043. Last dance
Nancy has dreamed of her fairytale ending since she was a little girl. She buried it away in favor of realistic goals and earning money with her talent of money management and education in fashion.
Which is why never in her wildest dreams did she expect to run into Giselle on the streets of New York City. This woman by herself dressed like a sparkling, iridescent-white bridal princess, gulping and sneezing high-pitched as she quivered, drenched to the bone.
"You've been very kind to me, thank you," Giselle tells her shyly. She wraps her arms around herself and glances around Nancy's studio apartment.
Nancy peels off her own damp, expensive overcoat, hooking it on the back of her front door.
"Well, I don't think I would have forgiven myself if I didn't offer some help," she says, chuckling when a fascinated Giselle pokes the mantle's timed-snowglobe. "Do you like hot chocolate?"
A loud, delighted gasp.
"I love hot chocolate," Giselle exclaims, her bridal skirts rustling as she hurries over to Nancy.
Nancy watches as Giselle answers with overly enthusiastic clapping, jumping off her heels. "Ha, okay, get changed into something drier while I'm gone," Nancy says amused, lips quirking up.
Maybe it's not the smartest decision to invite a complete stranger to her place, especially one who talked like a Disney princess.
It's more of a intuitive feeling about Giselle, that she wasn't liar, or sincerely dangerous to anyone.
Nancy returns to her living room, pausing for a moment as Giselle finishes dutifully buttoning up Nancy's baby blue pinstripe nightshirt, wringing out her strawberry-blonde curls over her shoulder.
"Is this your home?" she asks Nancy, carefully taking the mug of hot chocolate from her hands. Giselle's eyes widening as she examines the ceiling. "It's very different from Andalasia."
"Before I came here, I lived in a cottage in the forest, with all my little woodland friends." Nancy wrinkles her nose a little. Sounds like something straight out of a fairytale book. Could Giselle be concussed? Is that even her real name? "Then I was supposed to be marrying Prince Edward—"
Nancy raises her slim, dark eyebrows, sipping on her chocolate quietly.
"A real prince, you mean?" she asks.
"Why, yes…" Giselle replies with a dreamy sigh. "I met him a day ago. We haven't shared true love's kiss yet, but he's the one. My soulmate."
"How do you know?" The question seems to shock Giselle unnecessarily, almost making her drop her mug. Nancy clucks her tongue softly, placing a hand under Giselle's fingers desperately clasping the object. "If you haven't kiss him, or anyone at all, how do you know he's your true love?"
Giselle's pink, little lips flatten thoughtfully. "I suppose…" she murmurs. "I… would just know."
Nancy offers her a benevolent, gentle smile. It's a tad funny how Giselle catches herself staring dreamy at Nancy's features, gasping lightly and blushing in embarrassment, whirling away.
"Guess you'll find out when he gets here then."
During the 25th Annual Kings and Queens Ball, she kisses Edward on a whim. Just to know.
Nancy hates to admit it, but she's jealous. She remains on the platformed area of the entrance-way's gilded staircase, crossing her arms firmly and gazing down on them. Giselle pulls away, crestfallen and whispering something to him.
Prince Edward nods his head, frowning understandingly, leaving a peck to her knuckles.
"He wasn't a good kisser after all?" Nancy mutters, ignoring Giselle's stare as the other woman climbs up in her purple strapless gown, joining her high above the dancers and leaning on the also gilded banister.
"I was wrong." Giselle's bare fingers twiddle. Her voice solemn. "I only needed to know I was."
The grandfather clock nearby ticks, then chimes, and she braces herself up, chin tilting regally, facing Nancy. Giselle steps back, folding an arm behind her and then holds out her other hand.
"Nancy, will you dance with me?"
Her tummy feels like it's bursting with hundreds of butterflies. Nancy inhales sharply, meeting blue-green eyes. "Sure," she answers, smiling fondly when Giselle smiles back. "I did buy these tickets for a reason."
The ball should have been over by midnight, and regardless, Nancy waltzes into the arms of a fairytale herself — magical, glowing, real.