An only child waits until her parents have left the house on a Saturday morning. They are going into town, as they usually do. Their daughter is old enough now, that they can trust her not to cause any trouble in the few hours they will be absent. She is ten, wears her hair pageboy style and is growing so fast these days. Her ankles swish around the bottoms of her trousers and her small breasts are budding. The weekends are repetitive but these Saturday mornings are a treasure. She is nonchalant before her parents leave, and mostly stays in her room. She listens carefully though; she will know what their plans are by the sounds she hears.
The big question is as always whether she will remain in her room for the duration, while her father sits in the living room, reading. Or will she creep downstairs to enjoy freedom?
Her mother calls up the stairs, “Lisa…! We’re going into town now..!”
She hears the jangle of keys, followed by the slam of the front door. She opens her bedroom door and tiptoes across the hall to her parents’ room, which always smells of her mother’s perfume, and leans against the wall beside the front window. She hears the car start, idle, then reverse down the driveway. When she is certain that it’s safe, she peeks around the curtain and watches her parents drive away. She waits….just in case they have forgotten something, for a minute at the most, before darting downstairs.
She heads for the row of records in the dining room. Which one today? She picks up a Peter Skellern, turns it over, and bobs her head to her mind’s version of “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” Beyond that, the Sam Cooke album, bright red. Or perhaps a little Don McLean? She puts them all back and plays with her lip, thinking, tossing lyrics and melodies in her head until she makes a decision.
The following hour is filled with the beautiful, undulating harmonies of Glenn Miller’s orchestra. She immerses herself in the music; becomes a new character, and waltzes around the table and chairs. She is the beauty of the ball. Everyone in attendance is staring and admiring this graceful vision.
Her favorite is Moonlight Serenade, She dances with her hidden prince, who is unlocked for a spell. She is smiling, happy, popular, loving, and loved.