NaNoWriMo | Huevember Nomvember | Steeping Tea (a short story)

introduction

I decided to join a few challenges this month to fully incorporate my love for drawing and writing: NaNoWriMo, Huevember, and Nomvember. The real challenge was being able to incorporate each part seamlessly. Strangely enough, the ideas came easily to me. I was able to sketch out the four pieces I would be doing. Deciding that there was no way I could do an everyday post like for Inktober. I wouldn’t want to put myself in that position again. Maybe for MerMay… but we’ll see.

The overarching them would be characters from Listening to Georgiana in their natural habitats. LOL! Since I knew my characters well-enough, it made deciding which character corresponded well with hues I’d picked (because they’re sort of set in stone by a color wheel going around as the “prompt”) and what food would go well with the character. One of the things the creator of Nomvember, JoySan (SnarkyTuna on Instagram) wanted was to create a story for their art pieces, so I just jumped off from that because I really wanted to do NaNoWriMo.

For my first day (technically the 7th for the two drawing challenges) I’m doing Abigail from the Maison in a part of the greenhouse I imagine she spends most her time at. And for NaNoWriMo, I decided to write a short story to accompany the art piece.

I hope you guys enjoy!!!

There’s also the process video below and a bit of me talking about the piece.

Steeping Tea

Abigail Lacy wasn’t into formal introductions or getting to know the other people around her. She minded her own business and preferred others do the same. Yet, everyone somehow knew about the scars she’d hidden away so well.

When the new girl came to the Maison the Fall of her 22nd birthday, she expected the same busybody tendencies everyone else seemed to have. Surprisingly, that had not been the case.

Their first meeting was offhanded. The new girl was lost while Abby and another visiting guest of the Maison were out. They met by chance, and what chance that was. To Abigail, Georgiana Mendoza was a reflection.

So, it was not a curious coincidence that Georgiana had the same fascination with plants and the greenhouse of the Maison. She gravitated towards the greens and strolled around fresh air rather than cooped up in the hallways. Though, Abby didn’t know that Georgiana was both until she saw her one day crouched in front of a bush of white roses. Georgiana was not a reflection after all.

During her daily life at the Maison, Abby steeped tea made from her own garden of herbs, roots, and florals. She didn’t have dreams of becoming a horticulturist but she lived like a botanical witch.

Tea was something she shared with anyone who visited the greenhouse that she painstakingly cares for these past years since living at the Maison.

Living…

When she first arrived her at the age of 12. Thanks to her father who could not face his tainted daughter and thanks to her mother who wanted to deny her existence, she came to live at the Maison. No one batted an eye her first day. She was a young girl who trailed behind the sisters, covered from head to toe because of fear that she’d get touched again. She was the young girl who couldn’t meet the eyes of the opposite sex. She was that young girl the other residents could never talk to.

There was a boy- two of them actually, who started living at the Maison in the Summer of her 13th birthday. One of them was named Sebastian.

“She doesn’t talk to anyone but herself.”

“I bet she talks to the sisters,” Sebastian commented.

“Possibly.”

“Do you at least acknowledge that you’re not the only one dorming here?”

Sebastian wrapped an arm around her nonchalantly. Abby’s muscles stiffened and she gave a shrill. She would not stop until Sebastian let go. She fell to the floor, shaking and frozen all the same.

Who could understand such a mental girl.

Those had been the words of a 15-year-old Sebastian to the young girl. He was callous, least to say.

Abigail hated him.

“I hate him,” Georgiana whispered.

“Who?” Abigail wondered aloud.

There was a boy in Georgiana’s life that messed her up too.

This boy had a friend who called Georgiana his white rose. A white rose was the symbol of true love. Abigail knew this and assumed the new girl did as well. This friend, this lover, was taken away by the boy.

Abigail thought, for a long time, they were a reflection of each other, that they wore the same scar but there was something much scarier than hatred for someone else that Abigail saw that day in the greenhouse.

Georgiana had a far-off stare as she took in the view of the white roses. Her hand softly grazed the velvet petals of a rose. Her fingers wrapped around just beneath the bloom and then SNAP.

An ounce beautiful flower forever gone.

There was self-loathing.

Georgiana was quite fond of the quiet Abigail presented and Abby reveled in the quiet Georgiana searched for, a kindred spirit of silence. They got along well, exchanging conversations through the sighs and nothings that passed through their lips. The silence bathed them in comfort they sought for and found nowhere else but here.

Abby had no idea about the anger seething within herself, not until the head snapped cleanly and satisfyingly off its stem.

Abby shares the tea she steeps with Georgiana Mendoza, the girl with many mysteries behind the long far off gazes and the flashes of madness for this girl openly but silently bathed in her pain. She envied that. She was jealous of the new girl who sought out to be healed while, she the veteran, continued to run away.

So, she decided to get to know the girl, to peel the mysteries off piece by piece so she too could yearn to live again.

She listened to Georgiana tell her stories about the failings of an older girl, the heartaches, the intangible pain, and watched the visible scars across the arms of an equally thin girl fade with time. Yet, they would always be there, Georgiana tells her.

In Georgiana’s memories the blood, the lines, the tears, and the stories would remain embedded behind her eyes. In her sleep, she would relive them for a very long time.

They drank to silence, to peace, and to be able to breathe again… someday.

Abby liked the stories she was told. It felt familiar, like listening to herself. Though the experiences differed, the pain seemed the same. She could feel her own scars re-emerge and finally subside.

Family failed her once. No one listened and she was hurt by those she trusted yet there was never anger, tears, no anything.

When Georgiana wondered why Abby lived at the Maison, she was given one line.

“I was raped.”

Was it a test, to see if Georgiana would listen too?

Abby needn’t wonder. She knew Georgiana had always been the listener, that’s why she was there, at the Maison, to be listened to. Yet, she made her wait and wait.

She’d never been listened to before and she was afraid of what she might say, afraid the wrong words may come out or that none at all would be said.

Georgiana once told Abby, she was a shooting star but Abby wanted to be a flower too, a particular notion that had never once popped in her head before until she heard the story of the-white-rose-guy.

His name was Kent, she would find out later.

He told Georgiana that she was a white rose. To Abby, it had been a confession of love- this was the notion she was truly contemplating. What is love?

Abby grew up at the Maison. As far as love was to her, it was the meals made, the sessions she had with the Fathers of the church and ones she had with Mother Ani. To her, love was what she poured for her plants. She wanted to understand romantic love but as Georgiana recalled to her the story of Kent and their love story, she came to understand that Georgiana had no idea what love was either.

And so, she continued to share the tea she steeped with Georgiana, the young girl with a mature disposition.

The seasons changed. She cut her hair. Georgiana stayed for one year. Left. Then out of the blue, she returned.

Abigail would be lying if she said she didn’t find it amusing. She was glad to know that one year was not enough for a person who was just like her. She wanted Georgiana to stay, to keep drinking tea with her, and to tell her more stories of heartaches, family disputes, and she wanted to be shown red scars.

There was evil and jealousy in her heart, she figured.

It matched well with Georgiana’s madness.

But she saw Georgiana cry in the dark, curled into a ball, pitying and hating herself. She saw her get swallowed. While she did nothing, she realized, there was no difference between a flower and a shooting star. Both beautiful things fizzle out.

She didn’t like that.

So, she poured herself tea, the bitter kind- the ones that taste like ancient medicine meant to cure all ailings. Though, there is no cure for a heart torn to shreds. There is no stitching, patching up, and making it new. A heart once hurt is a heart hurt forever.

c. 2018

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