Nameless Beauty

November 19, 2011
By vintage BRONZE, Oakland, California
vintage BRONZE, Oakland, California
3 articles 1 photo 3 comments

She turned away from the door, away from the lock that kept her in. The window offered her the only escape from the reality of her confinement. She ran her finger along the glass, tracing each barbaric pillar of the iron fence visible down bellow.

Her pristine fingers- the nails were smooth so that they brushed noiselessly across the lace of her dress. She hated them, their vulnerability. Elegant though they were, they slid helplessly along the wood of the door or fluttered to her lap in quiet surrender. When she was a child, her hands, like any farm girl, were rough and dirty from chores and games. Then, age brought with it beauty. The boys no longer puller her braids, and the girls envied her curls. That first time it happened, with a boy from the next farm over, she had come with him to see the horses. She was not naïve; she knew what he wanted when he slid his hand over her out stretched palm as she reached for the animal’s head. It was the first time, but not the last. Her fingers would comb through her hair automatically before she entered the house. The blades of grass or hay fell to the ground along with her innocence.

These affairs were inconsequential when she saw no future, and luckily fate did not force her hand with any unfavorable disgraces. If she had stayed in the village, gallivanting with provincial farm boys, one day (no doubt) one of them would have gotten a ring around her finger. She would have died where she had lived, anonymous in her conventionality. However, temptation sent a golden messenger, in the form of a wealthy baron in search of undiscovered beauties. He ended his search while amusedly enduring the village church service, and from that moment when he saw her slender profile against the stained glass, her fate was sealed.

He brought her away with him. He was one of those rich men who knew everyone worth knowing. She was whisked away from the smell of hay, the stark beat of the sun, everything that she had scorned for its rawness. Yet, she felt a pang at letting it all go.

The girl had not been born away on account of any love, but only served as a newfound kind of project. For this aristocrat was prominent in the artistic circles. He fancied himself to have an extremely educated eye for talent and beauty, and had the money to indulge in this passion. His new treasure quickly became a model for the most renowned painters in the country. She stared for hours over their shoulders; only the sweet felicity of shimmering jewels and new clothes showered upon her made the boredom bearable. Like those many years before, she knew what the men wanted. But their desires now consumed her life and her future. She was loved deeply by all who painted her. They loved the curve of her neck, and the majestic lines of her fingers. In the end it was not a painter. It was a rich man who promised her everything. He adorned her ring finger with a glinting diamond. He brought her to his house, one of the many he seldom visited, and he held the key to the room because he liked to know his valuables were secure.

She turned away from the window then. The polished floor and furniture, the carefully arranged flowers offered no comfort in their stark, calculated loveliness. Even in this richly adorned life she was still anonymous, but it was not the well lived in role of yet another mother, another wife. It was the nameless beauty that she had become, that had trapped her in herself. How she longed to have pulled away those many years ago. To know that all those men wanted her should have been enough. It would have made all the difference if she hadn’t given in. Now she was held in a gilded cage because, like her husband, she was greedy. Oh, to have not needed to be loved so desperately, to have never tasted the giddiness of passion.

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This article has 1 comment.

vintage BRONZE said...
on Nov. 29 2011 at 6:17 pm
vintage BRONZE, Oakland, California
3 articles 1 photo 3 comments
Can anyone help me? I don't know how to vote or to tell my friends and family how to vote.

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