The lights were low. The music started. A fast melody, one meant to quicken the heartbeat. Mine didn't need the music's help. It was already beating faster than you could blink, for before me stood a man. His face was obscured by his mask, hiding his features. It didn't matter. I knew him too well for him to hide. He held out a hand in invitation. I accepted, stepping out onto the dance floor, my gown swirling behind me. Together, we danced across the floor, moving smoothly around masked partners in our path. I was surprised; I didn't know he danced this elegantly! Around and around we went, going in circles 'till I was dizzy. Finally, the music slowed, and we came to a stop. Closing my eyes to stop the room spinning, I smiled to myself. Opening them, I was surprised to see he was still there in front of me, looking at me. For a while, we just stood there, staring at each other, each waiting for the other to make a move. Finally, he reached for his mask. "That's not necessary," I told him. "I know who you are." Ignoring me, he continued untying his mask. Finally, he removed the covering, revealing his face. Even though I knew it was him, I still smiled. "You can't fool me, John. I knew it was you under there." His eyes twinkling, he asked, "Then why'd you dance with me?" "There are many reasons as to why I accepted your hand," I replied. "The easiest to explain is that I was taught it's rude to turn down a dance." He smiled. "Good ole Mrs. Meaux." Becoming serious again, he reached out to untie my mask, and I let him, just standing there. As my own mask came undone, a stray hair fell from the styling, falling in my face. John put the mask down, then brushed the hair away, letting his hand linger on my cheek. "What now?" I whispered, staring up at him. In response, he simply put his hands behind my head, brought me in close, and kissed me. "Oh" was all I could say. "'Oh' is right," he replied, kissing me again. Pulling apart, he looked me in the eyes. He asked, "You said the easiest reason to explain for dancing with me was that it's rude to turn down a dance. What's the hardest to explain?" I looked at him for a while, simply taking in his inner and outer beauty. Finally, I said, "Because I love you. I have for a while." "I love you, too," was all he said in reply.