All That Glitters

Irene Silver considered herself ordinary. With her mouse brown hair and heart shaped face, she believed that there were no really distinguishable features about her except her eyes, a brilliant blue the color of the sky on an early morning- and even then she was just another twenty-two year old, another face to pass over and forget in the midst and havoc of the crowd. True to her name, she was like silver. Oohed and ahhed over her luster and shine until better, more valuable people came along; the white gold and platinum.
As a teenager, the brunette was the epitome of perfect. Always followed by a trail of admirers who appreciated her social benefits more than the little things about her, the things that made her Irene. The fact that she twirled her hair when thinking or the way she refused to use a pen did not matter. What did matter was her father, the mayor, and her mother, the head of the women’s club. And in a little town such as Windham, Colorado, where Rosie’s grandmother would know about Rosie’s friend’s friend’s uncle’s friend’s daughter sleeping with the gardener- how scandalous- a town where few ever really made it out, Irene was a princess- or simply a pawn of manipulation. Her boyfriends’ fathers, who never asked her how she was, but always asked of the doings of the mayor. Her friends’ mothers, thinking they were being discreet in their, ‘Hello Irene, how are you? Is your mother free today? I’d love to have tea’s, pathetically hoping for an invitation to the next club party. Yet she learned to deal with it, creating robotic responses to queries of her father and mother that became automatic ‘yes, he is fine’s and ‘she’ll contact you later’s that were perfected over time.
Perhaps that was the reason Irene never expected to be anything but the next head of the women’s club, the wife of the future mayor- everyone knew it would be Thomas ‘Tommy’ Renegade, football team quarterback and debate team extraordinaire. She accepted every homecoming queen sash with a smile as she stood in faux pride next to Tommy, pretending that none of it was getting old. The admiration for the assets that were not her own, the standards- the plastic of it all.
Every day seemed to be the same- until Davey. Sent away by his disapproving family, claiming he was wayward. He disagreed. ‘I’m just free and they can’t bear to see me so,’ he stated, looking straight at her as no one had ever done before. Something about his music, his poems, the way his orbs penetrated hers seemingly staring into the very core of her caught her attention- and her naturally quiet disposition that was only made loud by those around her caught his. He showed her to be free, to break the metal bonds of society in a tangle of limbs and new places, showing her in more ways than one that her life was to be lived and not destined to be guillotined by the expectations of the small town in Colorado.
Her family did not approve. Tommy Renegade did not approve. The darkness of the night enveloped the sound of a scuffle, then a shout. There was a splattering of blood and a sickening crunch of limbs; Davey was snatched from her life by the vicious claws of intolerance, flying back home to New York City with his face and body decorated with the blues and purples of bruises that served as a reminder of Irene. The bruises and broken limbs eventually faded and disappeared, just as Davey’s memory of her- slowly creeping out of his mind as they overlapped with one another, simply becoming another story. Life continued for the brunette girl, and whereas the first love with Davey began to fade, the beliefs and thoughts he instilled in her did not. For the first time, Irene felt as if she did not have to be bound to a small town in Colorado in which she owed nothing to- yet she played along to the act that was Windham, staying the silver necklace of the town, along with the gold bracelet that was her mother and the platinum ring that was her father- for she was afraid to exit the stage where it was not written in the script, so perfected by years of tradition. Yet the thought of escaping plagued her mind, never quite resting- such as the thoughts of a lioness, trapped in a cage at the zoo, displayed for all to see.
Irene Silver eventually graduates and leaves Windham in a crowd of silent, critical stares, her leaving a far better accomplishment for her than the slip of paper that was her diploma. She eventually becomes a flight attendant, satisfying her want to travel and make up for the time when Windham was her world. Irene thinks it is funny how her life seems to be centered around uniforms; the white dresses for the debutante ball, the black and gold of her cheerleading attire, the cardigans that seemed so necessary to wear at the time for they were the only ‘acceptable’ outerwear for the ladies of Windham- and now it was her uniform for work that she had to don and put up with.
She meets Frank on a flight to Italy, where as she pours his soda he stops her and tells her that she is so beautiful- then asks why she does not smile more. Her hand stills, stopping the flow of drink into his cup, and ponders for a moment. Their eyes meet, his chocolate orbs on her cerulean ones, then she turns and shakes her head slightly, handing Frank his cup and walking away. They meet once more on his flight back from Italy, and that’s how it begins. Irene’s love for Frank and his love for her is so different than what it was with Davey; Frank makes her feel beauteous in the way he sends her flowers unannounced and how he always wraps his larger hand around her small ones, no matter where they are.

There are nights when Frank comes home to Irene with the weight of liquor heavy in his eyes that she so loved. He would hold her hand and whisper sweet nothings with the smell of drink in his every breath- and then he would get angry; furious, even. He would wave his arms about and his face that she caressed every morning would become redder and redder until his large fists landed their weight onto her. She would emit a sharp cry, then wake up the next morning with bruises marking her body- and to a pleading of apologies, flowers, and breakfast in bed. And Irene took Frank back. Even as the nights of violence became more frequent and the guilt in his eyes grew with each night that he landed his hands on her, he stayed with her, and she stayed with him. For it was Davey who taught her that she could be the gold, the platinum- yet it was Frank who taught her that all that glitters is not gold.





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