The next morning, Laura looked over to see Mary still sleeping. It was very, very, early in the morning and Laura had a plan. If she couldn't go to the dance, then she would bring the dance to her. Only this dance wouldn't include Mrs. Olsen or Nellie. It would just include her very best, secret friend in the world, Kaya.
Laura rose in the darkness and plumped her pillow up a bit and put it where she would be sleeping so that Mary wouldn't realize she was gone.
She had to ask Kaya to come to a dance that Laura would be hosting at her house that night.
When Laura returned from her uneventful but exciting mission, she said good morning to Ma, who figured Laura was out doing chores, and then walked up to the loft where she found someone at the mirror. The someone didn't look very familiar though, which made Laura almost scream.
"Hello?" she called uncertainly, making sure that she was in the position to dash down the ladder at any second she needed to.
"What is it, Laura? I am trying my best to get ready?" the girl turned around.
"Mary, is that you?" Laura asked, stunned. Mary's hair was curled and let out of her usual tight braids. Her bangs had been swept back and were now encircling the rest of her head in a beautiful hair style.
"Yes, it is me," Mary replied in exasperation, "Do I look that good?"
"Or that bad?" Laura asked with a twinkle in her eye; joking. She thought that Mary looked very pretty and exotic.
"Laura!" Mary rolled her eyes, "But no, really, how do I look?"
"Hmmmm," Laura pretended to contemplate how her sister looked, "Exotic." Mary really did look exotic and new and maybe even improved.
"Good," Mary replied, "When I dance tonight, I want to impress everyone."
"You mean all the boys?" Laura laughed, smiling at the same time.
"I have to get changed. Besides, you should go see what Ma needs you to do for Carrie tonight," Mary huffed.
Laura stuck her tongue out at her.
"I can't help that you aren't old enough to go tonight," Mary sighed, clearly losing her patience. "Now go downstairs so I can get my dress on and prepare in peace! First I need to take a nap though. I sure am tired and I'd hate to be too tired at the dance. Now go downstairs!"
"Girls!" Ma called up. "Do I hear fighting?"
"No Ma!" The two girls called down in unison just as Laura descended down the steps and into the tiny kitchen where Ma cut slices of bread and put them into neatly arranged baskets with beautiful cheese cloths. Laura knew it was for the snacks that would be at the dance that night.
After a few hours of napping, Mary awoke with butterflies in her stomach. Tonight was the night that she would have her first dance with someone! Being almost 11 sure is nice. Mary thought that romance was silly and didn't want to be a part of it really, but she still couldn't help but be excited that she would get to dance and have fun!
She laced up her shoes.
And tied a bow in her hair.
"Mary, please come down! We must get a start if we don't want to be late! I need to stop at two places before we actually get to the dance. Then, we are going to pick Ms. Beadle up. She needed a ride and Pa told her we would be happy to give her one! Now hurry up!"
Laura sat at the table holding Carrie on her lap.
Suddenly, Mary entered the room from the loft. She was in her beautiful dress, bow, and shoes and she looked positively stunning. Her golden curls hung around her shoulders in such a beautiful way. It was hard to believe that this was the girl that she had been talking with just the other day.
"I'm ready," she stated and with that, Ma gave one last direction to Laura and out the door the family (except for Laura and Carrie) went.
Laura put Carrie in her tiny room and told her to play quietly. She happily agreed much to Laura's thankfulness.
Laura wanted to be perfect for the dance Kaya was going to be at with her. She changed into her Sunday best and looked at herself in the mirror. She already looked beautiful, she knew that, even though being beautiful didn't really matter much to her. She wanted to look special though. She wanted to look elegant and dainty like Mary. She didn't want to everyday of course, but she wanted to on that day.Laura hated the silly slow dancing they sometimes did, but she loved the lively dancing and hated being left out of things - especially things where she might get a chance to have a cake or something delicious at the party/dance.
Laura reached for her Sunday school bows which were a light and airy red. She tied them on, but they just did not look right. "Something is wrong with this," Laura cried out in frustration. Then, she remembered some special bows that she, even being the daring tomboy that she was, had admired.
They were two bows that Ma held close to her heart. One was from her first dance with Pa when they were just children and the other one was from her wedding.
She never allowed the girls to touch them and sometimes to not even look at them; as if the quickest glance could make them turn to shreds.
Her heart pounding heavily, she slid open the drawer in her Ma & Pa's bedroom. Inside, were the two bows that were so special. Laura reached in reluctantly, almost too scared to, and grabbed them before dashing up to her room. Without closing the drawer again.
She tied the bows on and decided she looked very special.
Then, there was a knock at the door. Carrie came out but Laura told her to go back in her room. Once Carrie was back in the room, Laura opened the door. Standing there, was Kaya!
"Thanks for coming! I was afraid you wouldn't make it!" Laura smiled in excitement, "I need to go check on my sister." Laura ran into Carrie's room on tip toe and saw her little sister sleeping soundly. She was surely tired after staying up late the other night.
The girls grabbed some popcorn off the counter and went upstairs to Laura's room. Kaya had never had popcorn before, which Laura thought was strange, but she gladly shared with Kaya, who was now super into the popcorn. After they were all full, Laura decided that it was time to dance.
Just as they were about to stand up and dance, Kaya spotted Laura's bows. "Oh, how pretty." Kaya fingered the bow delicately.
Laura knew that they weren't even supposed to be on her hair to begin with, but Laura knew how much Kaya liked the bow. "Why don't you wear it while we're here? I don't think you would be allowed to keep it, but you could keep it on for the night!"
"Are you sure?" Kaya asked uncertainly. Her English was clearly getting better. Her questions now sounded like questions and she spoke clearer.
"I'm sure," Laura smiled, but spoke firmly. "We could be the 1 Hair Bow Dancing Sisters!" Laura laughed and Kaya giggled along too.
Soon, the bow was in Kaya's hair and the girls at last, got up to dance.
The girls hummed music, and soon the humming turned into giggles and then into laughter.
Soon they collapsed onto the bed in laughter. They were having such a great time. They wrestled around playfully before calming down for a few moments.
"This has been the best-est night ever!" Laura cried out, not caring one bit that she had used bad grammar. She knew Ma would call her out on it, but Ma wasn't there then.
"It is wonderful," Kaya spoke in her clear, proper English. "I love being friends with you. We are dancing sisters!" Kaya laughed.
Laura laughed too and soon they were having more fun than ever before.
They played on each other's shoulders and had a great time. Kaya, who was always so serene looking, even turned into a party person who was having one of the best times ever!
Then they went over to the little vanity upon Kaya's request. She had never seen anything so beautiful or so big and amazing. Laura smiled and offered to show Kaya the lavender and rose waters. "Put some on me, dahling!" Laura gushed, pretending to be a very proper lady. "I need my face done right now!"
Kaya laughed right along, obviously getting the joke, which surprised Laura. She didn't really know if Kaya was going to understand or not.
The girls were soon going wild, throwing lavender water at each other.
They brushed it on each other's cheeks and ran around chasing each other with the beautifully scented water.
They were having such a good time that they didn't even want to stop. They did, however, when the lavender water ran out and Laura spotted one of Ma's new spools of ribbon on the ground.
"I know the best thing to do with ribbon! I'm not usually allowed to....but since no one is here, let me teach you this awesome game that I thought of one day. I've never tried it before, though."
"Okay," Kaya replied eagerly, picking up the spool of ribbon and handing it to Laura for her to teach her the game.
"All we have to do is wrap it around each other until we get stuck!" Laura laughed. "It's always tempted me - ever since I first saw ribbon. Come on! Let's try it!"
Kaya nodded eagerly once more.
Soon, both girls were tied up in string as tight as it would go. They laughed and tried to break free for fun. They could if they had to, of course, but it was fun to try to break free anyway.
"This really is the best, ever," Kaya smiled as they finally got untangled and were spinning the ribbon back over the spool.
"It is," Laura replied.
"My people may be moving. I may never see you again within just three weeks," Kaya told her, trying not to let a tear slip down her cheek.
"What?" Laura asked in surprise, in nearly a whisper.
"I have to leave. There are mean men after us - trying to take the land from my people. We must leave. I love being here and all the adventures we've had. I will leave in three weeks. I'm sorry to have to tell you."
Laura gulped back tears and nearly lost it on the spot, but she held herself together.
"You can't leave - you're my best friend," Laura croaked.
"I know. You are mine. I may not leave though," Kaya told her, hugging her.
Suddenly, a light came on downstairs. "The dance was so fun, Ma!" A familiar voice called.
Oh no! The rest of the Ingalls family was home from the dance. No wonder - it was already pitch black outside! Both girls froze in terror.
To be continued