Day 3: The Soldier’s Dance

One two there, One two three.

Counting and counting and counting the steps, he flew over and across the wooden bare floor. He caught up with his dancing partner and held her up in the air as she preformed an arabesque. The music played gently over the gramophone as they spun across cold floor.

One two three, One two three.

They counted off in their heads, spotted their steps and whispered little words of encouragement to each other as the teacher and class watched on. It was never easy to dance to Mozart, but somehow this pair made it seem like a dream in front of their excitable orbs.

One two three, One two three.

For both Mary and Daniel, dance was the only other escape, besides the Bible, that they had. The year was 1942 and WW2 was still raging on outside the tall glass window of the dance hall. Mary leaned back as Daniel dipped her towards the floor. Mary then threw herself up and began to pirouette away from him as he waited in fourth position.

One two three, One two three.

“That’s enough for today. Well done both of you, you surely are the best as a duo or as one person.” the teacher praised them and the whole dance bowed. “Good day to you.” They said in perfect unison before walking out the door. Mary and Daniel went into the separate bathrooms to quickly change and walk each other home in the busy city streets.

One two three, One two three.

Mary kept her blonde hair up in the ballerina bun, but now wore a long navy skirt with a simple white blouse. Daniel had combed his brown hair over to one side and wore tan pants with a plaid shirt. “Man, I wish class was longer.” Daniel said with a longing in his eyes, trying to look away from the various war posters plastered all over the stores, light poles and house fronts.

One two three, One two three.

Mary looked her dear friend with worry creasing her fair brow. “I know. I wish I could dance forever and every sorrow about this dreadful war would be washed away in the sweet notes of the music.” Mary griped her bag tightly, but Daniel’s warm hand laid over her small white one. “I’m sure the whole world would enjoy that Mary.” He smiled at her and she smiled back, fighting back the tears.

One two three, One two three.

Daniel and Mary walked across the street and waved to the policeman. “Good day Officer Good!”
“Good day Mary and Daniel. Be safe now.” The two 13-year olds laughed and ran to the sidewalk. Everyone knew the two friends were inseparable and even thought that they had feelings for each other. Though neither one outwardly said it to anyone but each other, they did.

One two three, One two three.

After about 45 minutes of walking, they reached Mary’s house. “Say Daniel, is that your father’s car?” Daniel looked up to see a Ford Model-T in Mary’s driveway. “No….but it looks official if you..” He froze and looked at Mary. Mary gasped and both sprinted to the door and burst in. Two men in suits turned from the living room where Mary’s mother was on the loveseat, crying. Mary’s siblings were peaking from the stairs above along with Daniel’s siblings. Daniel’s mother was next to Mary’s mother, shushing and comforting her.

One two three, One two three.

Mary breathed softly and walked forward. Daniel took her hand and sat down on the sofa with her. “What are you doing in my house?” Mary asked with a quivering lip. The man with a bright red tie sighed. “Your father has been killed in action. We were informed this morning.” Mary didn’t hear anything else. She laid her head on Daniel’s chest and let out the ringing notes of her sobs. Daniel let tears fall as well and stroked his beloved partner. “So, we’ll dance for your father.” He whispered with a shaking tone. Mary choked out her answer. “Yes. A soldier’s dance.”

One two three, One two three.

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