I had dreams of an older boy with large hands, and a gentle smile. Nothing about him stood out. He always wore the same jeans and sweater. He roughly had dark brown hair resembling mine and even darker brown eyes. He used to be my brother.
In the dreams, I noticed, he’d cautiously lift his legs over the largely rounded roots of the tree planted in front of my house, his crisp and clean black trousers riding up. He looked to be marching, a one-man band show without his instruments and a hand casually stuffed in his pocket. His cheeks, upturned as he made his way to the porch.
I’d wait for a while, sat on the red-bricked steps of my porch. Acorns always fell from the tree regardless of the season. This time it might have been fall or winter but it was definitely around noon. The orange flowers along the small fence on my front lawn were open and facing west indicating noon.
He flexed his neck as he ran his hand behind it. The gray walkway pavement was cracked by overgrown weeds. Yet, he missed every tiny yellow dandelion.
A wispy forest of a mixture of October trees and evergreens danced, swaying their branches following the direction of the fresh cool wind —dampened by the dawn mist— that filled the air. Soft chirping and swift flapping of wings in all kinds of spring colors with a mixture of clacking shoes and echoes of laughter spread through the halls of the grand Maison standing at the center of the bordering thin forest. The cerulean blue waters of the English Channel glistened as the first light reached its surface. Four times, the tallest tower rumbled as the ringing of bells began and magnified by eight. This was the music of the countryside.
I re-adjusted myself on the cold hard surface of the window sill as the ringing in my ears continued. The creases on my new dress ruffled together and my bare legs grazed against the four-feet-tall impersonal white wall beneath the window. I let out a sigh before standing on my feet. My small toes curled and the wooden floor creaked slightly. I gripped the rusted handles of the arched white windows, my upper arms tightened as I pulled them close. Taking a few steps toward the roughly white-painted stiff four-post bed, I grabbed my teddy-bear-brown vintage winter cardigan and like a sloth, I put on my flats. Walking by the small nook leading to my dark wood door, I turned to my left where an ornate mirror hung. My brown curls were tied in a loose bun and my overgrown fringes were braided to the side to keep from slinging into my eyes. I fixed the position of my red glasses and forced a smile to myself.
Somehow, I still looked like a naive teenager when I should be an adult.
Other residents shuffled around their rooms and door after door clicked open and slammed closed. I let the nervousness escape through my lips once more before stepping out.
My shoulder slumped down from the weight of a foreign hand. The owner’s teeth were considerably white and straight. She kept the grin on her face for some time. “Georgiana, oui?” I was forced forward as another hand patted me. “Bienvenue, new girl.” With a quick wave of her hand, the girl directed towards the marble steps leading down to the hall. Our steps aligned quickly in silence as we descended and entered one of the large rooms.
The dining room had one table left open where a priest sat with folded hands and faded blue eyes. He unfurled his shaking hands from each other and gently offered the seats around him. As he tried to speak, his voice croaked and his Adam’s apple protruded, the layered thin skin bobbing along— “Bonjour, Georgiana.”
I was twenty-three years old and sitting in a dark empty classroom, waiting for class to begin with an hour to spare. This classroom would always be empty during this time in the morning.
It was during the middle of my third year after I’d transferred into a new institute, leaving behind the state college I spent entire days with friends. This private school focused only on what I loved, art. It was everything I’d expected an art school to be, though I never really imagined much of it, to begin with. I never thought of going to an art school.
I was seventeen when my Studio Art teacher asked me, “Where do you plan to study after you graduate?”
I hadn’t thought much about life outside of high school. All I’d ever seen was the ground under my feet. I didn’t like looking up. Everything is just so bright and blinding.
I didn’t apply to any art school even after he’d recommended a few or when other teachers started to give me options I could take. I didn’t like the idea of pursuing art or rather, didn’t like thinking about it. Too many options made my head hurt. If I limited myself, if I kept limiting myself, things would be easily solved.
The Maison wasn’t an option I thought about. I just did it. I took off running one day and feared to look back. It’s where I ended up coincidentally. I guess.
I was twenty-three when I found myself in that empty room covering my eyes as I tried to stifle the tears of years of loneliness and fatigue.
I’d known for a long time; I just had no idea how in pain I was.
For anyone, looking back can be really painful but as I sat amidst all the people in the dining area, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the need to reminisce. Looking around again, everything in its place, I suddenly felt out of my element. I swallowed and shut my eyes. Here it was. Today marked the first of the coming two years.
I was twenty-three.
So, here it is again. After many other drafts, I’ve decided to repost and redirect to Wattpad. This is how it’ll be each chapter. Thank you for reading!