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My Dear, Evangaline

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The sun felt so soft on my face. The rays hitting my skin, like a soft cotton blanket. My eyes closed, lashes touching my cheeks. I pull a flower to my nose, the pink petals rubbing against my face. The smell of pollen is sweet to me, and I taste sausage and eggs. Only I know that it's just the smell from inside the house, where my grandmother stands. Making me and my grandfather omelets. This wasn't out of the normal for my grandmother. Grandpa was probably still in bed, or sitting in his chair, reading the Bible. I was used to being left alone; Just me, myself, and my field.

Not a lot of people understand the connection I have with my field. It's just a little place that I think of as home. I love the sun, the smell of my dress, the smell of the flowers, the smell of light sweat. The only place that I could be myself, and loose my thoughts was here in this field. Things haven't always been so easy for me.

When I was five years old, I was walking along the river in the forest with my mother. My mother meant the world to me. She was an amazing roll model all through my life, until that day. We jumped onto some rocks, holding hands, laughing. I said, “I love you Momma!” and she laughed and said, “I love you, my dear Evangaline!” she said, her voice soft because of the laughing. I almost slipped, but grounded myself again. “Be careful, Eva!” she yelled. She was preoccupied with my safety, when she tried to balance her weight, she fell. She screamed. “Momma!” and all I heard was a thunk. I screamed for help, but no one came.

So here I am, seven years later, laying in a field, remembering my life. I sit up, my dark brown hair falling over my light green eyes. I wish I didn't have a care in the world. That I didn't have to eat. That I didn't even have to breathe, so that I would never have to leave my safe haven. With every step I take closer to my home, the more memories that reappear in my mind.

I lay by the lake near my grandmother's home. My second cousin, Jacob, runs and jumps into the lake. There was a long rope that hung from a tree that was close to the lake. You could climb onto the rope, and wrap it around your legs, and jump off of it. I did it a few times, but fear got the best of me before I resorted to the side of the lake. I sunk my toes into the mud. I didn't like the texture, but the mud was cool on my hot feet. I watch as Jacob jumps from the rope countless times, screaming for joy as he hits the warm water. The lake was deep, and since my mother drowned, I hadn't really cared for deep watery places. Especially if they're dark like the lake was. Jacob climbed on the rope once again. This time, wrapping the rope around his right leg. He swung forward and then back. He kicked his left leg against the tree, and lost his balance. The rope wrapped around Jacob's leg like a python. Squeezing the blood flow off.

Now I think of Jacob, and his prosthetic leg. My life wasn't ruined by Jacob's leg loss, but sure, it changed things. We don't go to the lake anymore. I come back into reality with a slam. The door shuts behind me, and I find myself sitting down at the island. Grandma serves a big plate of mushroom omelet to me. I scarf it down, without second thought. “Hungry, Eva?” she asks, a happy look on her face. “Yes ma'am. You have no idea.” She smiles and picks the plate up when I'm finished. I rush to the back of our little house, and into my room. A double bed on a brass frame sits there. Thin white curtains blow in a light breeze, and sunlight falls like a waterfall on rocks. I grab a picture of my mother and I before she died. “This is going to be the most beautiful summer, ever. I love you Momma. Don't slip on those rocks.” I set the picture frame down, and sat in the window sill, looking out into the wide open field. Don't slip on those rocks.





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krarthurs said...
Jun. 1, 2011 at 5:23 pm
This was a beautiful piece. I loved the fact that you incorporated hope with such a melancholy story. I really liked Eva and the story about Jacob was slightly frightening. I loved it though because of how sudden and tragic it was. Very good job. Keep writing!
 
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