The gloomy fall day was a perfect indicator for how she felt on the inside. Some saw beauty in the falling leaves, the ever changing scenery, a soft breeze that felt like a cold kiss on the cheek. Others couldn’t understand why anyone would consider it to be their favorite season. As it turned out, autumn and Evangeline had more in common than she thought.
She stepped inside the old Victorian house that she called home, and gently closed the door behind her. The door latched closed behind her, placing her white leather purse on the oak dining room table. The marble floors screamed success, and the walls brandished dozens of self made portraits. She never believed she was talented enough to sell them, so she created her own personal art gallery.
She was a gorgeous girl, mid-twenties standing five foot even with flowing blonde hair that danced on her shoulders with the slightest burst of wind. A friend of hers would always say she was a handful, making a joke about her small stature. Once, she hinted at him being correct, remarking that it depended whose palm was holding her.
Perhaps it was more about her wanting to open up about every horrible thing she’d been through, and by the same token, what she had put herself through. Undoubtedly rough on herself, like a tour through boot camp, except the drill instructor was none other than Evangeline. All she wanted in this life was to feel safe, and she was unsure why she wasn’t happy with what she had now.
If she had to describe herself, she’d liken herself to someone who colored outside the lines. She knew she was talented, special and destined for something bigger than whatever this was, but it was hard not to dwell on the past at times. It was for this reason that she kept a shoe box of photographs that she’d dig into for whenever she felt like the gray sky she glanced at through the window.
As she strolled through the living room and towards a door off to the left, next to her entertainment stand, she pushed the door open and quickly closed it behind her. The walls were decorated with all kinds of flowers. Art made from roses, tulips, violets. It was her own personal space away from everything that could possibly bring her down. Part of the reason she chose to put flowers all over the walls was because she felt that it was the one thing she could never draw as she wanted. It bothered her, but she was beginning to understand that she loved her imperfections.
They were important.
For everybody treats the girl who seems perfect as exactly that, and nobody took the time to get to know the real her. She was more than just a pretty girl, she was layered, with hidden depths that ran as deep as the vacation coves you see on television. The ones that would be exclusively explored with a film crew and a million dollar budget. There were only a handful of people who cared enough to actually know that.
“That word again,” she thought to herself and chuckled. Handful. She never thought a word - that word would encapsulate everything she was and is so nicely. It felt like it wrapped her in a bow and put her under the tree.
Reaching for a stepping stool, she placed it down and stepped n top of it, grabbing for the shoebox. She pulled it down and sat down on the stool, placing the box in her lap. As she took the lid off and placed it next to her on the floor, she pulled out a stack of photographs from behind a white cardboard divider. Thumbing through them, her emotions were mixed. Some of these memories were great, things she never wanted to forget. Things that changed her forever, and nights that she had since forgotten.
A smile overcame her when she found a picture of who she still believed was her first and only true love. She still blamed herself, but began to accept it more knowing that he was happy. She always had a different outlook on love than most, but she knew for a fact that if you really cared about somebody, all you want is them to be happy. He was, and she took solace in this.
One photo after another, being placed behind the next. Next was a picture of her and a group of friends hanging around a campfire. She wrote on the back, Florida, 2014. She missed her friends, and she often felt alone, but she knew it was vital to be accepting of yourself before you could ever be accepting of anyone else.
Evangeline placed the pictures back in the box and reached from the other side of the divider. Again, taking out a handful of pictures, she had them in her hands and began to cry. Tears streamed down her face and onto the pictures, causing her to let out a muffled, “fuck.” before wiping her eyes and standing up, doing a quick pace around the room.
She sifted through one more time, the first photo being her old style Victorian house with a glowing green lawn, and sunflowers planted in her garden out front. The next, was Evangeline, in her backyard, playing with her daughter as her husband cooked on the grill. A massive above ground pool was seen in the near distance.
She began tearing up once more, and decided this was enough for today. She put the photos back in the box, and flipped over the divider card face up. It read, “The Future I Want, by Evangeline Carter.”