It’s so nice to meet you,
Let’s never meet again.
~ We Don’t Have To Dance, Andy Black
Bright red and vibrant indigo colour her world as she twists and turns, fingers curling around a heavy lapel for a moment before she turns away from the man in front of her and wraps her arm around another. There’s nothing else in this moment, she thinks to herself, other than the warmth of their breath and the weight of this man’s hand as he pulls her into a dance. She waltzes with him easily, his grace and prowess showing as he twists and turns her, his touch as light as that of a feather.
His face is gold porcelain and crimson paint, and she feels the feathers of her own face tickle her cheek as he dips her carefully, the music around them swelling warmly. He murmurs something under his breath, and for a moment, she’s taken away by the deep, rich timbre of his voice even through the mask on his face. She doesn’t hear his words, but his grip on her tightens for a single instant as the music slows before changing, and she smiles, bright and careless, as he twirls her and dips her once more, with slightly more abandon than he had before.
When the music stops, she extends a leg out under her gown to curtsy, her head lowering demurely as he bows, and takes his extended hand to follow him as they make way for the next group of dancers. Her lips curve, red and radiant, before she pulls the navy blue mask from her face. Her partner has already removed his own mask, and she meets his warm brown eyes for a split second before she’s whisked away, another gown already shoved into her arms as she’s pushed into a small cubicle to change.
There’s a tall, narrow mirror in the closet of a room, and she shivers at the sight of the deep, navy-blue gown that she’s wearing. She only needs to turn to look at the gown that had been just shoved into her arms, and she sees a hint of ash pink in the dim lighting before she shrugs off her insecurities and turns back to the mirror, her lips now forming a wine-red slash on her pink-from-exertion face. When she emerges, now garbed in dull pink and wearing a mask encrusted with mauve gems on thin porcelain, she’s only handed a tube of deep red lipstick before she’s directed to another stage.
There’s another man waiting for her now, with onyx hair and warm skin, and she plasters a smile onto her lips before stepping out to meet him, her shoulders straightening with falsified confidence as she takes his hand, lips curving coyly, as she meets his deep dark brown through the cut-out holes in his green silk mask, and she dips her head in greeting before the lights blind her once again. The man beside her tries to speak, and she turns, a blinding smile on her lips as she gently lifts a finger to the edge of her mouth, lips puckering as she motions for him to keep silent.
“We don’t have to make friends,”