My name is Florence but no ones ever called me that. When I was born my parents took one look at me and must have thought I had the face of something elderly and distinguished, or perhaps dead, but I turned out bare, not much there to notice. Even my life so far has been plain. More Rose than Florence from the word go.
When I see people on the TV scrambling through the mayhem of downtown New York, gazing jealously at women plastered across buildings; parading around half-naked in a pair of minute underwear, flashing dazzling white smiles with a set of perfect teeth, at no one in particular; I ask myself why bother? They automatically think that you’re a freak if your not some exquisite masterpiece. My explanation, we’re all just a blank canvas ready to be painted.
Now, before I forget, let me tell you about me. Well, firstly let me say, I am NOT a blonde beauty or anything relatively close, but I wouldn’t exactly call myself ugly either. What with the long dark matted hair, lurid green eyes and skin like porcelain chipping away as time lazily floats by. I’m different, and that suits me just fine.
So, I’m coming back from high school, taking the usual bus route home; first left, past the garden centre, past Jimmy’s Ice Cream Parlour and get off at the signpost. Hysteria Lane. Home sweet home. I look up at the usual angelic glow emanating from the striking white walls. The glowing subsides as the sun slides back into position behind the clouds. I frantically cling to the stone gates, gazing in awe at the composition.
“Rose?” Guilt tore the wonder from my eyes.
I turn back, eyes still sparkling. My house, if you can even call it that, is about as recent as the Beatles were in January last year. The only emanating glow to be seen coming from our direction is from rusty hinges of doors and windows catching light as he idly passes us by. How can such a dream be so real and striking, yet a nightmare just opposite? I hurriedly shake away the feeling of sorrow, bury it deep within the pit of my stomach, and regretfully return to reality.
I’m terribly sorry, you must think I have the emotional range of a teaspoon going on about things that most probably have no interest to you whatsoever, and that even if you were interested, would no doubt STILL bore you. I’m crazy, having only told you about my looks; even you can’t blame me for that though. Everyone’s the same these days; clones.
I’m an artist, or at least, I like to think I am. Instead of writing things down like the average stereotypical Barbie, I draw them. As my grandma used to say “Don’t take life too seriously, you’ll never get out alive.” I often think of grandma, and her odd, anomalous sayings. May she rest in peace. Anyways, I love to draw more than anything else in the world. No interruptions, no rules, no one. I admit, I find it strange that celebrities can gladly supplement food for pills or a glass of water, although I would supplement food for drawing instinctively. So, I guess even people like me, and people like them are on the same wavelength; somehow.
“Morning boys, rise and shine. The world awaits you.” A traditional morning alarm clock, not kids, boys. Having 3 brothers would have its advantages to the common girl, especially considering two of them are older, but to me, they are all racing through life at top speed, not even pausing to experience humanity. Submerging colour, people and life into a new species of rainbow. I don’t understand them, they don’t understand me; we’re equal. I mean, I do try to understand them, participate in some sort of weird new game, watch TV with them, but to no avail. It’s a fact of life; I just can’t comprehend with them, no matter how hard I strive. So; I run.
“Rose, do your chores before breakfast.”
So, I’ve finished my run, my one hour of total freedom, and I feel revitalised and fresh, so I arrive back home just in time for the last pancake. Alex, Robbie and Conor slouch in exactly the same position that I left them in., still gulping down their breakfast scraps.
“Mum, where are my trainers?”
“Oh honey, I threw them out, they were in tatters.”
“But mum, I have a race at school today.”
“What’s the matter now Rose?”
“Mum threw out my trainers and I have a big race today.”
“Darla, she needs new trainers.” They both mutter to each other in a corner but I manage to discern snippets of their conversation. So, I knew even before he said it, what the answer was.
“You’ll have to borrow a pair of your brothers for now.”
“But they’re boys ones.”
I look over at the trainers that dad had pointed at. White, with black laces. I hurriedly got rope from the drawer and replaced the laces. At least it looked a bit better.