Thursday, June 21, 2012

Anne DeCuir, Chp. 5, Gen. 4, 1780

     "Where is Anne?  Dinner has come and gone.  She should have been back hours ago!" Abigail placed her hand over her heart, feeling faint.  The thought of losing Anne, her poor, sweet, little Annie-Kins made her feel dizzy.  The world spun, and Abigail sat on the sofa, trying to catch her breath.  No doubt she was getting too old for these surprises.  Abigail had led a tough life, and the thought of losing the only thing that really grew close to her in her life made her feel like she was dying inside.
     Swallowing hard, she began to sing, as she did when Anne had nightmares.
     "Sweet little Anne,
      Quiet as can be,
      Quiet as the morning after a stormy sea
      Sweet little Anne 
      I won't ever leave you
      Close your eyes and know it's true
      Sweet little Anne,
      Everything is better now
      It will be true forever now
      Sweet little Anne,
      Quiet as can be
      Sweet little Anne, come back to me!


     Anne took a few cautious steps toward the woman, of whom she was sure was her great-grandmother.  But how was that possible?  Anne wondered if her mind was playing tricks on her.   Yet, nonetheless, Anne soon arrived right in front of the odd woman.

     The woman turned toward Anne.  Anne could not believe her eyes.  Was it really Elizabeth? Back from the dead?  It could not be...

     Anne, despite usually withdrawing from people besides Abigail, smiled.  An act of recognition, hope, delight.  Admiration.  She knew it must be Elizabeth.  She had seen the portrait in the house!  And this woman standing in front of her -- she had the same features.  The same hat!  It HAD to be her...

     Anne tried to sign something to the woman.  Tried to communicate.  
     "I am so sorry, Anne.  I do not understand those signs.  I wish you could speak to me.  I wish I could hear your beautiful voice again."  The woman was apologetic.

     Distrust flashed in Anne's eyes.  Fear.  Bewilderment.  Surprise.  Even a hint of shock.  Disappointment.
      Who are you, really? Anne's eyes seemed to ask.

     "I am your guardian angel.  Keep it a secret though.  You wouldn't tell anyone, would you?  Just call me Elizabeth.  You are my great-granddaughter." Elizabeth whispered.
     Anne shook her head sadly.  She wanted to cry.

     Elizabeth looked at her regretfully.  "You do not think I have been the best guardian angel, do you?"
     Anne looked away.  Elizabeth saw a flash of anger in the girl's eyes.
     "Do you know what Abigail is thinking?" Elizabeth asked.

     The anger in Anne was replaced with sadness, as well as a longing for her Aunt.  Slowly, she shook her head.
     "She misses you very much.  She is crying right now.  Singing and crying."

     Anne felt a sinking feeling inside.  I cannot go back.
     "Yes, you can.  Each day, you make a decision, Anne.  Today, you made the decision to stay silent.  You made the decision to run away.  You made the decision to give up on your father.  And you are trying to convince yourself that you cannot go back because you do not think they will understand."
      Anne felt a rise of indignation, embarrassment.  

     "Things seem different when you put them into words and then speak them, do they not?  But hasn't everything I said been true?"
     Anne glared at her great-grandmother.
     Elizabeth laughed.  "I take that as a yes."
     Anne shook her head.  
     "Oh, yes.  I almost forgot.  The issue with your father...  You think he pulled away from you, not the other way around?"
     Anne nodded.
     "It always seems like the parent should be invincible, strong, powerful.  But Melatiah is broken inside.  He really just misses your mother a lot.  He does not know how to parent you.  I am not making excuses for him.  He should have put you in front of his problems.  But he did not, and because of that, you must rise above his mistakes.  Sometimes it is the child that must be stronger than the parent.  If you care about your relationship with him, you must reach out to him.  You must help him cope.  He has a past life.  A life you know nothing about.  A life full of your mother.
     "And, just to let you know, your mother loves you and thinks about you each and every day."

     Anne looked down. She tried hard not to cry.  Mother!
     "Anne, I'd like to show you something."  Elizabeth said gently.  "Look around you."
     Anne took a cautious glance at the world surrounding her.

      The world seemed to give way to a meadow of a iridescent flowers.  Anne, in awe of its beauty, was sad because the meadow was deep into the woods, and no one would likely see it.  This beauty would never be appreciated as it should be!

     Anne took a few moments to enjoy the flowers and song of the birds.  Even selecting a few of her favorite flowers, Anne felt herself truly relax.

     "This will always be your special place, Anne.  This will always be a piece of you.  Of me.  Of the Beaumont line.  Our generations.  Our descendants.  They will always have a second home here."  Elizabeth stated as she gazed at the trees.  
     "Isn't it a shame that it is obscured from view by all of the other trees?  Few people venture out this deep into the woods.  Even fewer stop to appreciate the view.  Very few will really see its beauty."

     "You know what else, Anne?  I think this meadow is just like you."
     Anne froze, hanging on each word.  Goosebumps prickled her skin.

     "I believe each person has a destiny.  Talents.  A way to change the world.  This meadow cannot change the world very much if no one can see it or know that it's there."
     Anne, anxious, waited for Elizabeth to continue.
     "You are obscured by your refusal to speak out."

     "Although, unlike this meadow, you have the power to destroy what obscures you."
     Anne's face crumpled slightly, as she shook her head.  I cannot, her eyes said.  Please do not make me!
     "I cannot make you do anything, Anne.  But you have a choice.  You write, and that is wonderful.  But speaking out will be the only way to show people your meadow.  I'm not talking about this meadow we are standing in.  I'm talking about the meadow inside you.
     "Simple words will bring you so many privileges.  It will bring you your father back.  It will give you a better understanding of others.  And of you to others.  I know you can change life as you know it.  And I know you are unhappy now.  Words, for you, will be the key to unlock the door to happiness.  With your words, you will get through anything.  And, maybe, a little luck from your dear guardian angel, as well as the spirit above." Elizabeth chuckled.

     Realizing that Elizabeth might be right, Anne tried to break the invisible barrier between silence and sound.  She could not.  The three-year-old that made the vow to never speak would not let her.

     "You owe that three-year-old nothing.  Remember that we make our choices every day.  This day is not different.  You are smarter than that child.  Outsmart her.  Speak."
     Anne opened her mouth.  Took a deep breath.  The birds stopped chirping.  The wind stopped blowing.  Everything stopped.  "Will."  A sound of a twinkling star.  A mousy, shy voice.  A squeak, really.  But it was confident at the same time.  Small, but mighty.  Beautiful.
     "I will." Anne swallowed.  "I will show the world my meadow."


     It was getting dark, and Elizabeth said it was time to go.  "I will always be there for you, Anne.  Even on the darkest of days, and in the saddest of times.  I love you so much."
     "Thank you, Elizabeth.  For... for everything."
     "Oh, my darling!  There is one last thing I would like to do for you."  Anne waited patiently while Elizabeth undid the braid in Anne's hair. 
     "My own daughter, Emilie, taught me that sometimes your hair really does make a difference, at least as a teenager," Elizabeth said (somewhat sadly, in Anne's opinion).  "It's part of who you are, and do not let anyone else steal that from you." 
     Elizabeth fastened a green bow to the back of Anne's hair.  "Sometimes, you just need to be free."  


     It was well after midnight when Anne found herself on the front porch of her home.  Anne supposed it was meant to be.  She realized that she did miss Abigail during her journey, and maybe -- MAYBE -- she missed Father a little.
     Anne had so many answers, but even more questions.
     Anne remembered the decisions that she could make each day.  She placed her hand quietly on the doorknob and decided to remember this day forever.  She opened the door.

     "Aunt Abigail?  Father?  I am home."


Anne DeCuir
*The Antique Legacy*


  1. When I saw the first picture I went "NO! THE MEADOW!" then breathed a sigh of relief when we went back to Anne, though I felt so bad for Abigail :(

    I love the conversation Elizabeth had with her. It was so beautiful, and oh goodness Anne talks now :) And her hairstyle is beautiful! I giggled when Elizabeth said that though, about the hair :)

    1. LOL! Yes; meadows can be quite dangerous!

      Elizabeth does know a lot about her descendents' hair :) I'm glad you found that amusing -- it was definitely meant to be, haha.