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Naivety This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Pink was the color of girlish fashion; red, the color of love. As Eliana Michaels sat before her open chest of drawers, she could think of nothing else. Scattered about her were the remnants of a past life - the life before her marriage. She rummaged through the drawers, her hands grasping at the pink laced dust ruffle from her childhood bed, brushing against the rough exteriors of seashells from her first visit to the beach when her family moved to Australia. As she dug deeper, she found the scattered rose petals she and her sister had saved, the pearl necklace that was an heirloom from a distant relative she had never met; a teacup, shattered on one side, reflected her girlish passion for all things pink. A candle, never lit, she placed on the cold ground along with the other items, all removed from their resting places in her search for the one item needed.


Under another set of decaying flowers, their vitality long ago lost, she found it. The scrapbook, a gift from her mother before Eliana was sent to live in America, sat perched at the bottom of the drawer. She leafed through the filled pages – pages that carried memories long ago lived and just as soon forgotten. How silly, she thought, that her entire childhood could be played out in a matter of twenty pages. It seemed strange to think that, in the turn of a page, she could go from her first day of school in Germany to the six years she had spent in Australia, while turning one page more landed her to when her barely thirteen-year-old self had been sent to live in America. And still, from there she could flip through the pages of the rest of her life until she came to the very last page. To Evelyn.


Here, Eliana stopped to stare at the photo of her newborn daughter, just days old. There was almost nothing of the girl’s father reflected in her face, and the resemblance she and her daughter shared made Eliana’s mind race. She will be nothing like me, she inwardly declared. It cannot come to...I will never allow it. As Eliana’s eyes continued to be fixated on the page, the unbalance she had created in rummaging through the drawer caused something to roll forward. She placed the scrapbook aside to turn her attention to the cause of the disturbance. A tube of lipstick, she knew not from where, had tumbled from its hiding place in the shadows of her possessions. How laughable, she thought. Tossing the lipstick into the pile with the rest of the belongings torn from the drawer, Eliana stood, catching her own reflection in the mirror. She paused momentarily, just long enough to see the mark and be reminded of the previous night. Touching her hand to her cheek, she moved closer to the mirror, her free hand reaching for something to cover the bruise. Now, make-up could only serve one purpose for her – to conceal the bruises and scars of crushed childhood dreams. For, at that moment, she knew. Pink was the color of girlish naivety; red, the color of spilt blood.




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