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It’s a late summer evening and the sun has just dipped under the horizon. You can barely make out the pinpricks of stars against the dusty purple sky, sunset fading away. August has almost come and gone and you find yourself longing for cool September days. But right now, the syrupy languidness of summer is in your bones and you don’t mind the warmth swaddling you like a blanket. Sitting here in Midori’s room, you feel absolutely content. For a moment, you can ignore any pressing concerns, be it choir or anything else; how liberating it feels to live in the now rather than worry about the future.  You wish this could last forever… or maybe just a very long time.

Midori comes up behind you and sets a glass of water by your side. You nod in thanks, unwilling to break the easy quiet of the evening. Her hand rests by yours; close enough to feel the slight heat of her body. Close enough that if you just shifted a bit you could…but no. You flex your hand. Suddenly the room seems a bit smaller and you’re intimately aware of Midori’s every movement, every subtle gesture she makes. You watch her long fingers tuck a piece of hair behind her ear; entranced, you wonder what it would be like to kiss those fingers-oh god. August is really getting to you.

Midori gets up; stopping by her record player, she puts something on. The sounds of strings soon fill the air. A waltz.

“Dance with me?”

She looks at you, hand outreached. Normally you would at least go through the motions and halfheartedly protest but today you take her hand without hesitation. She leads you around, spinning, swirling to the one-two-three of the beat. Gliding across the floor to Strauss, it seems like something out of the fairytales you loved as a child. A midnight ball, a beautiful princess, and a dozen happily-ever-afters. Midori dips you, laughing all the while.You can’t help it; you start chuckling as well. Round and round you go, light with happiness. There’s a pause in the music. The tempo changes to something slow and romantic and Midori pulls you a bit closer, close enough that your foreheads meet in the middle.

The orchestra drops to a single cello and horn.

You gaze into Midori’s eyes, the black of her iris barely distinguishable.

The orchestra swells and a solo flute cuts through the texture; sweet and kind.

Your heart is going in a thumping two against the three of the waltz.

The players seem giddy with energy as they build to the final chord, lush and absolutely magnificent. It rings for a few seconds and then the audience is up, clapping in what must be a standing ovation.

You kiss her. You kiss her and oh, this must be the same energy that buoyed the musicians in the recording, invincible and ageless. It’s a hot night in August and you’re in love.