‘The Pictures We Paint’ By Reenlemon

The sun had set over the beautiful land of Vonlea leaving a pink tinged, amber hue in her mist when I arrived at the party Daisy invited me to. Burying my toes in the warm powdered sand, I’m determined to enjoy my night, even if it may be by myself.

As I sit on a overturned brittle log, the happy laughter of the people around me filled my ears, I wondered what would happen if I stood and danced. I cringed at the thought.

I was perfectly content sitting here gazing in in revealed adoration at the powdery, stars that smouldered in the western mist as the wild blackness smothered me in undeniable comfort.

Before us, the fiery bonfire raged as it eagerly devoured the timber. White hot embers tumbled out every now and then only to be nudged back in by one of the guys. It roared gloriously as it flickered and waved before my eyes. Glowing a exquisite, scarlet red, it’s tips a ethereal, delicate orange.

I sighed, nudging the sand some more as the soothing ocean swept back and forth in a rythmitical melody that had became a comfort to me over the years. It’s azure brilliance shimmering softly in the elusive twilight as ripples ran through its turquoise waters.

This was the part I loathed the most, when people began to ask others for a dance. One by one accepting the offers, until it’s was just me- poor, sad, ugly, little Amelia, siting silently on the log, my face burning red with humiliation, embarrassment, shame.

I lowered my eyes to the ground, not bearing to watch the happy twirls of the pretty girls I had envied all my life. Or the men that had never gave me a second glance or thought.

Minutes passed, then hours. People began making their way home. Couples walking together, arms wrapped around each other, whispering sweet words, so blindingly oblivious to anyone else.

Jealously wreaked my soul as I stood up smartly. I didn’t want to go home yet, the night was so alluring and delightful that I decided at that moment to go for a quick walk down the back lane that ran around the coastline. It was always the perfect remedy for a troubled mind.

The moist, beautiful wind whistled cunningly across the wild trees that lined the lane as it caressed my face loving, greeting me like a warm, tender freind.

Oh how I loved the wind! It blew dew wet and cool along the grassy roads, as I held my arms out, embracing it’s familiar presence, letting it tear through my long dark hair.

There was a queer exhilaration and expectancy in my heart, the night always did that to me. Washing away my pain replacing it with soft relief.

Wild cherry bushes grew lined symmetrically along the pathway growing quite ornamental, it’s branches heavy with its crimson fruits. I picked a couple, popping them in my mouth, sighing contently. I filled my lungs with clean, sweet air, then exhaling deeply.

Oh who cared about appearances, freinds, manners and whats-not when there was this beautiful, fragrant world to live in and enjoy.

I froze, a group of clearly drunk men were walking towards me, sing lewd songs on the top of their voices. I searched for a escape route but found nought. Taking a deep breath I walked quickly with my head down, hoping, praying that they’d ignore me or even better, not see me at all.

Of course they didn’t.

Their eyes zero on me hungrily, mouths drooling with tantalising anticipation. A sad little girl walking down a dark, empty lane at the dead of night, I mean who wouldn’t.
I gulp, fear creeping up my neck.

“What’s a little lady like you doing out all alone at night,” one of them ask me, whilst the others form silently a rough circle.

I try to scuttle away quickly, pretending I couldn’t hear them. Till one of them, the one who asked me the question, grabs hold of the tassels of my shawl.

My patience broke and I whirled round, tearing the cloth out of his grasp glaring menacingly at him, at least I hoped it looked menacing at that point I wasn’t sure.

“Fiesty are we, well I always like them with a bit of spice.” He snarls ruthlessly edging closer and closer.

My heart stopped beating. I could feel its sudden halt as its familar beat ceased. I let my eyes flutter close and sank to the ground, eyes open but unseeing.

“The gal sick, come let’s get out of here.” The men run away like the animals they are, prying on weak defenceless women. I gasped as my chest constricted painfully, was I to die here, alone like I always were?

Lying on the rough ground like a lost toy, I though about the life I had missed, the life that shimmered past me like a silky cloud, so close yet so far. Hands always reaching for it and when I did grasp it, it crumbled in my hands and slipped through my fingers like sand, I could almost hear it’s taunting laughter echoing hauntingly at my pathetic desperation.

How was it, that even in times of death I was always, always forgotten, left in the dust as unwanted property. Forlon tears cascade sideways down my face, dripping into my hair.

“No one would miss me,” I thought. Closing my eyes I prepared to die, waiting for death to blow his icy mist over my eyes and take my soul away.

I, Amelia Lissel, who had never lived was going to die.

Oh how unfair!

“A rather rough place to sleep don’t you think ma’am?” A tawny lad bent over me his voice filled with mirth.
“Mind you I suggest you sew up some leaves to make a blanket, gets cold at night.”

I couldn’t move though my mind was racing with thoughts. Who was this boy that had appeared suddenly?

“Oh go away,” I whispered, “I’m dying can’t you see.”

I waited for him to kneel down and ask me if he could help. Instead he exploded with laughter and bent down.

“Well girl, if your dying I think you should die in a hospital, maybe not on the ground outside, alone. Come on let’s take you back to home, where ever that is.” He heaved me up to my feet and I saw his face for the first time. Dark thick hair with mischievous green eyes. I knew him but somehow had no clue on his name. “Do you live around here? I’ve seen you before.”

“Yeah I do, now come on, we haven’t got all day or night one could say.” He held me by the waist and we hobbled slowly with my guidance towards my dwelling.

We reach my home and I slipped out of his grasp and thanked him for his help.

“Your welcome girl,” he tipped his hat and strode away.

When I got to my room, I immediately changed out of my damp clothes and into a light nightgown. I removed the doctors letter that I had gotten earlier from the post office, I had been suffering recently from heart pains and made a visit to the doctors. I gently open the envelope.

My hands trembled in anticipation and my heartbeat quickened, even though I knew that it couldn’t be something serious, my breath hitched nevertheless.

I froze, dazed. The letter slipped out my hands and swayed to the ground. No.

I could feel darkness looming over me, a chilling monstrosity weaved with dread and trepidation. It choked me, confined me, slowly breaking my sanity piece by piece. Hideous in nature but cowering behind a sheet of mistrustful beauty.

Its wet, slimy tendrils clawed at my throat, drenched in despair, leaving a depressing trail of gloom and sorrow in its wake. Reeking of regret, grief and affliction.

My fear had been following me all this time, my menacing companion, my artful enemy. It encased me in an atmosphere of suffocating standards, doubting my every move, every decision. It cursed me, praised me, warned me, fear controlled me.

It held me by the throat as prisoner but now fate would prise it’s fingers of my wrists, break its chain and I’d taste the bittersweet taste of freedom.

I would leave fear and fear would leave me.

I clutched the letter against my chest and sighed in relief, it would end soon, the disappointment, the constant dashing of hopes, the tears would soon dry and pain would fade to a dull throb. I tried to smile but my lips trembled.

I don’t want to die. I haven’t lived.

I wailed these words in my mind and sat up on my bed, glancing out the window, the moon looks whole and huge, as though it’s all mine.

I haven’t lived.

My life has been a sequence of meaningless events, a colourless blur of actions sown together by each breath I took. All the great emotions of life have passed me by, all the excitement, the love, the laughter. I had never got to experience any of that and now I’ll never will.

‘Dear Amelia Justice Lissel,’

An incident bobbed to the surface of my racing thoughts, nothing remotely satisfying had ever happen to me but certain events that had taken place along my drab existence came hurling along in my memory as though it had occurred yesterday. All unpleasant.

‘It’s in my regret to inform you that you have an advanced form of congestive heart failure.’

When I was sixteen and my cousin Ruth had announced that she was getting married, the whole family was delighted and for weeks the house was an uproar, dresses being brought, decorations being ordered. I eagerly awaited my invitation and even a bridesmaids dress.
I had received neither.

It was only a month ago that daisy finally told me that she overheard Ruth telling my mother that ‘she’d ruin the whole image of my wedding, better she doesn’t even come’ my own mother had wholly agreed.

‘There isn’t much you can do, I advise you to rest and eat plenty of greens. Try not to over exert yourself and make sure you buy the medicine I have enclosed below.’

When my father died and mother immediately took down his every picture, burnt every article of clothing, threw out his shoes, perfume, books. If I ever tried to object she’d force me to kneel of the burning concrete outside till I sobbed in apology. She wiped out every sign of her husband in shame and grief, forgetting he was my father too.

‘Personally I’d give you at least a year, after that year is up, a complete heart failure could occur at anytime, at any place. If you feel anymore sudden pains then immediately take two pills of the medication, it will help.’

When I was eighteen and fell in love with Caleb. I imagined he loved me as well since I gave him all that I had, showered him with gifts and money, all my time and energy was invested in him.

I was ecstatic when he did little as smile in my direction which was all he really did and when I found him in the park with Daisy, I realised he’d never love me, that no one in their right mind would. 

‘Feel free to contact me for any inquires, you could go to the capital and ask the specialists to lengthen that time with countless of surgeries but it’ll be extremely expensive and I’m afraid that there isn’t much hope for you case.’

When I was thrown into the pool that summer when I turned eight by girls who I thought were my friends, when I was humiliated at the public speaking contest at fifteen because the teacher thought it would be amusing if he called out my name as the winner but when I climbed up the stage, my face beaming, heart glowing, he told the whole school that I had gotten the lowest score instead. I can still hear the echoes of the students laughter to this day.

‘Your sincerely,
                  Doctor Andrew Truce’

I screwed up the letter in anger and threw across the room. Rebellion flared up in my soul and I became furious.

“All my life I have been trying to please people, where has that got me?” I paced back and forth across the room, my mind racing to a conclusion.

“I have been breathing an air of pretence, lies, evasions and I’m sick of it.” I pulled my hair out it’s neat bun and shook it out, letting it fall down my back.

“No more pleasing other, no more backing down, I will stand up for myself, I will refuse to be silenced. If I have one year left to live,” I grinned savagely at my reflection on the window. ” well then, let’s live it well.”

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