Changing Faces - Part Seven
She doesn't want to hurt others; that was never her intention. But hating yourself is a dangerous thing, and in time it is not enough. Now Annette is long gone, disapeared back to the nameless, faceless women who guard her from her insane mother, back to her private island of peace, the seminary. And the true hating can begin.
Colette stared out the north window, drink in hand. It was on e of those gray, drippy days that made you glad you were inside a home with a fireplace. Colette pulled a dusty green blanket tighter about her shoulders, attempting to create a pocket of warm air about her lean frame. In the last few months, Colette's build had gone from fashionably healthy and a bit plump to withdrawn and painfully thin. Eloise had noticed this, and seen how little Colette ate at the dinner table. Eloise had tsk-tsked, and insisted Colette eat more.
So Colette had. She'd eaten more, and every night afterward she'd laid upon her bed. Her stomach felt so full it made her feel sickened, and she could feel bile rising in her throat. And every night, she'd lept from the quilts and bolted for her waste-can, and made certain that she did not feel so full.
The fireplace crackled, pulling her from her self-defeating inner-monologue. She picked up a dropping corner of the blanket, and shuffled closer to the firey grate's warmth. It didn't help.
Annette had written her a letter last week; it was very cheery, full of idle chatter and gossip-- very..blank. It said that she was to spend the holiday with her best friend Janet, and she was certain Mere didn't mind, did she?
Colette gazed down at the fireplace. Flames cracked up, hot, passionate colors of red and orange, and, at their hotest, blue and white.
A peice of paper crackled and glowed before turning to ash beneath her accusing gaze, incirerating in the fire. The last words visible before the ravenous fire devoured it were, 'Love, Annette.'
Outside, away from the warmth of the fireplace, was the dripping wet lawn. It was chilly, as well as being the afermentioned wet, and it was the kind of night few would ventur out on.
Raven crouched under the protection of an overhanging canopy of leaves. They protected her from the worst of the dripping rain and biting cold air, but could not save her from the angry, bloodshot gaze of the woman inside the house.
She pulled her legs underneath her arms, trying to warm her knees with her elbows. Her nearly waist length red-hair was damp from the dripping rain. Reaching up with one hand, she flicked a raindrop from her nose.
Ever since that night were Mere had that horrible fit, it was as if Colette was trying to kill herself excruciatingly slowly. The beating got worse; they tended to happen whenever it was a bad day or Mere felt sick. Raven had quickly learned the best way to avoid them was to avoid Colette.
She didn't bother telling Eloise; the old biddy was of the impression that Raven was either 'mad or bad' and that it took a good, firm hand to guide her.
Raven wished mightly there was something she could do; she knew most of Mere's anger was due to her appearance. If she could be like Annette, or even better, then everything would be better.
Of course, the chances of her ending up anything like her perfect elder sister were slim to none.....
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