A new version

March 4, 2010
By
To Audrey, New Years always seemed to be a time of reminiscing of years past. Sometime nostalgia seemed more pungent than others, and this was one of those years. For two years her life appeared as a whirlwind caught in a rut; never actually going anywhere, but not seeming to land into a monotonous routine. It had been years since she felt secure in the present, let alone the future. How could one choice lead to such a disruption? Sure it had been a daring decision, but still. Audrey felt she would never understand the path she really chose that day, two years ago, when the New Year had seemed to be bring excitement into her life. The excitement of friendship, endings, beginnings, and long awaited adventures.

Thinking about this made Audrey’s room cold around her and the view out her window became hazy. She had grown to dislike looking back on these past years; always wondering what they could have been. Not wanting her mother to come through the door and find her in yet another trance by the window with a book fallen to the side, she drew herself up from the window seat and began getting ready for bed. Mechanically, she undressed in front of the closet and put on her nightgown. She had grown into the habit of doing things while her mind was unaware of it, such as the routine of getting dressed whether in the morning or night. After she was clothed, Audrey sat down in front of her vanity mirror and finally came back to reality. Why would any find beauty in her childlike face that stared back at her? Of course, she wasn’t ugly. She had always contained a classic look about her, both in her look and style, but that was nothing for a guy to swoon over. Then again, men never really swoon; they leave that to the reckless of heart, such as herself.

Two years ago, in February, Audrey had so readily given her infatuated heart to a man she knew was to old for her. She knew it would not end well, but her curiosity got the best of her, allowing her to sell out many friendships and ideals she once held the highest regard for. Certainly she was not the only one at fault, but now felt she was the only one to blame. She could have stopped it or made different choices, but what girl of fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen does not become enthralled with a possible romance? Surely her friends would have done the same…. Right? Still, she could not remove the aching she felt whenever this subject arose in her mind or whenever her mother looked at her. It was an experience that turned into something more than she had bargained for.

The reflection of her face in the mirror became too much for Audrey. She retried her brush from the draw of the vanity before turning away from the hideous reminder of who she was and began to brush her hair slowly and methodically, as if it would erase all the thoughts swimming around in her head. She tried to turn her thoughts from the oppressive past and vowed to make this New Year count. For a minute, determination pumped in her veins, giving her strength, but as usual, it only lasted a minute. Nothing ever looked like it would be certain again and for once in her life this mystery was not appealing.





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