There were people everywhere.
I didnt like crowds that much, and people werent too fond of me either. Being as unnoticeable as i could, i kept walking down the stairs and when i reached the bottom i exhaled a breath i didnt even know i was holding. Nobody looked at me. Nobody noticed me enter. Part of me was relived that not a single pare of eyes were focused on me, but then the other part of me felt as if i wasnt important enough for anyone to notice.
Even though there were a number of people in the room, i still felt completly alone. To make my father happy, i went around the room greeting our guests and putting a smile on my face as they told me boring stories about their boring children or cousins or whatever family they wouldnt shut up about.
A friend of my father, Mr. Lously, smiled as i walked up to him and said hello. "Why, hello to you as well Alice, dear." This man was completly irritable, and talked for much longer than necessary. "Do you happen to know where your fathers next adventure is going to be?" I was surprised at how many people had actually asked me that exact question through out the night.
"No, Mr. Lously, i havnt a clue where my father will be traveling this time." Or any other time matter of fact. "Although i do love hearing stories of where he goes when he comes back, i would so dearly love to go with him on these trips." It wasnt a lie that i would love to go, but i stoped asking a couple years before. The constant rejection was enough to tell me that he didnt care for my company.
A deep laugh came from the man and i looked at him quizzically for an answer to his laughter. "Oh my, sweet Alice. I dont think a woman should go on such trips. All of you are much to fragile to go any further than town." Before i could put my two sense into the conversation i decided to laugh, curtsey, and walk away from that sexist pig.
The night grew boring and I grew restless, hoping it would all end soon. Between the fake polite conversation, and the absolutely ugly dresses some of the older women were wearing, I began to get over annoyed with it all.
I snuck back upstairs and looked at all the portraits of my passed relatives that hung up on the wall of the hallway. So many people that had passed away, they were all most likely unhappy with their lives. I didnt know why that thought had crossed my mind. Maybe i myself was unhappy with my life. It seemed that the only thing that brought me even anounce of joy at that point in my life was Underland.
A pair of blue eyes that matched my own stopped me in my tracks. The woman in the painting above stared at me with a small smile on her face. I reached up and lightly grazed her painted face with my finger. It wasnt nearly as soft as she was, nor as beautiful.
I turned around at the sudden break of silence behind me. A tall boy stood in front of me with a sweet smirk on his face. "Who are you?" His hair was a stunning red and through his dark green mask i could see blue eyes. He wore a green suit that matched his mask.
The boy took a step twords me, extending his hand. "Peter." I hesitantly slid my hand into his and shook it. This boy was positively stunning, but that wouldnt matter when he proved to be just like all the rest of the men at the party.
It was strange that i hadnt seen him downstairs along with thw rest of the crowd earlier. "Alice." I gave my name feeling it only fair since he gave me his. We pulled our hands back and i turned back to the painting. "Thats my mother, the woman you said was beautiful a moment ago." She truly was a sight.
"I see the resemblance." The way this boy talked wasnt like everybody else, i could tell he was an American. I couldnt think of an American family that lived in town. Although, he could have been a distant cousin, or other kind of relative. While i was lost in thought Peter seemed to have wandered down the hall and opened the door to the music room. "Whats in here?" He sure was a curious one.
The door creeked as he opened the door all the way. Nobody had been in there since... since my mother passed. I walked down the hall and stood in the doorway. Something inside me wanted to run down the hall and escape to my room, or maybe even back to the party.
Peter sat at the piano with big smile on his face. "I always wanted to learn how to play." Mother used to sit in that room for hours during the day, teaching me how to play. Her melodys were the most soothing thing on earth, and i missed them. On the nights i couldnt sleep she would sit me on her lap and play till i dozed off. I hadnt played since she left us. "Alice?" Peters voice called out to me.
I looked up and noticed peter sitting on the bench looking at me with a questioning look. "Sorry Peter, i was lost in thought. It happens a lot." He reached up and took his mask off. His features only became better with his mask removed. I reached up and took my own mask off and smiled at him.
"Do you know how to play?" I stumbled for an excuse to tell him, but i simply couldnt find one. He got up off the bench and came over to me with a hand extended twords me. "C'mon Alice." It seemed like he wasnt just asking me to show him how to play. Maybe i was just overthinking it all. I felt his finger under my chin and lifted untill my eyes met his. "Trust me Alice." My hand slid into his and before i knew it we were both sitting on the bench.
My hands were above the keys, not quite touching, but only a small space away. I could see my hands shaking. "P-Peter i havnt played in a long time." I didnt know why, but i was scared to play. The thought of playing without her there killed me inside. How could i play with some boy i had just met out in the hall? Would she be mad that i was playing without her?
My thoughts kept rolling through my head and i kept panicking. "Alice." Peters voice drifted through my thoughts. I looked at him and noticed the comforting smile on his face. His hands covered mine and he slowly lowered them onto the keys. A soft sound came from the keys and i jumped. "Its okay Alice." I took a deep breath. "Im gonna be right here, watching you play. Maybe ill even learn something." He laughed and i couldnt help but smile a little at him.
I slowly lowered my fingers onto the keys and began to play. The only song i could remember was the one that my mother used to play every morning for us. The keys pushed in easily as the notes came up from my memory and through my finger tips. It sounded like a memory. A distant memory that i had almost forgot.
It was a sunny morning and i was sitting beside my mother on the bench, her notes filled the house. We tried making up words to accompany the music, but we never really found the right words to go along with it. Our laughter was louder than the piano and the sun was warm on our faces from the window. I screamed in joy as my father came up behind me and wrapped his arms around me to lift me from the bench. Mother stopped playing and tried to save me from my fathers loving grasp. We all tumbled to the floor laughing and, together.
The memory faded as the song ended and i felt a hand on my cheek. Peter brushed a tear that had fallen from my eye. "You okay?" He asked softly. His hand still rested on my cheek and i was comforted by the warmth of it. I really just wanted to sleep. The whole evening had been exhausting and all i wanted was to fall asleep...