Part Nineteen: Bolero

***If you have a copy of French composer Ravelís Bolero, may I suggest you listen to it now... It is a fantastic piece and by far my favourite off all his works. This post is a little bit of fun for me this time.*

Truth... it was a powerful word. It can set you free or tear you apart. Sydney feared the latter. It killed her to even look at Nigel now after the things Aaron had said to her. She knew he was absolutely right, but there was no way she could tell Nigel about the baby in the middle of this hell. Her only hope of avoiding hurting or alienating him would be to conveniently discover her condition after their return to the states. The more she thought about it, the more sense it made... Yes, that would be how she would handle this. In her mind it was clearly the only way.

Within the hour a convoy of beat up military trucks pulled to the side of the road, six in total. Sydney, Nigel and Aaron were hidden in the back of a canvas-covered truck and told to sit on the floor and remain there. Everyone, including the three fighters there with them, seemed unsettled and unsure of each other. It was uncomfortable and seemed to last forever until one of the men playfully slapped his comrade on the leg, and asked for something that sounded like Ďmusicí to Nigelís trained ear. Moments later one of them dragged a portable tape player from his rucksack and held it up like a trophy.

"Ah, good!" Aaron piped up, smiling now. At least he wouldnít have to sit and watch Sydney fidget over her guilt. How could that woman not say anything, he wondered, hoping she would tell him before it was too late. "What have you got there buddy? Got any country?"

"We only have one thing..." The young man explained with a smile. "Bolero."

"Bolero?" Sydney stifled a laugh at the fact that these werenít just simple sheep herders, they were educated young men that were fighting for a cause, who happened to bring a little bit of the western culture they encountered with them, and she thought that was fascinating! Soon everyone would forget, even if only for a few minutes, where they were and all the trouble they were in as a group and otherwise. A reprieve...

Nigelís was the only face that lit up. "I LOVE Bolero! Please, play it!"

It didnít take long to transform the back of that dilapidated old truck from a lonely, unfriendly, uncivilised environment into something completely and truly amazing... As the romantic, repetitive sounds of the London Symphony Orchestra pealed into the air two of the men got up and began to dance up a comedy, making faces and taking bows. One of them turned to Sydney holding his hand out like a practised gentleman, and bending over gracefully took her, leading her into his world.

Nigel, content to educate Aaron and the other two about his favourite composer, started elaborating on what some would consider extremely useless trivia. "You know they say in a British study that Ravel's Bolero is said to be the most often played composition in his repertoire, and was the work of a pathological mind." Nigel animatedly explained, his voice once again relaxed and happy. He was immersed in something he knew about, with people that were as captive an audience as you could get. "A well known psychiatrist claims that the famous melody repeated 18 times without change during the course of the piece, clearly demonstrates that the French composer was possibly succumbing to Alzheimer's disease."

"So theyíre saying this guy was on the verge of losing his mind when he wrote it?" Sydney asked from the dizzying arms of her handsome young Mediterranean suitor as he smoothly and elegantly swept her across the floor back and forth before the others.

"The psychiatrist claims that perseveration, an obsession with repeating words and gestures, is one of the more notable symptoms of this pathology. In other words, the repetitive nature of the score's principal theme is symptomatic of the degenerative condition that originally began to trouble Ravel in 1927."

"Youíre turn!" Sydney called over, and leaving her first partner, hauled Nigel off of his laurels and onto his feet. "Where do you get this stuff?"

Nigel only smiled, and took her hands in his as they shuffled around and around, keeping perfect time with each beat. All eyes fell to the handsome young couple. Aaron was secretly amazed at how Nigel was able to lead her, manipulating her actions step by step, movement for movement... The song was nearing its highly climactic end, getting a lot louder, and their rhythms staggered with the changes in the music. Nigel was swinging her around wildly, abruptly, then on the final note he dipped her in dramatic fashion, swooping so low her hair touched the floor. Out of breath, literally panting, Nigel pulled her back onto her feet and into a naughty embrace.

"Op beni..." He whispered, brushing his nose along her cheek. "Kiss me..."

When Sydney oblidged him at last, all three soldiers started to whoop it up like their team had just scored the winning point in the game! "Brava, brava!"

Aaron sighed, shaking his head. She wasn't going to tell him, he thought, and that wasn't a good sign.

Go to Part Twenty.


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