It was fun.
The syncing of your feets movements with the music. Two people holding hands, moving together, becoming one heart and one body.
While there was enough light, it came dimly from the full moon alone. I dance with Charles by our thin, moonlit shadows, as the music leaks faintly from the dance hall.
There is no audience. There are no extravagant decorations. I was Christina Noir, daughter of a duke. I loved pomp, praise, and power. I wanted to show my own excellence to a crowd of onlookers. And yet, somehow this dance with Charles, which had no audience or stage, was so very fun. I wondered how it was that my heart felt so satisfied by this.
Though, I did have a vague idea.
“What is it, Chris?”
“This is fun.”
“Yeah, it is.”
Charles nodded with a bounce, he was in a good mood. I was sure that the happiness within him was at least equal to mine. Hearing it confirmed with words brings yet another layer of satisfaction to me. I was feeling more and more satisfied by the minute, and yet I was feeling lighter and lighter. My heart was floating as we danced, I spun my body in a turn.
“You’ve improved a lot.”
His soft blonde hair, which looked so similar to that of my beloved Mishuli, blew in the wind along with our movements. I smile at his inept, yet earnest attempt to lead me.
It seemed that he had indeed learned the steps for dancing in these past two years. It was a huge improvement compared to the first time. At that time, Charles had never danced before, and so I led, which did not go very well. We had both ended up falling very dramatically.
It was a precious memory.
One, two, three, we ride the rhythm in sync with the tempo. He wasn’t a genius like me, his experience wasn’t there, and so his dancing was still awkward. I liked to lead in nearly all things, but with dancing, it was the man’s job to lead and the ladies to support. And so I focused on supporting Charles as we danced.
It was not bad.
Always, and with everyone, I wanted to stand dominant. But having Charles hold my hand and lead me like this–it was not bad.
“I wonder why.”
“Hm? Mmm… It’s nothing.”
I dodged the question, but those eyes that looked so much like the morning sky, looked discontent. He clearly hated having secrets withheld from him. But, I didn’t hate this expression from him either. So I would not tell him.
“It’s a secret.”
“…Mm. You are quite mean sometimes.”
“Fu fun. It’s the right of elders to be able to make fun of others.”
It was fun seeing his expression change in such a way that was hardly fitting for a noble. It satisfied me even more.
Perhaps, I take a guess at my last question to myself.
Perhaps, I was only happy in this moment because Charles was with me. I liked receiving attention, I preferred to be lauded with praise. I could return to the dance hall now, and dance with some fool in order to shock everyone with my genius. But my heart would not take flight as it did now if it was not with Charles.
“Charles. Do you like me?”
“Of course I do.”
The honest words and emotion in them fulfilled my heart even more.
It was now two years since we first met. I was happy with his words which hadn’t changed in spite of his growth.
“I as well.”
“Yes, I do.”
I was fulfilled, full to the brim, my heart was starting to overflow.
It wasn’t ‘quite.’
It wasn’t ‘rather.’
“I do like you.”
My emotions were turned into words with this answer. The thing that had been stuck to my chest ever since the day I met Charles had finally dropped to my gut after two years.
After putting it to words, I am able to realize it anew.
I liked Charles.
Sensitive and free, and true to his heart.
It was easy once I realized it. I liked Charles, and so I enjoyed being with him. It was two years since we met. I had always thought he was an interesting person, but he had reached a new territory as I watched from a close distance.
“You aren’t lying?”
“I would never lie.”
His surprise turned into a smile, his caution dissipated. Seeing Charles smile with so much happiness reaffirms my belief.
“I do like you.”
It was different than my sweet father. Different than strict Mariwa. It was also different from Mishuli, an angel of this world. It was a different kind of ‘like’ than with those three. In my heart, I had my sights set on Charles. So this was what it was like to finally understand. The emotion that had fallen into me gradually began to melt and spread throughout my body.
“It’s a different kind of ‘like’ than between friends, right?”
“It’s different than between family, as well!”
“Aha! Then we are the same!”
“Yes! We are the same!”
Charles’ words of joy caused me to become excited as well. My dance moves began to become bigger along with my heart.
I see, I see. So I really do like Charles then. It wasn’t friendship, it wasn’t like family, this emotion could not be expressed in any other way. The emotion was carried throughout my whole body through my veins. I just realized it now, and every time I confirmed it with Charles, my heart would become more and more sure of it. Like the true genius I was, I accepted this change in emotions, drinking it in. But, suddenly, I feel that something is wrong.
“What is it?”
“Huh? Uh, no, um…”
I had drunk it in, it dissolved within me. The emotion carried by my heart was spinning and changing with no signs of stopping. As we danced, my legs started to become confused. And so Charles asked with a laugh what had happened. His smile was brilliant as ever. He was happy as if a long-held wish had just come true.
However, my heart had no strength to answer. It had completed this realization, it had changed dramatically like a revolution as it spun like a tornado. What was this? I was confused. This emotion that spread through my whole body was overwhelming me. Once I was aware of it, my emotions had changed into something irreversible before I knew it. And it was complete.
I liked Charles.
The moment that this feeling soaked into my body from my head to my toes, a new heart that had not existed within me until now, was placed in the middle of my chest.
It was born.
There was a sound of that little feeling growing inside of me. And then my face turned crimson as if there had been an explosion.
Meanwhile, at the Noir mansion.
Maid: “My lady, Mishuli? What is the matter?”
Mishuli: “Rom-com… I feel the waves of a rom-com!!”
Mishuli: “It’s Charles… It must be that Charles…! I’ll ask sister when she returns–”
Maid: (…She is starting to resemble Lady Christina in terms of eccentric words and actions–no, it is even worse than her sister. What will I do…)