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-May I have this dance, m'lady?-
I'm sitting alone at my table and I look up from my bitter, amber liquor to meet his gaze. Bright blue eyes, an open hand towards me, that smile. My eyes widens: I would recognize him anywhere, even after a thousand years, let alone seven. Even though the War cut a gap in our lives, in everyone's life, a dirty cut so deep that it seems like the memories he is bringing back are waving at me from another life, not just from a few years ago.
I slowly put my cigarette out and hold his hand as he guides me on the dance floor. The lights are soft and the band plays a sweet slow jazz music.
-professor- I smile
-Miss Castlewire, it's been a while-
-a while indeed...- we slow dance, swinging between other couples -the last time I saw you we were in my father's office, me being expelled and you losing your job-
He laughs -one of the worst days of my career, indeed-
I look at his face: we were both so young back then, the War has drawn deep lines in his face but he is still handsome, just as he was seven years ago, when he was the youngest professor in my father's boarding school for ladies. In my school, when it was early 1912 and we thought everything was going to be fine. I still can picture the huge concrete building of the school.
-how have you been doing since that one last time I saw you?- I ask him

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The tiny beds in a neat row in our dorm, school books in my hands, with scribbles on every page, I remember chatting with my girls on the rooftop at night, freezing our bones, underneath the black sky.
Roll calls every morning and every evening, rushing to get there in time, and low key hazing little girls. Ribbons and pearls, when your parents send you away and spend a whole fortune to get you educated and ready to be the perfect lady of the house, rather than have you around the house.

-I fought on the Alps for what seemed like a whole century.- he says - I've lost so many close friends, and somehow managed to come back home. And now a medal is all I've got- his eyes focusing on a memory, behind me.
And the other girls becoming more like sisters, than just friends. We used to share all of our secrets, who knows what's happened to them now...
But my father was the head teacher, so misbehaving was particularly tasteful to me, honestly: secretly smoking in bathrooms, stealthy sneaking out to see country fairs. We've had so much fun.

-and you, Miss Castlewire?-

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And that's how it all started, between me and the Professor: I was just walking out from father's wood and leather office, after a huge scolding, he was still screaming behind, when I saw this young man waiting outside, just a few years older than me, with bright blue eyes and curly hair. I took just a quick revenge to father, winking at that stranger and sending him a kiss on my fingertips. Ahah, you should have seen his face. Or father's. I don't know why I felt such a pleasure in torturing dad...
I only found out who that man was a few days later, when lessons started...
But, oh, it felt so good having a secret love affair with the history professor, the new and very young one. I think I really loved him, as the adrenaline of the secret kept me intoxicated.
The girls used to call me crazy for the butterflies in my stomach and a sudden interest in historical subjects, they blame it on the hormones and on a huge daddy issue - "and that you really read too many nasty books, to be honest". They kept on saying that I was boring because I didn't want to skip the rope anymore or go peeking through the bushes to see the boys from the other college play soccer in the evening. That I couldn't be what he wanted because what's he doing with a seventeen years old girl? Furthermore, he surely had a wife. But he didn't, he lived with an old aunt, it doesn't matter how I knew it.
Because, the right answers to his questions were always the ones I gave, and when he applauded someone in class, he always applauded me. I felt so special I was obviously his favorite, I barely believe we were able to keep it secret that long.
It had never happened before that someone actually listened to what I had to say or that took a positive view on a thought of mine - because what's the use of a thinking wife?
I still remember the round glasses he used to wear when he was tired and his chalk white hands and all the secrets messages I used to leave for him, wrapped up in paper boats origami on the desk. He said he was a mess, acting so unprofessionally with a student, but, who cared, I only wanted him, and I told him between every kiss.
And when we used to meet in silent library corridors, with the muffled noises of books, or in his office, in the smell of coffee, oh I would have never stopped...

-I helped as a nurse, in so many hospitals I've lost count- I answer
But what we feared finally happened and one random day my father found out about us. Dad was an easy screamer but that day he didn't say a world, not a single syllable of accusation or rage, he just punched the professor in the face and send me away to my grandmother's, where I've spent lonely days until the War started. And I haven't heard of my young Professor ever since.
But here we are, at last. Slow dancing in a bar.

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He smiles -you said the last time you saw me was in your father's office, but the last I saw you was in that train station, instead, when you were leaving, soon after your father found out about us...I saw you were crying so sadly. I stayed hidden but I should have come to tell you goodbye at least. Or maybe come with you. And I was afraid I would have never meet you again, with the war and everything, and that the last picture I had of you was of your tears-
I look down, unable to stand his stare -I thought it was just a game for you. I thought I was just a pastime -
He smiles -maybe I was more a pastime to you than the other way around, how young you were, I've been pretty reckless getting in such a trouble-
I laugh -maybe you're right-
-but I did love you.-
-oh, come on-
-I'm serious. I don't know, maybe the War has made me sentimental or something, but I really feel the urge to tell you how the memory of your tears still haunts my nights. To tell you everything-
-the war changed us all- I breathe, trying to focus. The music has changed to an even slower pace and we just swing with the ghosts of who we were.
-indeed...-
-I'm married now...- I just say it.
He closes his eyes as if he can't stand the sight of that thought, but manages to smile -are you happy?- he asks
-oh, he's just a rich General with too many girls to notice me...- I look away for a second but then chain back my stare on his -did you really loved me, back then?-
-Back then? The ghosts of your tears still haunt me, the memory of you breathing beside me lingers every night. Loving you was as easy as breathing but since I left you all I ever did is choking -
I sigh and lean closer to place my forehead on his cheek and whisper with my eyes close -i could still recall each and every time I placed a kiss on your collarbone, or bit your neck or traced lines on your skin with my fingertips, all the shivers we shared and promises we couldn't keep-
He holds me close, and for a moment there I'm seventeen again, I'm fearless and reckless and everything that's in between, as he whispers my name...
I open my eyes wide and look up at him -we could run away?-
He frowns -where? -
-anywhere-
He looks away for a second, pondering a thought -we could take an ocean liner and sail to America, we could start all over and be free....
-oh, we could have different names and a very new beginning-
-what do you think?- he asks
I smile at his daydream -I want to come with you-
He puts his hands on my cheeks and kiss me on my lips, passionately, deeply.
Then he holds my hand -let's go- and we're already running outside the cafe.

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playlist:
- Marina and the Diamonds - Bubblegum Bitch
- Lana Del Rey - Lolita
- The 1975 - Girls
- Halsey - Strange Love
- Ariana Grande - Into You
- Panic! At The Disco - Collar Full
- Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence

I really felt like a sweet happy ending :) I really hope you liked it!
thank you so much for reading everyone, have a lovely day!
Juliet ~♥