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Andalusia Teaser...

Ashly with no "E" shares her memoirs. A child tossed into a disturbing existence, with moments of beauty and teen evolution.

Just a Girl

art by Jonny Essex

art by Jonny Essex

Andalusia (Teaser) ... a Memoir

It was a bright sunny day in the middle of summer. Birds of all kinds soared over our heads singing songs to each other. The air that whipped my hair and filled my nostrils with the scent of wildflowers and sweet alfalfa grass, also made an old willow tree dance. Her arms reached out to me and pulled away again, teasing me with gestures so sweet and graceful. She still dances in the wind and a sad song she sings as we pass her by in our little brown station wagon. The gravel driveway makes my teeth rattle in my head which is rested against the window taking in the beauty surrounding me. This place was much different compared to our little white house in the city. I immediately fell in love with this land. To my right a white picket fence lined the driveway and stopped the hill from rolling over onto the dark chestnut pony inside. He was a tall, shimmering animal. It pranced along side us, keeping pace and tossing his little head. I yearned to jump on his back, clutch his hair in my hands and feet his soft fur on my bare feet. I wanted to be wild and free with him like the black stallion book. We would ride over the rippling hills, beyond the sheds and bails of hay, over the fence and down the dirt road, over the stream and we would stop at the forest line. The forest line belonged to another. We would travel down the stretch of trees and hills to a pond to refresh, then race down the hills and jump across the rushing creek, to wrap back around towards the house that sat upon one of the highest hills.

The house was a pale pea green, with some patches of old brick. A red deck stretched across the length of the house in four flights lined with a bench to sit on and a wall that held back a few trees, ivy and bushes which rolled over onto our enormous back yard. The front yard was a flatter hill with apple and willow trees, a garden and a well. Ivy crawled up the side of the house showing her age. The house was beautiful, sturdy and somewhat sad. Mark was standing on the steps with his boys when our station wagon reached the top of the hill. He stood grinning with both hands on his hips. We began to unload boxes right away.

I suppose I was born on the clumsy side, and I always try to take on big tasks that are some time too much. I always take the hard way. I guess it began here. I grabbed as many boxes, stacked high over my head so I could barley see where I was going, and made my way up those red steps. Perhaps I wanted to show off for the boys and show I was just as strong as they were. I stopped for a minute once I was inside, my arms were throbbing and shaking, threatening to drop the cargo they held. Under my feet was a river of blue carpet, straight ahead was a small entrance to two other rooms, centered with mirror hanging on the wall with etching of leaves and flowers all along the edges. To the left of the mirror was the laundry room which also led to the bathroom. On the right of the mirror was a open sitting room or maybe we could call it an over sized hallway. This room had no doors but led to other places in the house. My mind was not allowed to venture further, for my shaking arms demanded my full attention. I quickly scanned the hallway for a place to put the boxes but the walls were already piling high. I found a spot and shoved the boxes there, nearly dropping them in my haste, I grabbed the sliding boxes before any damage could be done and placed them safely with the others. At the ground my eyes were met with a big, dirty, steel-toed boot. My little eyes followed the steel-toed boot up to the leg wrapped in old jeans, and a waist with two muscular arms crossed disapprovingly and a scowling red face. It was "him." Mark. He leaned over, biting a curvy quivering lip between his white teeth and chin of stubble. I felt myself shrink and recoil like a turtle trying to hide in a shell. Every alarm inside began to go off.

"We are not going to get along well are we?" He snarled. I shrugged and forced a smile. Every muscle inside was trying to run but I could not move. Some one else walked through the door, shifting his attention and I quickly slipped away outside. I spent the rest of the day trying to avoid him, but he would purposely step in my way and on my small feet, or knock me out of his way. Of course, he would make it look like an accident and say things like "I did not see you there," or "Watch where your going." I tried to stay out of his way nonetheless as futile as it was. I would be trying to do this for the rest of my life.

© 2020 Ashly Christen

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