cuimhinliom: (I'm not that girl)
It was at least an hour before the sun would be up. Kathleen stood shivering in her cape, down where the boats were docked. A few boatmen were out, getting ready for the morning trade. They looked oddly at the well-dressed miss. One or two called out rude comments that she ducked her head and pretended not to hear.

She shouldn't be here. She was supposed to be married in ten hours to Lord Kearney. Her father had been so pleased when she'd accepted the man; her mother had been so proud. And now she was risking it all, for what? A golden haired stranger with emerald eyes who'd swept her into a waltz at the stroke of midnight the night before?

He was handsome, aye, and his voice sang with the music of home rather than the harsh English notes that surrounded her in a ballroom in London. His eyes spoke of forests and secrets buried in them. All day the thought of him had haunted her, until she'd slipped away, midafternoon when she was supposed to be napping, to meet him in the park in the center of the square. He'd kissed her and spoke of destiny and love and souls in a way that no man ever had. Her fiance was far more staid. A good man. Solid. A powerful leader in Parliament.

But he had none of the romance that thrilled a young girl's heart.

She shouldn't be here, clutching a note in her gloved hand. What sort of girl eloped on the eve of her wedding with another man? But she couldn't make her feet turn around and go back home as they should.

She shivered again as the cold morning wind whipped her cape around her. There were footsteps and she turned, smiling, expecting her lover. It was another woman though, hair black and eyes the color of amethysts, a color no one's eyes should be. She gave the woman a nervous smile and moved to step out of her way, but the woman grabbed her, eyes glittering strangely, spinning her, pressing in close and hissing in her ear, "Whore. Did you think it would be so easy to take him from me?"

Pain ripped through her as a dagger slid across her throat. She fell to the ground, the world going dark, as the clock across the water chimed four times.
cuimhinliom: (winds of change)
December 24, 1996

She bit her lip, staring at the letter, an old habit she'd picked up some time ago. Jason said it was hot and made him think of his teeth on her lip. Robby just blushed, and she figured that meant he was thinking the same thing. She'd smirk at Jason, stretching a bit, showing off for his approval and make some comment or another, turning it into what he wanted, which was just teasing anyway, as everyone knew she was Robby's girl. But really it was just a nervous habit.

She fiddled with the piece of paper some more, running her fingers along it, tracing the letters on the page with one finger. She shrugged, irritated and grabbed her lighter, starting to light one edge, then stopped with the flame flickering in her hand. She put it out and tossed both lighter and letter on her bed among the stuffed animals and her new Garbage CD. She found she couldn't actually burn it. At least not sober. There were pills in her vitamin jar, and she started to take one, when a picture caught her eye. Taped up in the corner of her dresser mirror, it was usually covered with a hat or her feather boa, or a pair of stockings tossed up there. They'd all fallen aside, or been cleaned by her mother in a fit of hope. And there was the picture.

She put the bottle down with a sigh and rubbed at her temples. Her school uniform was tossed on the floor. She picked it up and moved it to the hamper. Then she was cleaning everything, putting it away furiously. She was surprised to feel her cheeks wet with tears. She went back to the letter, staring at it and slowly sitting on the bed. When she glanced up at the mirror she frowned to see the black traces down her cheeks. She scrubbed at them, just smearing it more. With a sigh, she got up and moved to the bathroom, scrubbing her face clean. She was pale, her eyes a bit too red when she stared back at them in the mirror. The blue seemed duller. Her mouth tasted like stale cigarettes and she brushed her teeth twice. Three times.

She put her make up back on, slowly, and sparingly, covering the redness, adding some color. But no eyeliner. Just one coat of a Christmas-y lipstick. She pulled off the black jeans and the too low cut top, tossing them in the hamper as well, then found a black velvet skirt and a green silk blouse. She brushed the knots from her hair, letting it fall down her back in waves. She even put a headband in.

Moving back to the bed, she looked at the letter again. Leaving the lighter there, she moved to her desk. She checked a box. She signed her name.

She carried it downstairs and placed it under the tree on top of her father's presents. Her mother came in, glancing at her in surprise when she saw how she was dressed.

"Keelia?"

Glancing up from wher she was kneeling, Keelia smiled slightly. "I thought maybe I could come to midnight mass with you."

Her mother tried not to grin too much. "I think that would be nice."

"I'll just go get my coat then." She hurried back upstairs.

Curious, her mother crossed to the tree and picked up the piece of paper. When Keelia's father came in a few minutes later, she was sitting on the couch, staring at it, and crying slightly. She held it out to him.

"She left this for you."

He took it, looking at it, afraid of the worst, then smiled slowly.

It was an acceptance letter from NYU. The box marked "Yes, I will be attending in the Fall of 1997" had a shaky check mark beside it.

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cuimhinliom: (Default)
Keelia Gallagher / Étáin

January 2010

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