This is SOME of my Nanowrimo 2010 Story Violet
I sat quietly in my room, legs crossed, propped up on my beautiful bed. I was still in my bloomers and undergarments. I knew my mother would be absolutely abhorred when she found me this way. With the holiday tonight she had decided to throw a party of absorbent proportions. I should be getting dressed. It seemed to be a silly reason to celebrate. I only wished I had been old enough to see the bonfire boys drag the blazing tar barrels through the streets. It was most likely better off this way. The organized manner meant that no-one got hurt anymore, and I supposed that was a good thing. Though I wished I was free to roam the streets tonight, it would have been a much more appetizing option that the one I was currently faced with. There would be children who made effigies, and adults who burned them, there would be fire crackers and good cheer. It would be nice to see the smiles on their faces everywhere. At that moment Hannah rushed in, fortunate to have found me before my mother had. Her face was flushed and it soon turned to an expression of anger as she realized I wasn't dressed.
“Don't you realize there are guests arriving downstairs? What are you doing still up here in nothing?! Let's go!” She all but pushed me off the bed throwing the dress, which I had previously placed neatly on the edge of my bed, on top of me.
“Hannnnnah!” I whined. “I really don't want to go down there!”
“I doubt anyone cares what you want, and seeing as this is not your house, and you will get both of our hides in trouble if you don’t listen, you are going to be going down there very shortly.” She gave a curt nod as she said this signaling to me that it was the end of the discussion. I pulled the dress on over my head and I thought I could hear the old poem. Maybe it was the guests downstairs, or perhaps just the slight ringing in my ears. . . I let it run its course as Hannah buttoned the buttons on the back of the dress.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes 'twas his intent
To blow up the King and the Parliament
Three score barrels of powder below
Poor old England to overthrow
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match
Holler boys, holler boys, ring bells ring
Holler boys, holler boys, God Save the King!
A penny loaf to feed the Pope
A farthing o'cheese to choke him
A pint of beer to rinse it down
A faggot of sticks to burn him
Burn him in a tub of tar
Burn him like a blazing star
Burn his body from his head
Then we'll say old Pope is dead
Hip Hip Hoorah!
Hip Hip Hoorah!
Hip Hip Hoorah!
The rustling dresses and fantastic balls just weren't for me anymore. I would bet you could see the look of pure dissatisfaction on my face. No one asked me to dance. After a while no one glanced in my direction. I could sense that the people swirling around in pompous dress in front of me were somewhat shocked at discovering the latest rumors and gossip concerning me was true. I thought of how I must appear to them now. If I thought hard enough and far enough back I could see myself on the floor dancing with them. Twirling and spinning, laughing giddily like a foolish little girl in a colorful new dress my mother had paid some outrageous price for in order to make me look just so. They wanted nothing more and their main order was to make me look like I had a place on the market. Really that is all it came down to. Isn't that always it? Marriage. A whole childhood wasted, children merely brought up to act coy, to snare some rich merchant or perhaps some influential business man or lawyer. I just could not bare to shoulder the stupidity of it anymore. The fakeness of everything. Every social class pretended to be much better than they were just in hopes to grab the attentions of someone in yet a higher class. There was always someone higher. There was always going to be someone with more money, someone with nicer things, or a bigger house. And apparently in this game they referred to as life the goal was to be that bigger person always. In the case you were not able to secure a better position; it then became your goal to ensure that your children were able to secure a higher position, and so on and so on. It seems the blasphemy never ended. All night droned Ridiculous joke upon ridiculous giggle. No caring at all what was just said, but instead focusing on how the breasts moved just this way and that when the giggle occurred. Reality smacked in the face. That is why I don't fit in anymore. I had caught myself wondering why I had been giggling. I caught myself wondering what the point was with all the ridiculous petticoats. All this to snag some two timing man with money, who was only trying to charm anyone else when you weren't there? I had seen it happen more than a handful of times.
And so with this train of thought I know that I had the look on my face. The look of someone who knows some terrible inside joke, the look of someone who knows something so personal about you they could destroy your life in the matter of mere seconds. And I could pull this look perfectly, because it was true. So I sat on the chair drinking my brandy, of course I couldn't possibly be seen drinking brandy so I had set it in a normal glass, and to anyone walking by it would seem I was drinking a cup of punch. I sat in a crinkled mess of a gown, I hadn't quite found the time to make it unwrinkled it. I couldn't find the time to care. It was black. My mother of course hated it. It was something she had made for funerals and other things of the like. She had told me that it was only to be worn in times of mourning, and grief. But the truth remained that I thought it was completely fitting; on both accounts really. I was in Mourning of the tragedy of the event unfolding in front of me. Black I felt was fitting for the Grief that I readily felt as I was made to sit through this tragedy. I sat in the darkened corner, as my mother requested that I remain in the room with the guests, but she didn't mind in my current state that I sat apart from the crowd. From my current position I was Able to be searched out but not in constant view. I think I might seem somewhat shameful in her eyes. I watched the candles dripping wax onto the guests' most fashionable clothing, wondering what exactly the poor help would have to do to, and how much water they would have to boil just to get it out. I watched the crumbs that bring rats and pests fall to the floor as the guests munched and crunched heavily on things, not seeming to care at all where the crumbs fell. They smoothed their dresses and suits free of them when they piled up. Every little bit of dirt and crumb all falling to the floor, waiting there until after the party for maids to sweep. I wondered briefly how I had loved this so much to begin with.
I could hear the conversations here and there fluttering to my ears lightly as if flying in on the wings of butterfly. There were Whispers. Some of the whispers I'm sure were concerning me, most not. There would be Whispers of other parties, of tea and small meetings. And always there existed Whispers of new dresses and stockings, shoes and bags. All of them were unimportant and increasing trivial in my eyes. All things that wouldn’t matter tomorrow, forget about next year. Then there was the always important banter of who was dating who, or which young man was the most eligible, which young lady was the most sought after. This kind of talk usually dwindled down to which most sought after young man was found in bed with which sought after young lady. There were endless stories like this. The people at parties seemed to thrive and live for them, pointless banter repeated to the point where it was so distorted that it was no longer true. What became the point then? Everyone sitting there mumbling and passing around untrue stories of young people; I would much rather not participate but yet everyone looks at me like there is something wrong. Indeed! There is something wrong! Every twirling snickering face before me was wrong. How could I be the only one to see it?
My mind started to swirl amidst all my thoughts and I started to wonder just why my presence was needed here to begin with, really. With all the rumors surrounding me right now, there would be no way to raffle me off as some star prize. Not anymore. There was once a time where I was that most sought after prize, now they couldn't give me away. I wanted to go to my room but I didn't want to deal with what would happen if I went there without permission. But I just couldn't take much more of this! Staring around the room I decided I would try to figure out how much I would be missed and if I could indeed slip away. I started to pick people out of the swirling mass of colors. Firstly it was easy to pick out my mother. She is Stately and prominent, with dark hair always wearing something to compliment it and her figure just perfectly. Tonight was a dark blue hue. Something of a truly beautiful color, it did its job in complementing her pale complexion. The color made her skin look like the porcelain of the finest doll. I had something similar in my closet, but I couldn’t bear to think of myself imitating my mother right now. Her face was smiling and gentle as usual, she was the perfect entertainer. She was the perfect wife. Age hadn't spoiled her as it did to some, it had made her features gentle, blurring together and perfect. At the moment she was chatting with a group of women. I pondered over her for a moment. Tracing her steps and her attention, it was nowhere close to being on me so I moved towards finding my next target, I deduced she obviously would not notice if I were to dismiss myself. The next person I searched for was a little harder to find. He was taller and fuller, both in figure and in stature. He made my mother pale in comparison. He was not a man to be meddled with. He was indeed my father, but still someone I tried not to argue with. The only thing that saved me from his disapproval was that he wasn't home very much. He very much enjoyed the company of men, booze, and other women. This was all kept cleanly sweep under the carpet of course. But it remained another one of those things I could use to destroy him if he got in the way of letting me have my brooding little way of life. That and since he wasn't home very much, he didn't have to see it very often and I think it was a bit easy for him to cast me off with my brother's growing fame. He didn't need to rely on marrying me off as much as he once thought he would have to, and that gave me a little wiggle room to “have my unconstitutional way”. I also think he hoped it was something I would fall out of just as quickly as I fell into it. I do dare to say he is wrong. But nevertheless I found him too. He was standing in a wide stance with an unlit cigar in his right hand. He was Chatting to a group of men most surely about to lead them into the cigar room to light up, and then to drink until he passed out. Hannah would surely have to wake him later today to try to get him to go to bed. With his absence, and my mother's attention elsewhere I was free to roam as I pleased.
As I stood, the sound of the dress falling to my feet made me smile. I love the sound and feel of the elaborate fabric surrounding me. Something I never could let go off. Now more than ever the huge dress felt like a wall of protection around me. It wasn't low cut like the other dresses of the evening. It was in every way a dress of mourning, high and severe looking. The black casting me inside a bubble of seclusion that no one in their right mind dared to penetrate. I was just fine with that. I smiled brushed the ruffles down out of habit, and glided quietly around the corner. I thought I might chance running to the kitchen before I ran up to my room. No matter how much I adored the dress, the sheer amount of material I was forced to carry around while wearing it sometimes made my body so tired! The weight paired with the undergarments needed to pull the dress' style off was maddening. I questioned myself as to why I even went through with it, but in the end I do know it is because I love the dress so much. I do think however that I might need to get another made. I however would want One less in fashion of high class, and more suitable to be worn every day. These dresses could be a ridiculous joke to be worn every day. The stockings however impractical however I adored. I couldn't tell you all the reasons why. Perhaps it is the way my calves look so smooth in them, or the way they cling to my flesh just right. Perhaps it is the picture in my mind of someone else inching them off slowly, or perhaps the thought of someone else leaving them on. Whatever the reason at the moment might be there was a never a moment I didn't love them. So while I paused in the hallway to take off the matching black slippers, I didn't even think a moment about inching down the stockings. With slippers in hand I marched down the corridor to look for Hannah.
I scampered into the kitchen finding Hannah in her most usual spot, standing right in front of the stove.
“Escaping from the party all ready?” Her brown eyes scan me, as if I might say something else other than the inevitable head nod. “If you don't mind my asking' how did you manage to leave so early without anyone knowin? Or should I expect them to come barging in here after you again?”
A little defeated because of the uncertainty that I had gotten away cleanly I answered simply. “Yes I am, and no I don't think so.” She eyed me curiously. I thought Hannah was beautiful. Brown eyes, soft features, long brown hair, she was more round in every feature than anyone else I had met but she wasn’t really fat either; Just round. I decided to elaborate a little for her worries, and of course for some decent conversation. Hannah didn't bother with all that fakeness. When she wanted something she got it, and when she didn't like something she told you. I loved her for it. She was very simple and always just real. “They both seemed to be entertaining the party with quite some enthusiasm. I doubt they would notice my leave, and even if they do . . . I doubt they would care as long as they are the only ones who notice.” She nodded and I continued. “I really think it's all just for appearances and if that is that case then why bother? I'm sure I hurt appearances more than add to them anyway.” She thought a moment, eyed me up and down and nodded her approval of my outfit. She appreciated the inner thoughts I had, and accepted why I did things. Hannah was probably the only person who had even attempted to ever understand.
“While you would love to believe that Vi, you are still a very attractive young woman. You are An AVAILABLE attractive young woman at that. Even with your oddities putting you out on display has a better chance of selling you out than shutting you up in your rooms. At least with you out on display they can pretend that you are a well behaved attractive available young girl.” She stressed the well behaved part enough to make me giggle.
“I'm not badly behaved Hannah! You honestly can't say that. I'm not mean nor do I cause trouble or mischief. I'm just a scholarly thinker . . . and I'm not sure that can be helped any.”
“No, I can't quite say that you are misbehaved . . . but I would say that you are pulling string to say you don't cause no mischief!” She grinned. “Speaking of mischief . . . what was it you came in here for? After all that party food I have been sending out all night I know you can't be hungry!”
“Hannah you know I can't stomach that stuff. I can barely even PROnouce it most of the time!” She laughed and started to open cupboards and cans looking for something in particular but I couldn’t imagine what. “I just like simple. That doesn't make me picky Hannah, it makes me easy. Why don't you people see that?” I smiled. This was a big joke in our house. I really couldn't understand why bread couldn’t be served without butter, or tea without cream. I thought it would be easier to make without them! But it seemed that I was being picky by asking for things to be plain. It didn't seem fair to me. Lost in my train of thought I barely noticed when she handed me a folded napkin full of goodies.
“Now, I would suggest that you take that and go find some outside porch or stoop to sit on. The air would do you some good, and that way you won't be disturbed. I have a feeling that you get away isn't going to be as clean as you think.” She winked, handed me a canister from the cold box and shooed me out the back door. I went willingly, knowing that she had packed some of my favorites for me, and thinking that an outside picnic did sound quite brilliant at the moment. I back tracked for a moment sticking my head back in the narrow door frame.
“Thank you Hannah!! You are the best!” She smiled once again at me and shooed me more fervently out the door.
I was still caught up in the ball in a way. It was still on my mind. Picturing myself in scenes long past; how things were, instead of broken and black the way they are now. I recalled Getting ready in gorgeous gowns meant to showcase every curve just right. The gowns were a sight to see at every gathering, made and worn in every color imaginable. All the women wore the most perfect Jewelry to match. All spent on me in hopes that I would catch the eye of some young thing. And the truth was that I had. I had very much so caught the attentions of the young bachelors that surrounded me; Problem with that being that I didn't like any of them very much. Some were shy, some were vulgar, and none held my body just quite right. Of course I had the occasional kiss, but it just wasn't something I generally bothered with. It was more awkward and terrible than not and so I had just stopped. There had been more to me than that of course, but why do something you don't enjoy right?
I walked on further away from the house as I thought. I didn't want to get caught if I didn't have to be. Not today. I just didn't want the confrontation. My body knew its way. I had walked this path over and over again. It wasn't difficult, it just wasn't very traveled. You had to go through a little patch of trees and shrubs to get to the path, and that pretty much deterred anyone from following me. Once out of the shrubs there was a somewhat visible path. When I had first found it I had often caught myself daydreaming and wondering who had made it. Who followed it besides me? Was there someone with whom I shared my sacred spot? I had never seen anyone else around me, but I reasoned that there was no way that I kept the path alive by myself. I followed the turns aimlessly letting my feet lead me and letting my head wander.
The scenery was peaceful enough the tress swaying in the breeze, the darkness was closing in. It seemed even darker out here where the trees were somewhat dense. I wasn't worried. I couldn't bring myself to care to worry about things. It was true For the most part anyway. The dark didn't worry me for the same things that were here in the light were the same things that were here in the night. The animals might change, but that really didn't change much. Coming across the other person who might keep the path in working order crossed my mind, but even that too didn't really worry me. Perhaps they came out here for much the same reasons I did, or perhaps they were inevitably some highway robber and what then? I didn't have anything of value with me. The food in my pouch could easily be gotten more of. What then of this stranger wanting something more. . . . Being something worse? Well, I said more to myself than to the trees, well then I will just deal with that then and besides . . . when have I ever come across anyone else on this path? It seems a tad bit silly to worry about something that may never be. I paused now as I reached the creek. I never went much further than the creek. I brushed the large rock, my sitting rock, off of the dried leaves. I do love the fall, Trees letting go Leaves of every color to fall to the ground amidst my feet. I sat and opened the pack Hannah had given me. It, of course, contained everything I might have wanted. Some plain bread baked similar to the French baguette style. It was hard but I loved it that way. I still hadn't learned how and when Hannah had learned how to make it. With it Hannah had loaded in some cheese and a small jar of boysenberry jam that she herself had made. I remembered picking the berries with her. Memories spent with Hannah were memories made of very high quality fibers. In the canister she had given me was some fresh milk to wash down the small pile of cookies she had given me. I was in my own personal heaven. As small and uninspiring as the feast was I would have picked it over the food at any ball any day. As I ate I watched the small animals and birds. I felt my entire body relax. With each bite I was able to sink more into an enlightened stupor. It was nice to relax and think of nothing. I knew I would have some seriously disgruntled parents to deal with when I let them see me.
It became completely dark around me and even though I had no worries of getting lost on my journey home, it became aware to me that my parents would soon grow nervous of my absence in the darkness. It was best not to let them worry. The only thing that making them worry caused was more trouble, the more worrying they did, the angrier with me they would become once I was “found”. I hoped off the rock and trouped home.
“Hannah thank you! Thank you thank you thank you!”
“Stop thanking me and stand still!” She commanded while still smiling at me.
“I have no idea how you managed to pull it off!”
“It wasn't that hard, but I do need you to know that I doubt very much that it would work a second time, so please. Let us not make a habit of this?” I nodded and tried not to dance as much as I wanted to, lest I get on Hannah's nerves for real. That would be no way to thank her. She had somehow convinced my parents that I had gone to my room on a sick stomach and she had come up to my room on a few occasions to bring me soup and check on me so they wouldn't have to. I knew it really boiled down to the fact that it seemed a perfect cover story even to them. They would be able to tell the guests that I had not been feeling well to begin with, hence brooding in the corner, and then had retired to my rooms. Of course I hadn't alerted anyone because I hadn't wanted to make a fuss. And of course they didn’t really care enough to check on me, so with a good enough cover story they didn't have to come chasing after me. Hannah helped me out of my party clothes as she did often, and talked to me while I dressed in my under things for bed. Afterward she helped brush my hair, which was far from an easy task. My hair was a mess of long reddish tangles and curls. It was lovely when pinned up, but hated to be brushed.
“It's a good thing your momma didn't have 2 girls. With hair like this if I had two heads to brush I would be up all night! Or have to start very early.” I thought of Eli with his mass of waves. Not curls like mine, and it had no frizz, just beautiful waves. He let it grow out now and then with fashion changes, and in my opinion pure laziness.
“Speaking of siblings I think I shall go see Eli tomorrow! I miss his face and laugh. I hate how he isn't here anymore. But I am glad he doesn't have to deal with all the social nonsense of this place. Now he can concentrate on the important things like His love, his children, his passions in life. Not that they are very far placed from each other.” Hannah looked somewhat discontent at my comment. “Do you not think I should go?”
“No it's not that, I just think perhaps that you idolize your brother a bit too much and you forget some things. Yes while he did get out of this house, you forget that he has his own house now. And his passion that you speak of is being a lawyer. You don’t think that gives him some social status that he has to upkeep? If he were to lose his social bearing who would bring him business? You know just as well as I that he also entertains, and keeps up his face for those people that surround him.” I thought about it, but it just seemed different somehow. I couldn't figure out how it could be, but I knew it was.
“I suppose that's all true . . .” I trailed off as my loss of words caught up with me.
“Cat got your tongue has it? What a rare occasion this is!” I could come up with nothing witty to say back and I caught myself smiling a big wide genuine smile in answer. I loved how she made me smile. “Just don't get caught up in all your detachment. The real world is still spinning and you'd do best to remember that.” He words made sense enough, so I hugged her as usual and climbed into my bed. It was my favorite part of the room. While sitting on my bed you could see all the angles of my room. The little dollhouse I used to play with when I was a child still lay in the corner. I found some sort of satirical joy from it. It was an exact replica of the house I had always lived in. The house I sat in now, this house. I found myself staring at it often, dreaming it held the key to some sort of parallel universe. I had almost moved it form my room a few times, but every time I had ultimately decided it was one thing I didn't wish to part with and so as usually it remained. It never got dusty. Hannah and the rest of the house maids saw to that. The other wall held my closet and clothing, right now piles of it spilled across the floor. For some reason, and I suspect my mother, I had almost not been able to find the black dress that I had been made up to wear for some time now. I think she had it moved back into the closet thinking me to lazy and not ambitious enough to care to look for it. She had been most certainly wrong. On my bureau laid my brush, and basin, and some makeup supplies. Unlike most other women I kept my jewelry in a small box, which I kept in a corner of my closet. We had never been robbed, so I'm not sure what made me do it, but I just felt uncomfortable having it out all the time for eyes to see. My bed itself was enormous. It took up a good portion of the room with its carved wooden headboard. Wrapped up in the wood was a wrought iron design, not intricate, but spiraling. The bed matched my bureaus and mirror. I like how the iron stayed cool in the summer, and I loved the feel of the wood; sanded down super smooth. It was one of the few things that I still took enjoyment in. Although I knew the bed was high dollar, wrought iron being a huge trend, I also knew someone had taken time to make it. And that made it special to me. Even if it had been made by a machine, it was still just too beautiful to hate. It didn't try to fool you or make you feel inadequate. It was just a beautiful, comfortable bed. Of course mass hordes of blankets and pillows adorned the mattress in heaps. It was another comfort of mine. I thought really . . . why live without it if I didn't have to? The singularly most beautiful thing about my bed, above everything else, was how I slept in it. The moment my head hit the pile of pillows, I was able to sleep into a blissful unconscious stupor.
Colors flashed before me. Fabrics of every type whirled around my fascinated eyes, Deep hues and pastels, velvets and taffeta. Every known color and fabric seemed to have a representation. Everyone that surrounded me was so statuesque. The entire scene was so perfect. Makeup done up just right. I wanted to be just like them. I saw my parents and they came over with a group of strangers and young boys to dout on me and give me attention. My older brother Eli was there. He pushed past the strangers to rescue me.
“Violet Adams? May I have this dance?” I smiled brilliantly and nodded with enthusiasm.
“Of course Sir Eli.” I let him take my hand, my smaller fingers curled around his. I was wearing a pink gown. Not vibrant pink, more a pink as if a flamingo had been allowed to sit in the sun too long and he had begun to fade. My little slippers always matched. My hair had been pulled up into a sort of half up do the left over hair spilling in curls that fell out everywhere.
“You look pretty Vi, why do you get so nervous?”
“Why do you always rescue me?” He paused, and I could see his face so clearly. “If I hadn't looked nervous, perhaps I would have missed out on dancing with you!” He chuckled.
“Well Ms Violet that really is not that point of you attending all these balls. We need to get you married off to some handsome young thing. Don't you want to be married?”
“Not particularly. I do think I could wait for a while longer. The boys that seem interested in me hold no reciprocal interest for me. They are all so dull and singularly boring. . . I shall wait still for my prince!”
“Oh so that's your master plan? I don't think that father will be pleased with that. That is one sure plan that I would keep to myself in this house.” His grin grew and his body relaxed. He thought a moment and got serious. “I do hope you keep that Vi. Forever.”
“Keep what? My prince? Well of course I would keep him Eli! I would have spent so much time waiting for him. . . And then to let him go what would be the point in all the waiting! And I do hate waiting. There is just never an end! Hurry to wait! Wait to drink, wait to step! You wouldn't really know. . . you don't have to wait as much as I do Eli. They all just tell me I'm a little girl so I have to wait!” I babbled on until he lost his serious face and started laughing. I lost my train of thought in the confusion. “ And what are you laughing about now? I didn't say anything funny! I was being most serious!”
“And that Vi, is why I'm laughing. Here I was worried that you might lose your dreamer as you grew, but really I think you are the dreamer. There is nothing to lose with you. I just hope you do get to wait out until your prince comes.”
The rest of the night was filled with dancing, and sipping tea. Doing all the adult things I rarely got to do.
My eyelids fluttered and I vaguely remember falling asleep. Was that Eli carrying me upstairs? I opened my eyes slowly taking in everything around. Expecting to find myself still wrapped up in a satiny pale pink dress with slippers made perfectly to match. Of course as the light of day came into my vision I knew I wasn't. It would be quite the feat for me to be in that gown seeing as I had grown out of it in the last 5 years. The walls around me glowed still with a pale pink. I hadn't yet given in to my mother's will that I let her redecorate. She insisted on redoing the rest of the house. Using wainscot and dado in what seemed every room in the house. This room however was mine. I took comfort in the soft pink glow of the walls, the little dollhouse in the corner. The way the board next to my bed creaked if you step on it too fast. This was my room, and there would be no letting her have it. I refused this so absolutely when it had been brought up one night over supper, that she hadn't yet found the courage to bring it up again. I shook the dream away and smoothed my hair out of my eyes. What a very odd thing to have a dream about. I have odd dreams often, so I guess it wasn't really too big of a deal, but I didn't usually dream memories. That had all really happened just as I had remembered it. Of course in my reality I had actually fallen asleep at the party, and Eli actually had carried me off to bed and tucked me in. There were many days I missed him terribly. Thinking about all of this really made up my mind to go see Eli today. It was a Saturday, and the weather wasn't too bad. I didn't see it getting better any time soon. It was the kind of weather that made you pull all your heavy blankets out and set them on your bed, but not quite cold enough to use them every night. It had been a nice enough fall. Fall had always been my favorite season. The air smelled crisp and clean, it was full of energy. It wasn't so grotesquely hot and muggy the way the summer air was. So hot it made you body sticky and sweaty and made you feel like you were suffocating. Who could love that? Certainly I was not one of the people who could. Plus there were always the falling leaves, all the colors changes, and the more natural earth tones coming out to look their best. Even when everything turned brown and all the leaves were gone it still held a simplistic kind of beauty for me. There is some beauty to behold about the trees cutting off part of themselves to survive the harsh winters and be able to flourish again in the spring.
Hannah stepped into the room just about then to open the curtains and probably to remind me that I had wanted to see my brother.
“Awake already?” She seemed genuinely surprised I was up so early.
“I can’t sleep in every day Hannah. Six out of seven is quite enough don't you think?” She reached for the curtains then dragging them open. The sun bounced off the walls seeking every last nook and cranny and effectively making the pale pink glow of the room into a bright rose glare. I reached up to cover my eyes. “Not yet Hannah!! I wasn't ready!” I whined more than declared it. I hated mornings.
“Well” She started with a brisk attitude, “If you're awake you minds well get up and out of bed. Get some breakfast and get moving!” She didn't seem to be joking today.
“Being awake and being up are two very different things” I stated matter of factually. “And I for sure was not ready to be up!” I slammed my pillows over my eyes as she walked out of the room. After she left I thought about it and decided dilly dallying today held no use for me. Getting out of the house was fantastic for just about any reason, and getting to see Eli was even better. So off went the pillows and I sat up dangling my feet off the edge of the bed. Still taking my time, but making progress. I stretched and thought about laying back down, but I was still convinced I wanted to see Eli more than I wanted to see some weird memory dreams. I stood and took the few steps needed to reach the bureau my basin sat on. I pulled my hair out and ran my fingers through it I really wasn't in the mood for spending much time on my hair. I doubted Hannah was either. It looked alright, and I knew
If I took a minute to pin it up, it would look completely OK. I twisted it until it curled in on itself and knotted it up; grateful the weather had been a little bit warmer last night. That meant the water in the basin would not be absolutely freezing. I took my time holding it, trying to warm it a bit in my hands before washing my face with it. There are very few things in life more refreshing than washing your face I think. Usually it left me feeling cleaner than if I had taken a bath, and today was no exception. It seemed to change my whole outlook on the day and I found my thoughts drifting to what I should wear as the last drops of water finishing dripping from my face, and I wrung my hands out over the basin.
Eli had just married a young girl named Evelyn. I liked her well enough; they had just been blessed with a little boy they had agreed on calling James. I am not still completely sure what made them choose the name because no one I knew of on either side of our families shared the name with the small infant. I had thought that perhaps it had been the name of a friend or something he had heard with away at school. I never really cared enough to ask. It was a nice enough name and I was content enough most of the time with that. Evelyn had a very nice pregnancy and labor. The kind all women wished to have. It was like something out of a fairy tale. The two of them meeting, falling in love, getting engaged, marrying, and now having this wonderful little joy in their lives. I couldn't find myself to even bring myself to be the slightest bit jealous either. I could think of no one who would deserve it more. My wonderful brother, and this woman he had found to compliment his life and personality so perfectly.
I finally made up my mind to go with my blue dress. It was made out of a material suitable to be cleaned easily if James decided to throw up on me again. I could tell my face wore a look of disgust as I was thinking of it. It’s not that I didn't like James. I liked him well enough, and I loved the joy and love he brought to my brother. It’s just simply that I couldn't understand how they were so happy to coo and creen over his every moment; when every moment involved some sort of loathsome bodily fluid that I couldn't bear the smell or sight of.
The skirts were easy enough to put on myself, and at the moment I couldn't hear Hannah bustling about anyway. The jacket was a little harder to manage by myself, but within a few tries I had it buttoned and looking presentable. I bounced over to the edge of my bed and pulled on my favorite pair of boots. They weren't worn out enough to look terrible, but they weren't new enough to be uncomfortable. I thought about a hat, but I came to the conclusion it would more than likely wouldn’t be worth the effort to keep it on in the wind outside.
I briefly considered my parent's whereabouts but came quickly to the conclusion that they would still be sleeping after last night's endeavor. They had a habit of drinking more than they should and therefore suffering in the mornings. I doubted they would notice my displacement, and even if they should they might count it a blessing this morning. I pulled on one of my lighter coats, I didn't expect to be gone very long, and headed out to the main gates. The path there was something I had grown so accustomed to I barely noticed the lavish surroundings. My mother had it in her mind that the house had to be ever changing and so it was. I didn't take time to memorize or even to notice the new details. I knew they would be gone soon anyway. I saw no need to see beauty in something that would be gone as soon as I appreciated it.