"The music playing for only two." (3)
Contented at my place by the window, Daniela, our resident aspiring baker, serves her enticing pastries on my table, and Hannah pours me some tea. I smile at them and give them my thanks as they go back to attend to other people. After I put three cubes of sugar and pour milk on my tea, I eat and sip as I listen to the symphonic orchestra playing on the speakers where a ”1901 Victor Gramophone" my classmates constructed, placed on the top surface of the stereo. I laugh to myself because the music in the air was as if it was coming out from a gramophone. Ros was so pleased with them for innovative thinking. I observe my surroundings, and it feels like I was in a different era, except for some of my schoolmates (who are taking a break or roaming) and customers who are wearing casual clothes; they sort of break the illusion.
The other half of my classmates are happily serving our customers. Chewing the tasty Swiss roll and indulging the oozing delicacy of it, I watch some students and visitors who are meandering outside. They are checking out the careful decorations my classmates had placed or the menu written on our small stand, and then I see Nate, looking for someone. He is standing by the doorway of my homeroom. He waves and smiles at me when he sees me. I check my phone as he approaches my table.
From: Nate 10/19/2010 1:06 PM
You don’t need to apologize, Mariana. I’m coming by!
“Nate?!” I gasp and stand up to hug him. He wraps his arms around my waist as I dangle my arms around his neck. “Oh, I was a terrible friend!” I say and pull away. “I’m so —”
He chuckles. “I have told you from my message you need not apologize, and we might fall back to saying sorry to each other again!” I laugh as I recall our first date, er, I mean, meeting. He raises his top hat. “How are you, Madame?” and then pulls my chair out.
I chuckle. “Alright,” I bite my lips as I sit down. “I am well, thank you for asking, kind sir.”
He pushes me lightly to the table and laughs softly. I observe him as he sits in front of me and checks out the menu. “Danish pastry, a slice of rainbow cake, torte, apple pie, peach mango pie,” he puts it down slightly to give me a smirk. “Wow, very ambitious!” He caresses his chin, “Hmmm...?”
I shake my head and laugh at him. “Whatever you order is actually fine, you know,” I say as I take a bite on my remaining pastry. I gazed at him, and he dressed up just like Fred Astaire in Swing Time in his wedding suit.
He is wearing a black coat with white, blossoming flower clipped on his left pocket, a Tuscan sun cravat wrapped around his neck, a buttoned white vest and striped, black trousers. I look down at his feet, and he is wearing spats over his shiny Italian shoes!
I smile brightly at the sight of him as if he came straight out from the 30s. I sigh and rest my chin on my palm, staring lovingly at him. One of my classmates takes his orders, and he waits for his food to arrive.
He smirks and removes his hat. “What?” he asks as he runs his hand on his hair. The scent of his pomade smells like the air after it rained. It’s exhilarating.
“Nothing,” I sat up straight and sipped my tea. “I just noticed that you’re smiley these days.”
He lowers his head and frowns, yet his eyes say differently. “Better?”
I playfully hit his arm and rolled my eyes, “weirdo.”
He chuckles and looks around the room. “It looks like I stepped into the 1910s here,” he smiles and sees the small area where my classmates placed a dance mat. He looks back at me. “I bet Rosalinda is exultant about the outcome.”
“Don’t jinx it! It’s still just the afternoon,” I laugh, looking sideways for Ros.
He clears his throat and then says, “Ryan is on board duty as of now. He’s explaining the meaning of our painting to our teachers.”
I raise an eyebrow and smirk. “I’m sure Ryan can handle it perfectly without you there,” and I lean closer, resting both of my elbows on the table. Unladylike but, we’re not in the real 1900s now, are we?
He nods and scoots his chair closer to me. “Yes, I suppose he can.” I think I saw him lick his lower lip after he said that, and he looked deeply back into my eyes. I can’t help myself and observe him. He’s so handsome with his stormy blue eyes; they’re faintly light from the dancing fire on the candle holder. He has his fawn wavy hair in a slightly pushed back style. His dimples show when he suddenly smiles again.
My classmate comes over to our table and serves Nate’s order, breaking the trance between him and me. I finish my food as he eats his. The music becomes louder, and I turn and see April turning the volume up. She lets herself be theatrical as she spins and announces that the small matted floor is now open for anyone who wants to dance to the classical music in the background. Some of the guests go over there and sway to the melody.
“Speaking of dances,” says Nate, facing back at me with a smile after he drinks his coffee. “Can I have a dance later with you at the Ball this evening?”
My eyes widen, and I escape a tiny gasp. I laugh and nod happily, “yes, Nate. I would love to!”
He seems pleased. “Well, then, I can’t wait.”