"Oh! It was like a dream, Marie. Like I was floating in his arms with no care in the world. Like we were the only two people on the dance floor and no one but the moon and the stars looking over us. I wish this night had never ended."
As I paused to take a deep breath, I could see Marianne smiling and then bursting into fits of laughter alternated with giggles. I blushed furiously, repeating my speech inside my head. I hadn't spoken continuously for that much time in so long that it felt a little weird. But in the privacy of our room, or rather Marie's room, nothing was sacred. It was an unsaid promise between myself and Marie that we would share each other's confidence. From the moment we had set eyes on one another, hers mischievous and mine downcast and depressed, we had decided to be sisters of the heart.
From Mr. McConnely to the other boys who craved for Marie's attention, I knew of all their stories. What appeared to the outside world to be a perfect match for Marie and a forage into the slums for Mr. McConnely, was in fact absolutely the opposite. Marie was a vivacious angel and deserved a man of solid constitution, sharp wit, and child-like exuberance. And sadly, Mr. McConnely did not make the cut. His dull presence had put a dampener on every function that Marie had attended for the past couple of months. Since I had not accompanied her to any of the previous galas, tonight I had seen for myself the boredom etched across her beautiful features.
Lying on our stomachs in our beds, we had stayed up quite late. Talking about Mr. Griffin had taken up most of the time and I could barely contain my excitement. This was such a new feeling for me. The first blush of attraction, the first touch of the fingers, the first dance together, and the first goodbye. Mr. Griffin had been most gallant when bidding me farewell. Bowing to my Aunt and Uncle, and then before Cousin Margaret and Cousin Edward, he had been the epitome of perfect mannerisms.
As for me, I still remembered the feel of his callous palms beneath my gloveless hand. The way his fingers brushed mine and held on tight for just that one instant remained fresh in my memory. And my cheeks reddened when I recalled the rasp of his slightly whiskered lips against the smooth skin of my hand.
Shivering slightly, I kept these feelings inside my throbbing bosom, not wanting to let the memories be a part of anyone else's mind. I felt a little guilty because I was breaking my oath to Marie, but I was sure she'd understand.
As I was dreaming with my eyes open, Marie suddenly clicked her fingers together to get my attention. "I asked you something, Gracie. Where are you lost?"
"I'm sorry dear. What was it that you wanted to know?"
"So, is this Mr. Griffin looking for a wife, or has he already found one?"