I was torn between actually posting this or not. It was just a short story I was doing for fun. It’s kind of a tribute to Gone with the Wind for me. 🙂 Forgive grammar mistakes and all because I haven’t read over it since I’ve written it. 😛 This is based on the scene where they are throwing a fundraiser for the war, and the men have to bid on dances with the women. (This might not have happened in the movie. I have a tendency to get the book and movie mixed up.) Anyway, if you haven’t read Gone with the Wind and are a fan of the movie, please read the book. It’s amazing! Margaret Mitchell was a brilliant novelist. I hope you guys enjoy. 🙂
I stand behind two long tables covered with Southern delicacies: fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, ham, sweet potatoes, creamed corn, black-eyed peas, cornbread and biscuits. To her right, on the dessert table, are pecan pies, a coconut cake, a variety of cookies, pound cake, and two types of cobbler. Each of the tables are covered with white linens and decorated with green ivy and silk magnolias. On either side of the large dining hall, lining the walls are long tables covered with white cloths and candles. There’s a large empty space for dancing on the hardwood floors with scuffs and scratches. I wish there was something I could do about that, but there isn’t. The glass chandelier that hangs from the ceiling, along with a few lamps on the ivory walls, cast a yellow glow throughout the room. The guests are chatting about their lives while a band plays songs from the Civil War Era on the raised stage at the other end of the room.
I’m wearing a beautiful blue gown that buttons up the front and has black lace to cover her cleavage. The large hoops under her dress are new to her, and I wonder how the women from the 1800s stood it. I wear black pantalets and black slippers underneath the full floor-length skirt. My long black curls are pulled back into a loose ponytail, and I have a silver flower behind my ear.
The waiters and waitresses who work for me are busy making sure the guests are happy. The chef is beside me refilling empty plates for the guests. I look out at the crowd and tap my feet to the music, mentally rehearsing the dances I want to dance to from where I and many others have taken dancing lessons just for this party.
“Well, well. We have our very own Miss Scarlett,” a deep, silky voice says, startling me.
With a smile, I turn around and say, “I guess that would make you Cap’n Butler.”
“At your service, Ma’am,” he says with a slight bow.
I smile at him, and he returns it with a small smile that reminds me more of a smirk. He’s dressed in black suit pants, a dress shirt with the top button undone, and a red and black striped tie that hangs loosely. He has jet black hair and rich green eyes. He’s tall and of average build. I’ve never seen him before.
“So you know Gone with the Wind?” I ask.
“Who doesn’t?,” he says, then adds, “I’ve read the book and watched the movie countless times.”
“You must be Cassandra Spencer, then.”
“Yes. And you are?”
“Just call me Rhett.”
“You might as well call me Scarlett then.”
“All right, Scarlett.”
I smile to keep from laughing. He laughs and says, “You’ve done a fine job here.”
“Thank you, Capt’n Butler.”
“You’re welcome, Miss O’Hara.”
He winks and walks away. I watch him walk to the other guests and chat with them. He carries himself like someone with authority and seems to know everyone.
The chef, Daisy, says, “He’s cute.”
Daisy is five foot tall and chunky. Her hair is dyed bright red, and she’s in her thirties. She has a set of twins, a boy and girl, who are five. Her husband is just as eccentric as her, but she has become to be a great friend of mine.
I keep watching him. It’s not like I’m doing anything else but making sure the party goes without a hitch. Right now, everything is fine. Everyone is doing their job, and the guests seem to be having a good time. They are all dressed in Civil War Era garb as well. The women are all in different colored dresses with hoop skirts, and the men are in black suits. Some of them are even in grey uniforms. They’re laughing and some have even started dancing. I’m dying to get out there and dance, but I can’t. It’s not my party to dance at. It’s my responsibility to make sure everyone else is having fun.
He’s dancing with tall, skinny girl with blond hair that flows down her back like a waterfall. It spins out behind her as he twirls her to the music. She dressed in a full gown that’s white with green accents. It’s low on her bosom, showing how blessed she really is in that department.
“Just look at her,” Daisy says, “showing off all God gave her.”
I nod but don’t take my eyes off of how he’s holding her and laughing with her. I wish that he was holding me out there on the dance floor and spinning me around. I want to be the one laughing with him.
She continues, “She’s only here to show off that tiny waist and big breasts. Trying to land her a rich man.”
“Daisy, don’t you have some stuff you’ve got to be doing?”
“Sorry, boss,” she says and turns away. She starts putting covers and the dishes and sending them back into the kitchen, so they won’t be in the way. I watch the crowd and Rhett. The people I’ve hired are busy clearing the dishes and food out. It’s time for the actual fundraising part of the evening.
John Davenport walks up to me. He’s a man who is around sixty, with silver hair and deep set, green eyes. He has a beautiful smile with dimples in his cheeks. His face is graced with wrinkles around the eyes and mouth. He’s very handsome for his age.
“Ms. Spencer,” he says, “you’ve done a lovely job tonight.”
“Thank you, Dr. Davenport. I’m glad you like it.”
“I think everyone else does too.”
“The food was delicious.”
“Thank you. I’ll pass that along to my chef.”
“Good. Good. We’ve raised a good bit of money already. I’m sure the next portion of the evening will do even better.”
“I’m sure it will.”
“Well, I better be heading that way.”
I nod and say, “My staff should have everything cleared out very soon.”
“Very well,” he says and walks to the middle of the floor where he is stopped by a couple in their forties. They all put on a happy face and chat. I help the staff clean and prepare for the dancing.
When the last table is hauled out of the room, Dr. Davenport walks onto the raised stage where the band is playing. They stop and let him take center stage. Someone hands him a microphone. He starts his speech.
“Welcome, everyone,” he says, “Thanks for coming to our little fundraiser here. I won’t be giving a lengthy speech, but I do have a few things to say.”
The crowd applauds, and when it dies down, he continues. “Thank you for donating to the new children’s wing of the hospital. All of the money will be going to new equipment for the children. And to make your donations worthwhile, a wonderful woman I met came up with this brilliant idea of a Civil War Era themed party. I think she’d just read Gone with the Wind.” The crowd laughs, and despite my failed attempts, I blush. He looks at me, smiles, and continues on. “She thought that it’d be fun, and it is. My wife certainly agrees because she’s a Gone with the Wind buff herself.” He smiles at his wife. “But the fun has yet to begin. We will be doing something special in just a moment, but first, I’d like for you to all meet the woman behind the party. Miss Cassandra Spencer. Come up here, Ms. Spencer.”
I shake my head no but smile at Dr. Davenport. “Come on,” he says. The crowd starts to clap, so I walk towards the front of the building. They all part so I can make my way on stage. Dr. Davenport holds out his hand for me to take, so I do. He holds my hand as I walk up the three steps onto the stage. My cheeks are burning, and I keep my head down. I don’t like being in the lime-light.
“Ms. Cassandra Spencer,” he says, and everyone applauds again. I smile shyly and am about to walk away when he stops me.
“I want you to be up here for this.”
I smile at him and say, “Okay.”
I catch the eye of the person who will be writing down the donations and move my eyes toward the table they will be sitting at. Nick understands me apparently and makes his way to the table in front of the raised stage and takes a seat.
Dr. Davenport says, “All right. Gentlemen get your wallets ready. Here is where you will be giving us your money.” They laugh, and I smile. “Men, you get to pay to dance with the woman of your choice. For two songs, am I right, Ms. Spencer?”
“You pay two hundred dollars for a two songs to dance with the woman of your choice,” he continues, “You’ve all taken lessons on learning the dances, but for those of you who didn’t have the pleasure, the fox-trot will suffice.” He pauses for the laughter. “I want the women to line up against that wall.” He points to his left. “And the men on the other side.” He points to his right. “Now, the men will take turns coming up to this nice gentleman in front of me, pay him and tell me the name of the woman of your choice. For those of you who aren’t dancing, make your way to the back please.”
Everyone shuffles around, and within a reasonable amount of time, there are people lined up on either side of the room. My staff and a few of the guests are at the back of the room. The guests are seating in chairs around small, round tables covered in white linens, watching all the commotion at the front and smiling and talking. The staff is making sure these people are happy. I’m glad they’re doing well in my absence. I was worried about the new ones I hired, but they seem to be doing well. Daisy is probably instructing them because she’s my second in command at times.
“All right,” Dr. Davenport says, “first one up.”
Rhett walks up to Nick and hands him two crisp one hundred dollar bills. Nick places them in the metal box and hands him a card. Rhett writes down a name and hands it to Dr. Davenport.
“Ms. Spencer, apparently, you have caught someone’s eye,” he says, showing me my name written in neat cursive on the card.
“I can’t,” I say.
“Of course you can. Go on.” He motions toward Rhett who is standing at the end of the three steps, waiting for me to walk down to him.
I’m not sure what to do except dance with him. It’s what I wanted, but as the party-planner, I’m not sure it’s right to leave my staff working and me have fun. I can’t disappoint the man who writes my check either, and he’s telling me to go on. I don’t suppose it’d hurt anything, just for two dances though, so I walk down the steps, holding on to his extended hand.
“Thank you,” I say.
“You’re most welcome.”
He doesn’t let go of my hand and instead, leads me to the middle of the dance floor where we wait for all the others to pay and get their dance partners. Neither one of us speaks to each other. He just watches me and smiles every now and then. I wonder what his game is, but I try not to think about it too much. This is my opportunity to have fun and dance like I wanted. That is all I’m going to worry about, or at least that’s what I tell myself.
When everything is situated, we all take our places on the dance floor. Rhett wrap his left arm around my waist, and I put mine around his shoulder. We take hands, and when the music starts, he spins me around the floor. I don’t even have to think about the steps I learned because with him leading, it’s all so easy. It’s perfect. I feel like our feet aren’t even touching the floor.
I’m so happy, I start smiling and laughing. He smiled at me but still doesn’t say anything. He’s still watching me. I don’t care anymore about it because I’m having fun.
Before I quite realize it, the music had ended for one song, and the next one is playing. It’s a slow dance. We slow our pace to match the music. He pulls me closer. I’m more aware of him now, watching me. I wonder if I’ve gotten something on my face or in my teeth. I shouldn’t have sneaked that food. I run my tongue over my teeth with my mouth still closed, hoping that if that is the case then it’s gone now. He smiles at me, but it’s more like a laugh.
“What?” I finally ask.
“What do you mean?” His voice is even and smooth.
“You keep staring at me. Is there something wrong with my face?”
“No, it’s actually quite perfect.”
I’m taken aback, so I mumble a thank you. He smiles again as he spins us around.
“You know, Ms. O’ Hara, you’re quite the dancer,” he says.
“Thank you, Captain Butler. You aren’t so bad yourself.”
He laughs, and we spin around again. I’m dizzy, but I’m not sure if it’s from his laugh or the dancing.
“The party is going well, I think,” he says.
“I think so, too. The guests seem to be enjoying themselves.”
I think back to him dancing with the busty blond and that it’s no wonder he’s having fun. I don’t know why I’m jealous. I don’t know him. I’ve never met him, and I don’t even know his real name. He’s only a mysterious man that I’ll probably never see again. Suddenly, I’m not so happy anymore, and I don’t want the song to end. I want it to last forever, so I’ll know that he won’t escape from me. That we’ll be forever caught in this moment, pretending we’re two different people. That I’m Scarlett O’ Hara, who I’m nothing like, and that he is Rhett Butler.
“Are you okay?” he asks.
“Yeah. I’m fine.”
He nods. I don’t know why I can’t bring myself to ask him who he is. I guess I’m afraid that the magic of the moment will end if I know his real name. Apparently, I need more of a social life if I compare all the men in my life to characters from novels.
The music ends, and we stop dancing. Everyone claps. Dr. Davenport starts a speech. I wasn’t even aware he was on the stage. Rhett and I are still in an embrace looking at each other. I’m dying for that perfect moment where we kiss, but Dr. Davenport says my name.
“Ms. Spencer, would you come up here please?”
I look at him, smile, and start walking towards the front of the stage. Rhett follows me, still holding my hand. I try not to think of what this means because I don’t want to over think anything. He could just be being nice.
He holds my hand as I climb the three steps again. Dr. Davenport extends his to me. I take it, and he leads me to the edge.
He says, “I’d like for all of you to thank Ms. Spencer for such a wonderful evening.”
They applaud. I smile and curtsey. Dr. Davenport continues, “I would like to thank you all for donating your money to the children and coming out here today. Enjoy the rest of the evening.”
They all applaud again, and Dr. Davenport takes a hold of my hand. We walk back down the steps and onto the main floor. The band starts playing music again. Some dance; others stand against the walls and talk. Mrs. Davenport walks up to us and hugs her husband.
“Cassandra,” she says, still holding on to him, “the party is lovely.”
“You’ve outdone yourself, and we’ve raised a lot of money.”
I smile at her and say, “I’m glad. Those kids need it.”
“They really do,” Dr. Davenport says.
I smile, and Mrs. Davenport coaxes her husband into dancing with her. They excuse themselves and walk out onto the dance floor. Dr. Davenport takes her into his arms and dances with her. I watch them for a moment and walk towards the back where my crew is standing, waiting on the few who are seated at the table.
As I am walking, someone takes a hold of my hand. I turn to see who it is and am pulled into strong arms. Rhett twirls me around until we are keeping time with the music.
“I should be working,” I say.
“You are working.”
“I have to make sure that everything is going okay.”
“How do you know?”
“I just looked around. You’re staff can handle themselves without you.”
“Shh,” he says, “Let’s just dance and enjoy ourselves.”
I try to resist giving in, but I can’t. I want to be held by him. I want to dance with him and forget making sure this party goes without a hitch is my responsibility. I do. I forget everything except that I’m dancing wrapped tightly in the arms of this handsome man.
We dance to two or three different songs, when I say, “I have to get back to work.”
“I don’t think they’re missing you.”
“But I can’t…”
“Just one more dance,” he says, and how can I say no?
We continue dancing, and it is a magical evening. I don’t want it to end, but alas, it has too. And when one more dance turns into the third, I say, “I really need to get back to work.”
“Are you sure that you have to?”
“I’m pretty sure.”
“But not completely sure?”
“I need to. This isn’t a party for me to enjoy. I’m the one who makes it enjoyable for others.”
“And you do a good job of it.”
To my disappointment, he actually stops dancing with me and lets me get back to work. I smile and walk to my staff. Daisy is standing there, staring at me.
“What?” I ask.
“Nothing,” she says and smiles at me.
“Daisy, it was just a couple of dances.”
I shake my head and ask, “So, is everything okay here?”
“Yeah. I have the staff already putting up things in the back. That way it’ll be easier getting things together before we go home. I’m beat.”
“Sounds good,” I say.
I look out over the crowd and see Rhett talking to Dr. Davenport. At least he’s not dancing with the busty blond. I long to be held in his arms again, but I do have a job I’ve got get done.
I walk back into the back where most of my staff is packing up extra food and table cloths. Nick is sweeping the white tile floor, and another one is wiping down the marble counters. The kitchen is quite large and decorated in all whites which doesn’t shock me because this is still a part of the hospital.
“Ms. Spencer,” one of my new guys says.
“Cassandra, do you know where these go?”
He holds up a large bouquet of fake red roses.
“No, actually I don’t. They aren’t mine. They must belong here. Just put them back where you found them.”
He lays them on a small table near the refrigerator. I grab a roll and quickly eat it because I’m starving.
“Good job, guys,” I say and walk back into the main hall to make sure everything is going well out there.
The two girls who are waitresses are making sure that people have drinks and any food they want. Daisy is watching them.
I walk to her and say, “If you want to take a break, go for it.”
“Thanks. I’ve got to rest my feet for a minute.”
I laugh. “Go, rest.”
She grins and pads off to the back where everyone else is. I watch out over the crowd again, searching for Rhett. I don’t see him anywhere. I suppose that he could’ve slipped off when I was in back. I had hoped that he would’ve at least told me bye, but I guess that I was wrong.
Daisy comes back after five minutes to tell me that the kitchen has been cleaned. Now, all we have to do is clean up the decorations in the main hall when it’s cleared out and sweep.
“All right. Thanks. Why don’t you go on home. You’re job’s done.”
“Positive. I’ve got plenty of people who can help with clean up.”
“Thanks, girlie,” she says.
She hugs me and says, “See ya tomorrow,” and leaves.
I hope the party won’t last much longer. I’m ready to get home myself. I’ve had a long day, and the worst part about being a party coordinator is the clean up afterwards. Luckily, my staff has taken care of most of that themselves. It shouldn’t take long, but I don’t want to have to do it. These parties tend to last until midnight. I’m just glad I make my own hours and don’t go into work until ten in the morning.
Ten minutes later, at eleven, people start to leave. There are still a good few left who are dancing and enjoying themselves. For this I am glad, maybe it will boost my clientele if they think that I’m such a good party planner. I could always use a little more business considering I’ve just started establishing a place in the business. I think this fundraiser will prove that I have what it takes to throw a party.
I still don’t see Rhett anywhere, so I can only assume he left. I figure that I’ll never see him again. I hate that, but it’s probably the truth.
The last part of the evening is easy. It’s just sitting around until everyone leaves for clean up. A few people ask for drinks, but mostly, it’s just waiting. I take a seat and watch the crowd dwindle until finally, Dr. and Mrs. Davenport are the only ones left.
They walk up to me on their way out, and Dr. Davenport says, “Wonderful job, Ms. Spencer. I’ll have to keep you in mind when we have more fundraisers.”
“Well, you have my card.”
He laughs and says, “That I do.”
Mrs. Davenport says, “Cassandra, I loved the party. It was one of the best I’ve been to.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Davenport. I’m glad that you had fun.”
“Don’t worry about sweeping up, Cassandra,” Dr. Davenport says, “I told the janitorial service to come in here first thing tomorrow morning and do all of that. All you have to do is get your things and leave. I know you must be tired.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“Well, goodnight, Ms. Spencer.”
“Goodnight, Dr. and Mrs. Davenport.”
They smile and walk out the door. I hurry and change into blue jeans and a t-shirt. I then help my staff clean up. We leave at one.
The next morning I go into work at nine-thirty. Daisy’s standing at the door with coffee waiting for me to unlock it.
“Thought you’d need it.”
“Bless you,” I say as I take a Styrofoam cup from her.
I unlock the door, and we walk inside. I turn on the lights and walk to my desk on the left. Daisy sits in the chair across from my desk.
“So, did mystery man ever give you a name and number?” she asks before I can even settle in.
“Yeah. It is.”
“I wonder what his real name is.”
“I don’t know.”
“What if his real name is Rhett?”
“Wouldn’t that be romantic?”
“Yeah. That you met the man of your dreams name Rhett at a party that was themed from Gone with the Wind.”
“I suppose, but that’s assuming he actually wants to see me again.”
“I have a feeling he will.”
“What’re you psychic now?”
“You never know.”
She winks and says, “So what’s on the agenda for today?”
We discuss what needs to be done for the next party we are coordinating. It’s a twenty-first birthday party.
While we are discussing what decorations and food there should be, a man walks into the building. He’s holding a clear vase with white roses and green feathers in it.
“I’m looking for a Cassandra Spencer.”
“That’s me,” I say.
“Here you go,” he replies, handing me the vase of the flowers.
“Thank you,” I say.
“You’re welcome,” he says, walking back outside.
“Who are they from?” Daisy asks excitedly.
I take the card out and read it, “Ms. O’ Hara, these flowers reminded me of you. Captain Butler.”
“Oh how sweet!” she exclaims. I can’t help but smile. I thought he had forgotten about me.
“Wait, didn’t he leave a number or anything?” she asks.
I flip the card over. Nothing. I shake my head no.
“I guess he wants to stay a mystery,” she says, “Maybe you’ll just keep getting flowers until he finally decides to show up himself and tell you who he is.”
I’m kind of disappointed. I was expecting a little more, but at least he remembered me. Maybe he enjoyed last night as much as I did.
I didn’t receive a phone call from him, and I don’t even know who he is to properly thank him. I just got on with my day. At lunch, Daisy and I are in the small kitchen talking while she cooks us something to eat. She fries hamburgers and bacon. The fries are in the oil cooking, and I’m just sitting there. She won’t let me help.
I hear the ding from where someone has walked in and walk into the main area of the building. He has his back to me when I walk in there.
“Well, if it isn’t Captain Butler.”
He turns around and smiles, “Ms. O’ Hara.”
He extends his hand, and I take it. He gently kisses it. He’s just as handsome as he was last night. He’s wearing jeans that are the perfect fit for him and a white t-shirt with a guitar on it.
“Did you like your flowers?” he asked.
“Yes. I loved them. Thank you.”
“You’re very welcome.”
He smiles at me, and I return the smile.
“Why don’t you have a seat,” I say, indicating to one of the many seats in the office.
He takes a seat on the sofa on the other side of the room, and I sit on the seat beside it.
“How’s your day been thus far?” he asks.
“You look tired.”
“I am, but it comes with staying out late after parties.”
“The party was a lot of fun.”
“I especially liked the part where the men donated money to dance with the woman of their choice.”
“I thought it was a pretty good idea myself.”
“I enjoyed dancing with you,” he says.
“And I enjoyed dancing with you.”
We smile at each other, and out of the blue he says, “There’s something you want to ask me.”
I’m confused. I don’t know how he even knows that. I can’t help but wonder if I’m that transparent.
“What’s your real name?”
“You’re Dr. Davenport’s son?”
I nod. At least I know who he is now. I can’t believe that’s who he is though. I wonder why he didn’t tell me last night.
He continues, “My mom is such a Gone with the Wind buff that she had to name me Rhett.”
“I like it.”
“I don’t doubt it,” he laughs, “you know, considering that you themed a party around it.”
I laugh too. “Well, admittedly, Rhett Butler is one of my favorite literary characters.”
He smiles. “Scarlett O’ Hara is one of mine.”
“She’s interesting,” I admit.
“I like how strong-willed and independent she is.”
“I like that about her too, but she goes over the top some.”
“I guess so, but it still makes her interesting.”
“Oh, no doubt about that.”
He smiles at me again. “Would you like to go to dinner with me tonight?”
“I’d love to.”
“Good. Pick you up at seven?”
“Good.” He stands and so do I. I write my address on the back of a business card and hand it to him.
“See you at seven,” he says, putting the card in his pocket.
“See you then.”
He smiles and walks out the door. As soon as he’s out of sight, Daisy runs up to me and says, “Told ya.”