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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, '11, 2:30 pm
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The group returned to the dance hall in Al's coach again. Now the pouring rain had turned into a weak drizzle. Even so, the group didn't want to get wet again, so Al parked his coach inside the dance hall parking lot. They lost no time in getting inside the dance hall. The ball was not what they were expecting. Instead of the good popular string quartet they were expecting, there was another percussive orchestra. This one was not so bad as the orchestra at the harvest festival, but it was not much better. At least the dance hall was not very crowded and they could sit comfortably in the chairs left for those who were not dancing. Roger, in fact, was pretty happy. Women outnumbered men in a 3:1 rate. It was perfect for him, who lost no time. He stayed with his group less than ten minutes in the ball, before disappearing in the ball, chasing the kind of girl he enjoyed most: those who looked like a lady, but acted almost like a street harlot.

The other three guys stayed together for a while, but Tili, as always, was very bored. He hated the music, he was a bit shy and didn't like the girl's behavior in balls. He was of the gentleman kind, who liked long-term relationships, who wanted to know well the personality of a girl. He was interested in their souls. And the girls in balls were either drunk or only looking for a cheap date. He had nothing against the girls, everyone has the right to do what pleases him/her. Just most of the girls there were not the kind of girl he was longing for. It didn't take long for him to take a seat and stay there, bored, waiting for his friends to get tired of the ball and eventually go back to the Inn. He stayed there, meditating about his life, wondering if he was right being the way he was or if he should be like his friends. No, he was sure he was right being the way he was because he had to live according to his own tastes and beliefs. It was frustrating sometimes, but he had to stand for his own beliefs. Even if that meant be sad and lonely in those stupid balls or being ignored by the pretty, but frivolous girls.

After some time, Tom arrived at the table where Tili was. He didn't have a good expression on his face.

“Jay? What are you doing here?”
“Well, you know, I'm not in the mood for these balls...”
“Me too. Man, I have to confess I'm feeling bad about breaking up with my girlfriend. I just can't have fun with other girls when my mind is set on my girlfriend. Or ex-girlfriend.”
“I understand.”
“Why don't you join Roger? He disappeared in the crowd, so he is probably with some girl.”
“I know, but you know I'm not a fan of balls.”
“I see. Too bad, I hoped to see you scoring a girl today...”
“Well, who knows...” Tili was more skeptical about that than his friend, but he didn't want to frustrate his friend by saying he didn't want to score any of those girls.

The two friends stayed chatting for some time. Al went to take a nap on his coach, as he was supposed to wake up early on Sunday and work in the market. Suddenly Roger appeared at the table Tili and Tom shared, kissing a girl. Following them, there was another girl, a cyan haired woman, wearing a very beautiful white and blue gown. She had a puzzled look on her face. She was obviously shy and uncomfortable with the situation. She had gone to the ball unwillingly, just to be company for Jacquie, her lady-in-waiting and the girl Roger was kissing. Now she was left alone and lumped in a table with strangers.

“Hi.” Tom broke the silence towards the newcomer.
“Hi.” She answered shyly.
“What is your name?” Tili asked.
“Maia.”
“Beautiful name. My name is Tilinelson.”
“I like your name as well.”

A bit of conversation ensued between the trio. Tom was not really interested, so he soon quit the conversation. Tili, on the other hand, had an immediate sympathy for the girl. Though he still had in his mind that it was not right to have a cheap date on a ball, this woman was different. She was shy too, much to his liking, as he would never be attracted to a girl who was too bold on flirting. She was able to keep an intelligent conversation, she was good-humored and acted like a damsel. Tili was a hardened man and, as he usually said, completely rational. So, the thought of her being a perfect girl for him or a soulmate never crossed his mind. But the agreeable lady was, at least, a bliss in that uninteresting ball.

Tili and Maia kept talking about themselves, trying to know each other better, while Roger and Jacquie kept kissing each other, as if they were the biggest lovers of the world. Tili was happy in having Maia as company. He thought that, if not a relationship, at least a good friendship could come out of that, though it would be hard to keep a steady friendship at such a distance. Not that Cille was too far from Tili's city, but both had their jobs, theirs families, their friends, so they'd hardly see themselves. Tili couldn't tell exactly if Maia was really enjoying his company, but he was feeling confident. So confident that, against his beliefs and values, Tili was too bold and risked a kiss on the pretty and charming lady he was entertaining. To his surprise and joy, Maia shyly accepted the kiss.

Tili and Maia stayed talking and occasionally kissing for a long time. For them, it was as if the ball didn't exist anymore and they were alone. In fact, Tom left together with Al. Roger and Jacquie stayed together, but Roger would confess later that he was not interested in Jacquie anymore. He only stayed with her because Tili was with Maia and he would not feel comfortable leaving Jacquie. Tili and Maia were really having a good time. The more they talked, the more they liked each other. The more they kissed, the more they fell in love with each other. They eventually looked for a less crowded corner, where they could talk and kiss with more privacy, as Maia was too shy to kiss in front of the other people, but it was impossible, crowded as the ball was.

A strong bond was being built between the two, so Tili started getting a bit more bold than he should, making Maia protest.

“Stop! You are a bit too bold for my tastes.”
“Uh? Sorry, Maia, it is just that I'm really liking you...”
“Why do all you men are like that?”
“No, Maia. I'm not...”
“I hope so, because I'm really liking you,Tillli...”
“Don't worry, Maia, I'll show you I'm the best man you've ever met.”
“You know, I'm not like those girls, I'm a lady.”
“That is why I admire you, Maia.”
“So keep your hands quiet!” Maia giggled in a loving way.

The subject of being a lady immediately brought up another subject. Tili and Maia started talking about their past relationships.

“Have you been in many steady relationships before, Maia?”
“Not really. Just once. But it didn't last more than two months.”
“Really? Why?”
“The guy seemed to be nice, but then, he proved to be an egoist. He was lazy, he only thought about himself and having fun. Besides, his parents hated me because he was a noble and I was just a commoner. Or at least they thought so. We were about to marry, but things fell apart and I eventually broke up the relationship. He was courting another woman.”
“Oh, Maia, for me you are a princess on your own.”
“Oh, Tillli, thanks.” Maia shyly smiled and blushed. "If only he knew I am a princess...” “What about you?”
“Well, I was never in a meaningful relationship. Though I tried many times and always offered my best to the ladies, they all ended in deception. I was always looking for my princess, but they were just mean girls acting like ladies. I have nothing against girls who are not ladies, but being mean is something I can’t accept . But now I have no worries anymore. Looks like I've found my princess today.”
“Oh, I really hope I can be your princess.” Maia had a sweet smile on her face.

With more kisses and more chatting, they were unusually attached in a natural way. Neither were particularly clingy, but everything seemed to go smoothly between them. However, it was not perfect, as real life doesn't have room for fairytales. In fact, Tili was facing a terrible dilemma. While he was really enjoying Maia, he was really worried. He always disliked cheap dates, stating they were only interesting for people under 14. He had nothing against people who enjoyed them, but they were something he didn’t want for himself. However, good as it was, his relationship with Maia would probably be just a cheap date. He knew they probably would never see each other again. And he was really afraid that, in spite of being a nice girl, he had only made a bold advancement on Maia to prove to himself that he was capable of having a girl at the ball, if he wanted to. That made he feel terrible, as he would be acting like a fool, doing exactly what he wished to avoid. He was really interested in maintaining the relationship, but he didn't know if they could cope with the distance. Besides, when he confessed his pen had run out of ink, so he had no means to write down her address, he noticed some frustration in Maia's countenance. She thought he was doing that on purpose, to avoid further contact with her.

As the night was almost turning into dawn, Tili and Maia decided they have had enough of the ball, as they only had eyes and ears for themselves. So, Tili, Maia, Jacquie and Roger left the ball together. Maia was supposed to give a ride to the boys in her coach and then go home, but Jacquie had another idea on her mind. She invited them all to spend some time at her house. Her mother and sister had traveled, so she was alone. Maia was less than pleased with the idea, but as Jacquie and Roger insisted, she ended up agreeing, as she wanted to spend some time more with Tili. Before going to her home, though, Jacquie made them stop in the 24-hour market to buy some drinks.

The two couples followed to Jacquie's house. Arriving there, they stayed chatting, while both Roger and Jacquie drained the ale casket. Tili and Maia didn't drink. In fact, they were not feeling comfortable. They knew Roger and Jacquie had other things in their minds, but Maia was not that kind of woman, she had different personal values. They stayed there for some time, chatting and laughing of Roger being attacked by Jacquie's cat, but Tili could feel Maia's uneasiness. Jacquie proposed they took a nap, as they were all tired, before hitting the road, but Maia didn't want it. Roger and Jacquie went to Jacquie's bedroom for their nap, or whatever they felt they should do. Maia, seeing an opportunity to leave, confided to Tili her worries.

“Sorry, Tili, as much as I love to be with you, I have to go. I don't want to stay. I'm not this kind of woman. I'm a lady, a damsel...”
“I know, my princess, and I love you more because you are just the way you are.”
“Oh, Tili, I was afraid you would not understand, but now I see you are exactly the kind of man I was looking for. Well, let's go. Leave them a message saying we didn't stay.”
“Of course. Let me find pen and paper...” Tili took a pen, a paper and wrote a message to Roger, saying they had left. “While we are at it, how about you giving me your address, so I can write you, my dear?”
“Oh, of course, my love! I thought you'd never ask!”

Tili wrote down Maia's address and they left in Maia's coach. She gave him a ride to the Inn. Before leaving, they exchanged the last kisses and Tili promised he'd return as soon as possible. The last kisses were bittersweet. As the day dawned, it was as if a good dream was about to end. Maia didn't know yet, but she really loved Tili. Tili didn't know yet, but he really loved Maia. Maia felt as if it was a parting kiss. It had been good. Tili was a special man. But now he was gone. Some tears fell from her eyes as she saw Tili wave for the last time before disappearing into the Inn. Tili was also feeling a turmoil of feelings. But he had a strong determination on his mind. Next week, he'd be in Cille again, no matter what.

Tili took a short nap, as the sun had already risen. After a couple of hours, Roger arrived at the Inn. Then, the group packed their things and hit the road back home. The guys were all happy. They had had a good time in Cille. As for Tili, he was not yet sure, but his life had changed completely that day. He had only one thing in his mind. He had to discover a way to return to Cille as soon as possible, which meant the next weekend. The memories of Maia were too sweet to stay being just memories of a happy weekend. He longed for more. He knew somehow that, with Maia, he could have that happiness again and again. And everything he most wished for was to have that happiness forever in his life. His quest for love had been successful. He was still afraid his hopes would be shattered by some fact yet untold, but he trusted Maia and that was the most important thing. He trusted he had finally found his princess.
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