Ever since Violetta was a little girl, she had known about the power of jazz.
One of her earliest memories featured its slinky, smooth notes. She remembered climbing out of bed during a thunderstorm, terrified. Each step down the stairs into the living room had seemed weighed down with lead as the hardwood moaned under her feet. A pool of golden light was coming from the kitchen, and Violetta remembered moving towards it silently. Over the driving rain and crashing thunder, she could hear soft strains of jazz from the radio, weaving through the storm like ballerinas on a stage.
At the doorway, she stopped, suddenly. Her parents were dancing: cheek to cheek, hands clasped, staring at each other in a way even five year-old Violetta had understood. She crept back a few feet into the inky shadows and just watched as they glided silently around the kitchen. Her father carefully spun her mother; they curled back together like ribbons on a present. Violetta had sunk down to the floor and watched, rapt. One day, she swore, she would dance just like that with someone. The storm couldn’t scare her anymore, and she fell asleep in the floor to the mixed music of thunder and jazz.
For the rest of her life, she looked for that partner, like the one who had loved her mother and whom her mother had loved. She played that song over and over. The partner never came, and power of jazz never returned in quite the same way.