Fireflies (Part I)
He stared out into the dancing crowd adorned in their finest, the music and lights lapping at his senses. No penny had been spared to conjure the magic in celebrating this wedding. His sister glowed in her happiness with her groom twirling her about the dance floor, blonde curls bouncing. She was the quintessential bride, blushing and all, and his baby sister had never looked so lovely to him. He was happy for her, to say the least, but even caught in this dazzling place of love and light, he was drowning in numbness. Life had lost its allure. Or perhaps he had just lost the ability to see it. He found he didn’t even dare wish for it anymore. The world’s small wonders just couldn’t be found in his monotonous daily commute between the corner of Adult Avenue and Responsibility Street.
But as the acceptance of his hope’s surrender washed over him, a sparkle drifted into the room, like a firefly on the breeze in the form of a beautiful woman. She was draped in a dress of deep blue- the very shade of evening’s waking hour, with little flickers glittering in the low light of the ballroom. Was it jewels or sequin? He imagined it could’ve been the very stars from the sky. She took his breath away. As she swept in front of him, hips swaying to the music, he caught her scent. It was the exact essence of a June evening- citrus sweet with just a hint of honeysuckle. The splendor of youthful summers surrounded him, seduced him, and he was instantly caught up in a time when every bit of life sparked wonder in his young eyes.
He was sixteen that final summer spent on his family’s country wrap-around porch. He couldn’t fathom a time when the rickety swing there wouldn’t be his favorite spot, though it was that very September his father would take a job in the city, leaving these precious, simple nights as nothing but a memory. He would idly sit on the swing, looking out at the edge of the woods with a strangely calming sense of anticipation as night fell. The tiny twinkle of the lightning bugs flashing and rising, blink by blink. There was one, then another. He could never resist their summons, and so with mason jar in hand, he would bound off the porch with a child-like enthusiasm in hunt of the magical creatures that could light his jar. It was even by the glow of this bug lantern that he stole his first kiss, believing himself to be the sole charmer, but knowing now it was merely the hypnotic beauty of the fireflies.
Hypnotic beauty. Yes, this Summer in a Blue Dress captivated him in the same way here tonight, shimmering and shining. Her bright smile, her flushed cheeks, the gleam of her eyes, and the ravishing appeal of her body perfectly fitted in that dress; every bit of her capable of sparkle shone. As his eyes followed her across the room, it occurred to him- each dusk spent on that porch was preparation for this very moment. He knew he must catch her, even if only for a moment in her company.