It was April 25th, 1929. Robert Miller regards himself in the body length mirror, one of many that decorate the walls of the ballroom that he is in. He is handsome and dashing, strong and graceful in his appearance. His gorgeous shoulder length brown hair, tied back with black lace. Robert’s bright icy blue eyes tell the story of a man who is passionately in love. His silk black tuxedo, cut to perfection, highlights his firm physical features. He tugs on his jacket and straightens himself, preparing to accept his ladylove. This is his night.
The ballroom is magical. Soft lighting resembles a cool summer evening sky, just when the lights of the stars begin to twinkle and the sun is nearly completely down into the horizon. The ballroom’s Victorian motif is that of crimson and cream in the wallpapers and curtains. A gorgeous scene painted into the ballrooms massive domed ceiling, depicts Victorian lovers embracing and dancing amidst a flight of fairies surrounding them and lighting up the evening sky for all the couples, who are too lost in love, to see.
The lighting, is only the kind of soft light you can get from the beeswax candles that burn from the massive golden candelabra chandelier, which hangs from the center of the dome and the secondary gold candelabras which adorn the walls of the ballroom between the golden framed body length mirrors, one of which, he stands before. French doors on opposites sides of the room provide a warm night’s breeze and when you’re near the doors you can just hear the cicadas, crickets, frogs and other creatures of the night, serenading the rest of nature while the orchestra inside plays away softly. And now...she comes to him.
Katherine, his lover, his wife, is purely majestic. As if from a fairy tale; she appears, from nowhere and everywhere all at once, at the entrance to the ballroom; like an angel on a cloud, the face and the body of Venus herself. Truly, breathtaking. Katherine’s voluptuous, brown, curly hair drapes down around her shoulders. Her eyes; pure emerald green, sparkling in the candlelight, match the floor length, flowing gown of the purest satin and lace trimmed in pearls adorning her body and allowing it to fit, with luxurious perfection, the curvature of her bodice. She is truly breathtaking. A vision of heaven on Earth.
Katherine gracefully glides to Robert and catches the eye of many a man and woman in the ballroom. He actually hears a cellist slip on his performance, it draws a snicker from the guests, and a glare from the conductor, who stops the orchestra, and bows in apology to her and to the guests. He then smiles, turns to his orchestra, raises his baton and continues on with the next waltz.
The Millers are wealthy, It matters not to them, how they achieved their wealth. They may be rich in their bank account. But they are far more wealthy in spirit. And richly in love with each other. Since they met they have rarely been apart, only when time demands that he, in his business, be elsewhere from her. They have been married for 2 years with an infant daughter, Danielle.
The waltz begins. Robert bows to his beloved Katherine, takes her delicate hand and leads her to the floor. He places his arm around her voluptuous waist and leads her into the “Blue Danube.” As they glide across the dance floor, he is mesmerized by her scent; flowers and spices of the east, combined with delicate lotions and the natural smell of her body plus the champagne, which flowed freely into the night, he is intoxicated most by her presence. Other couples dancing, notice them and can tell that these two are truly lovers, bound to each other come good times or bad. For better or for worse.
He twirls her gracefully around the ballroom floor focusing on her movements, on her grace, on her sensual, supple body. It is a body he has held and embraced for 2 years and will hold, embrace and make love to for years to come, in pure joy and rapture. He thanks God for her daily, and he thanks God for her on this night, too.
To these lovers, the rest of the guests do not exist; it is as if they have disappeared. No one matters to them at all now. It is just Robert and Katherine, deeply locked into each other’s arms, dancing into the night. The orchestra is there, but it’s felt, more than heard by them. The music plays on more of an ethereal plane for them and them alone. He holds her closely to him, lifts her chin, and looks deeply into her loving, emerald eyes, from whence; a single tear of joy flows from and slides down along her cheek. He takes Katherine’s angelic face tenderly in his hands and raises her silken rose lips to meet his. And then...the perfect moment has arrived.
The intense light blinds him as the shade is raised. Robert’s eyes fight to adjust to it. “Good morning,” an older woman’s voice calls out. “And how did we sleep last night?” As his vision returns to focus, he remembers everything.
Katherine, the lover he held in his arms that night and many nights like it, is dead. She has been gone since 1982. Breast cancer took her life in the end. It ravaged Katherine’s beautiful body as it spread and Robert spent his years paying for all the treatments that they could possibly afford with their wealth, while he watched her slowly wither away to a frail, sick shadow of beauty Katherine once was, even when she was at death’s door he never let her go, never saw the ugliness that was destroying the beauty he loved. Never forgot how he held onto her in that waltz on April 25th, 1929 when he was holding her as she was getting violently sick, or holding her as cleaned her frail body that wasted away in their bed, the same bed that they made passionate love to each other in for many years. When the day came he dressed Katherine in the very same gown from that night. She had had it preserved and it was the most precious gown of her collection.
Robert himself never recovered from her death and has spent his years without her in meaningless existence. Danielle had disappeared with her trust after her mother passed. One day Robert wound up in this “home.“ He had become so sick that he neared the face of death in a welcome embrace, only to be brought back against his will. He couldn’t respond to the doctors, or the nurses that pester him day in and day out. He simply lost his will when he couldn’t die.
The aides come in and move him around in his bed, turning him, checking his statistics, cleaning his body, and monitoring the tubes that run from his body to the various machines that keep him, what the lawyers call, alive. The care for him, but not really care about him, they just care about the paychecks his money helps them earn. They don’t care about who is or who he was, or how he feels, they just feed and water him.
And so, Robert Miller’s existence has gone on like this. Day after day, year after year, but every night when he closes his eyes, it’s April 25th, 1929 again. He prays in his mind, that some day God will release him from this pain and he can be free with his love again.
And tonight...as the Nurse oozes applesauce laced with his medicines into his mouth, she notices a tear streaming from his eye and wipes it from him. She looks at the picture on the TV; which is playing some nonsense of a trailer trash talk show, of a young man and a woman dressed well, in what looks like a ballroom with a date of April 25th 1929. She remembers that today is April 25th 1999, she smiles at Robert and touches his cheek.
The nurse walks across, turns off the TV and light and says to him, sweetly, “Goodnight.” He lies there in the dark, and closes his eyes. He hears the soft humming of the machines that keep him alive, stop humming. And then.
It was April 25th, 1929. Robert Miller regards himself in the body length mirror, one of many that decorate the walls of the ballroom that he is in. He is handsome and dashing, strong and graceful in his appearance. His gorgeous shoulder length brown hair, tied back with black lace. His bright icy blue eyes tell the story of a man who is passionately in love. His silk black tuxedo, cut to perfection, highlights his firm physical features. He tugs on his jacket and straightens himself, preparing to accept his ladylove. This is his night...
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