Green Eyes

May 12, 2010
Walking down the sidewalk, the sun beat down on my head. A trickle of sweat ran down one side of my face. A light breeze pushed my dress against my legs and my hair away from my face. I tugged gently at my light white summer dress. My converse made a muffled thud, thud on the pavement of the street. Softly, my foot hit something in the road that made a papery sound as it slide across the blacktop.

Looking down, I saw a folded piece of paper. No, paper wasn’t quite right. It was more like parchment. Bending down to look at it, I noticed that there was a date written on the front in ink. 1863, New York. Briefly, I remembered from a few years back in middle school when we learned about the Civil War. In the back of my mind, it registered that this must have been during the civil war.

“Wow,” I breathed, gingerly picking up the note. Suddenly, a whooshing sound filled my head, so loud that even if a lion roared in my ear I wouldn’t have been able to hear it.

“Oof!” I exclaimed, putting a hand to my head. I landed somehow in a little patch of plushy green grass. Slowly stepping up, I looked around. My eyes widened.

I was impossibly back in time! Now, instead of the occasional car I was used to, I saw classical horses and buggies. No jeans were in sight. Instead, I saw young ladies dressed in lavish clothing walking around with straight backs. They gave me strange looks, even though they were my age, as if I was not as important.

A kind-looking lady came up to me. She was slightly plump, with red cheeks and some light lipstick on. “Elizabeth! For shame! What are you doing here! You are not a young little girl of two anymore! You are a young lady of seventeen and you must act like it.” She scolded me. Taking me by the hand, she led me down the street.

I was still wondering who she was and how she knew my name when we came to an ornate house with a tall iron gate. Leading me inside, she herded me through the door. “Elizabeth, I don’t know what you were doing playing in the park and I won’t ask, but please change out of your nurse’s uniform.” When she saw me about to protest and ask some questions, she held up her hand. “I am your mother. Now, let Mary help you change.”

Meekly, I nodded. A maid appeared by my side. I guessed she was Mary, so I followed her up a flight of stairs to a bedroom that was twice the size of mine back home. A tiny breath found its way out of me and escaped into the silent room. My eyes roved around the room, taking it all in. On a chair by the sumptuous four poster bed lay a dress of a rich blue, reminding me of something Scarlett O’Hara would wear.

Quietly, Mary helped me into my dress. The hoopskirts and corset were a bit of work, but other than that, the petticoats and the actual dress went on rather easily. When the corset was tightened, I could hardly breathe, bringing silent tears to my eyes about both the lack of air and the predicament I was in.

After dressing was done, the maid left me for a few moments to get my bearings before it was supper time. I walked around the room. I put my hand up to my throat, rubbing the back. As my hand came towards the front of my dress’ neckline, I came across something. Pulling it off, I held it in my palm, watching as the light reflected off it.

It was a cameo. It was made of an iridescent white stone with a strange symbol carved into it. The symbol was both a mix of swirls and triangles, something that seemed tangible, and yet, not. Shaking my head and scrunching my eyes shut tight together, I walked a few steps to the mirror so I could put the brooch back on. It was a wonder how it got there. Just thinking about it gave me a small case of the willies. At the same time, I felt as if this brooch was somehow important, like it would be needed soon.

I looked in the mirror to put the cameo back on when I stopped dead cold. Gone were my locks of long brown hair and dark brown eyes. In their place were curls of orange hair and emerald green eyes. I watched the eyes of a stranger widen in surprise and their mouth drop open before I realized that it was me.

Sluggishly, I put my head in my hand. Questions ran through my head. How could this have happened? Whose body was I in? Faintly, I heard a call for me, saying supper was here. As if waking up from a stupor, I willed myself to stand up and walk with my head held high downstairs to the family of a stranger.

Just before I left the confinements of the other girl’s room, a quick question wiggled its way into my head. How am I going to get out of here?

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