From Anne-girl's Plot Bunny contest...thing.
"You are my first and last dance," the beautiful strange girl at the graduation dance told Noah before she collapsed in his arms...dead. Noah, who had felt a strange connection with this girl, tries to forget her - until he hears the story of the same girl on the blog of an Irish young man named Liam, who is just as enamoured by the strange girl as he is. Noah and Liam, joining forces, discover a myth of the same girl woven throughout history, a girl who has been pleading for help down through the centuries. With the help of Liam and his girlfriend Tara, Noah goes on a quest to find a damsel in distress whom he believes he can save.
"Hey, man, did you see that girl over there?" Noah's friend Alexander nudged him, almost causing him to spill his coffee over his brand-new suit jacket.
"Woah, watch out, man," Noah rolled his eyes good-naturedly. "Let me set this down first."
He set down the foam cup next to the coffee machine decorated all over with "St. Michael's University Graduation 2014" stickers. The decoration committee had decided to be blatantly obvious this year.
He turned around and tried to figure out which of the many females his friend had his eyes on now. "Which one this time?" he teased.
Alex gave him a friendly punch. "I think even you will agree about this girl. And she definitely looks the dancing type."
"I told you, I took dancing lessons because I like to dance. And maybe a small part of the decision was so that I could dance at the grad banquet with the girls. A small part," Noah insisted.
His friend chose to ignore this, only giving an all-knowing smile, and then discreetly nodded in the direction he wanted Noah to look, a few tables away.
As soon as he saw her, Noah knew he didn't have to ask Is it that girl in the blue ball-gown style dress? He knew. She was very beautiful, one of the most beautiful girls he had ever seen. Her blonde wavy hair was left flowing past her shoulders; her dress almost looked like it came from another century, but still worked for this one. She was petite and reminded Noah of one of his grandmother's china dolls that she kept locked away in a glass case for fear of being broken. She stood out from every other person in the room, and from the looks that some of the other guys (and girls) that the girl was getting, Noah knew he wasn't the only one who thought her the most beautiful girl in the room. She was a princess among the rabble... and she did look the dancing type.
Before he quite knew what he was doing, Noah found himself walking in the girl's direction with a determined stride. He heard Alex snort with amusement, but he didn't care.
"Hey, babe, want to dance?" he heard Matt Chadwick's smooth voice asking the girl. Even though this was a pseudo-Catholic university, there wasn't a single student who hadn't caught him on the couch with some random girl at some time or another.
The girl shook her head. "No, thank you." Her voice was so soft he would barely hear her answer.
"Oh, come on, babe, you know you want to," Matt pleaded. "You look like you would really get those moves down." He smirked, and reached out a hand towards the girl's waist.
"I said, no thank you," the girl insisted. She stepped back, bumping into Noah.
"Oh, I'm sorry," she quickly turned around addressed him. "I didn't see you there."
Her eyes were the colour of the sky, matching her dress perfectly. Her eyelashes were long and curled at the ends. Her lips were very red. She had no make up on, but Noah felt that a single drop of mascara or touch of lipstick would have only ruined her complexion.
"Hey, no problem. I wasn't paying attention, either." Noah tried to laugh, but it came out shaky.
She smiled at him, a soft, sweet smile. "Well, that makes two of us."
"Umm..." Noah tried to remember what it was he wanted to say to her, but he could barely remember his own name, let alone the question. "Uhhh... I don't suppose you'd like to dance? I mean, since you already turned down one offer, you probably wouldn't want to dance with me. I mean, you probably don't feel like dancing at all. I mean..."
"I'd love to," she interrupted his stammered ramblings, surprising him into joy.
"Oh. That's great," he found was the only thing he could say.
She offered him her hand, and he led her onto the dance floor. Thank goodness, there was a slow song on. He was surprised that anyone would have requested Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up", but then maybe there was a few people of good taste in this school. Unfortunately, almost all of the young adults in the school didn't seem to agree. There were only a few couples uncomfortably trying to dance, but ended up swaying in positions that Noah would have found a little too close for comfort. He thanked the Holy Spirit for giving him the idea to take ballroom dancing lessons.
As he spun her around to a swell in the music, Noah tried to think of something to say to this beautiful girl.
"I'm Noah," he finally managed to say.
"It's nice to meet you, Noah," she smiled.
There was an awkward pause, but before Noah could ask her name, the girl spoke.
"You are my first and last dance," she said.
Noah was taken aback. "Uhh...what do you mean?"
Into his mind swirled many different possibilities. Was this girl planning to become a nun, and she was having one dance before she would have to be prim and proper? He had to admit to himself that he hoped not. Such beauty would be wasted on such a profession. Or perhaps she was being coy and flirtatious, implying that she would only dance with him. Or perhaps this would be the only time she would dance that night?
She broke into his thoughts. "It doesn't matter. You are my first and last dance, and I just want to thank you for being such a nice one."
"Umm, you're welcome?"
She only smiled and tugged at his arm a little to let him know that he was falling behind in the steps of the waltz they had fallen into. Noah shuffled his feet back into the proper position, but his mind wasn't on the dancing.
The song was ending, and he suddenly noticed that the girl who hadn't given him her name was growing pale. She began to move more slowly.
"Are you alright?" he asked her, anxiously.
She shook her head No.
"Here, let me help you sit down." Noah moved towards the outer edge of the dance floor, his feet still moving in rhythm.
"No, please don't stop on my account," she said, her voice softer than ever. "I want to enjoy this last dance." She coughed, a raspy, hollow cough that shook her petite body.
"You need to sit down," Noah insisted. "You're sick. And why do you keep insisting that this is your last dance?"
Her eyes looked through Noah without seeing him, and her voice seemed far away.
"I tried to prolong it, but I needed to have it some point. You were the best partner in the room. I couldn't keep delaying my death...it just hurts more at the end that way. I waited too long," she said.
A chill went through Noah at her words. "What do you mean? You're not going to die!"
She coughed again, and a spasm of pain contorted her lovely face. "Help me."
"How?" Noah felt himself start to panic. "How can I help you?"
She turned her face towards his, actually seeing him this time. "There's nothing you can do. Thank you."
And, suddenly, she went limp.