That evening, Gilbert Bougainvillea would attend the army's annual ball. This time, he would show off his new lieutenant colonel rank, earned for his services, his influence as a member of the traditional Bougainvillea family, and his brilliant strategist mind. And for that occasion, he would have the company of none other than his beloved wife, Violet Evergarden.
Five years had passed since their beautiful wedding ceremony, which was marked by the emotion of the guests and the happiness evident on the faces of the newlyweds. At the beginning of her new lifestyle, Violet struggled to understand the routine as a military wife, but over the years, she felt more confident to face her husband's tedious social gatherings.
Gilbert was waiting for her in the living room when she appeared stunning at the top of the stairs. The long, loose blond hair, adorned by two braids on the sides, a makeup so light that only the lipstick was visible on the lips, jewelry worthy of the family name, a light pink dress with long sleeves, adorned with stones, a discreet neckline, high sandals, and gloves, not to call attention to metal hands. As if it were possible for her to pass unnoticed wherever she went.
Gilbert smiled broadly. It was amazing how his beloved wife managed to be even more beautiful with each passing day. It was like a semi-goddess, with a mysterious air and a rare beauty. Violet was perfect in his eyes. He felt more and more intoxicated with love for her. He gently extended his hand and she gladly accepted it. She approached and delicately joined her lips with his, an act immediately returned.
"Beautiful, as always!"
"I can say the same about you, my beloved husband."
"Are you ready for an extremely fun night?" He said, in an ironic tone.
"Oh! So anxious that I can barely stand it!" she joked.
"Hahahaha. I know that I demand too much of you in that respect, but I promise that we will go where you wish after that night."
"Ah! Seriously?" she was thoughtful for a while. "Well, Gilbert, there is a place I want to return to, some time ago ..."
"Where would it be, Violet?"
"Can we go back to the beach where we meet again?"
Gilbert was a little surprised and put his hand over her face.
"Of course, Violet. I can get a few days off… However, is there a special reason for us to go to that place?" he asked, curious.
"Actually, yes! There is a good reason, but it's a secret." She contained a smile.
"My beautiful wife is a woman of surprises now? You never cease to amaze me ... Well, unfortunately, before that, we have to comply with a boring commitment. I'm sorry for submitting you to that."
"Ah, I'm glad to be by your side, Gilbert."
"I say the same. The days are much better with you around, Violet."
They brought their foreheads together and exchanged simple smiles. They were interrupted by the driver, who warned them that the car was ready. Both went to the vehicle and in a few minutes, they arrived at the so-called ball. The atmosphere boasted a lot of luxury and glamor, with a decor worthy of the reception ceremonies of great political leaders. The red carpet at the entrance, a warm welcome from the staff, all well dressed, beautiful, and refined chandeliers that gave the place its shine. A few steps later, they were in front of the large ballroom. A predominant golden tone, with beautiful tapestry pieces, plenty of tables, smiles, and conversations around. Gilbert and Violet already knew the roles they would play that night.
While Gilbert talked to his superiors, Violet was courteous and kind to his wives. Both found the task exhausting, but they were more than accustomed to etiquette. After the first part of the night was over, they met again while continuing the saga of influences, at that moment as a couple.
Finally, free of obligations, they decided to allow a quick toast. Gilbert noticed that as they moved, eyes and comments turned to Violet. That was something he expected, as he had to admit how beautiful his wife was. It would be inevitable for someone not to notice her delicate features and her rare beauty. Perhaps, he should feel a little jealous of so many looks turned to her, but he thought she deserved to be admired, and he envied.
Gilbert was curious to watch his wife choose one of the drinks. Unlike other times, she opted only for a glass of juice. However, her reasoning was cut short when one of the waitresses accidentally spilled some of the drink in Violet's hands, which made her automatically remove her gloves and reveal her mechanical hands. That gesture scared some people.
"A thousand pardons, lady! I feel very sorry!" said the waitress, nervously.
"Okay. Do not worry." Said Violet.
Gilbert took a handkerchief from his pocket and gently took his wife's hand. He dried her two hands and kissed their backs. He noticed that Violet looked uncomfortable.
"Is everything okay, Violet?"
"Yes… I'm already used to those scared looks…"
"I know how you feel. It's not easy to walk with one eye covered too ..." he pointed to the eye patch on his face.
"It doesn't diminish your beauty ..." she approached and brought her hand to his face. Gilbert covered her hand with his and smiled.
"It's your beautiful eyes that see me with such tenderness ..."
Violins began to be played and soft music spread through the hall.
"Would you like to dance, my beloved wife?"
"If that's what you want, I'll be happy to accompany you, my beloved husband."
Gilbert decided to remove the two gloves he wore and revealed his mechanical hand, which made the others even more curious. He held out his hand to Violet, who accepted it with a smile on her face. They walked to the center of the room, being watched by all eyes around them. Gilbert took one of Violet's hands while he wrapped his other hand around her waist. With movements so light and delicate, they drew sighs and comments from the other guests at the party.
The Bougainvillea couple's beauty stood out in the eyes of those present. The youngest Lieutenant Colonel in history, a promising military man with an impeccable career had fallen in love with the famous and charming woman, who stole the hearts of all the people she helped one day. From the smiles they had when looking at each other, everyone present was sure that there was a lot of love and trust in that relationship. As they circled the room, Gilbert was sure he was a lucky man. He danced with the most beautiful woman in the ball and the strongest and most admirable woman he had ever met.
At the end of the dance, he gently tilted her back, which pulled yet another smile from her lips. Such a beautiful scene that Gilbert felt his heartbeat a little faster. When Violet pulled her slowly to her feet, she felt a little dizzy and he supported her discreetly so she wouldn't fall.
"Violet, are you okay?"
"Yes… It was just a passing malaise…"
"Would you like to get some air?"
They went to the outside area of the hall, where there was a grand garden, loaded with countless and beautiful flowers. Gilbert brought Violet close and took her into his arms. She lay on his shoulder and hugged him.
"You must be tired ... Forgive me if I made you try too hard ..."
"Don't think like that. You didn't force me into anything. It's just ... something is going on ..."
He rested his hand on her face and looked at her closely.
"What is happening?"
"I could tell you, but the surprise wouldn't occur in the place I hope..." she said.
"If you keep your promise, you'll know," she said while caressing her husband's face.
"Stuck in the charms of the most beautiful of the ball. What can I do but give in to your whims!" he joked. "We'll do as you please. We can go tomorrow!"
"But what about your job?!"
"I can blame you. They will be distracted by your beauty and will certainly forgive me ..." he smiled. Violet shook her head in disagreement but returned her husband's smile. After a long kiss in the garden, they decided to return to the lounge, as there was still a party to happen that night.