“My name is Eliza.” She told me simply.
All I could do was stare. I had never meet an Eliza before. I wondered if she knew how pretty her name was. I would have told her, but something told me she didn’t care. Her almond-shaped eyes looked hallow and small. She was lifeless. Her voice was barely above a whisper when she spoke.
When she asked for some water. Plus, her accent was strange. Harsh. Rusty, almost. Sounding like she hadn’t spoken for days or having just awoken from weeping.
Her hair was bleached white and I wondered if she knew how bad it looked on her. A dark shade would have been nicer, I kept thinking. Knowing full-well all my thoughts and opinions didn’t matter to her. She didn’t care. She was talking to me because of obligation. They had told her of my past experience and somehow believed I would help her.
I’m still learning how to help myself.
“Eliza,” I tested her name on my lips.
Her lips tug to the side and I had to blink a few times to gather she’d allowed herself to smile a small bit.
“I like how you say my name.” Her voice was matter-of-fact and a little louder than before. I didn’t have to lean forward in an awkward matter and ask her for a repeat – this time I got what she said.
“Shall we, then?” I asked, suddenly. The quietness that had returned after her comment left me staggered. I’ve always believed it’s better to keep things going than dropping in thin air. Like I said, still dealing with my own problems of insecurity and restlessness.
I lifted my hand and opened my palm for her to take.
She hesitated, but then rested her own in mine. Small and lean. Cool and tense. A smile tugged the corners of my lips – perhaps softness would soften her.
Pulling her to the dance floor neither of us said another word. All had been said and done.
For the night, we were meant to dance.