushed the glass back into her hands, his lips stuck in a sparkling smile.
“Not impossible to do,” he said. And immediately she knew that he was something Other. She has never been fond of believing that humans made up the creatures of myth. Every culture had dragons which meant dragons had to be real at one point right? And now she has someone who is totally not human sitting next to her at a bar and – she needs to breathe. He laughs at her wide-eyed expression.
He takes her hand and leads her onto the dancefloor. “I’ll answer all your questions.”
To be continued…
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