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Clarisa’s Brave Entrance

Rainbow Agate stone pendant with accents of Rainbow Jasper and pink pearl beads.

Rainbow Agate stone pendant with accents of Rainbow Jasper and pink pearl beads.

Her nerves shook both her hands and her confidence, yet Clarisa smiled at the woman in the reflection. Time hadn’t been kind to her – you need only look at the wrinkles, bags under her eyes, and expanding mid-section to see the result – yet she still saw a beautiful woman reflected in the image before her.

Opening night always meant excitement, jitters, and anticipation even when she wasn’t the one on stage. Tonight, she would cheer on her former colleagues with as much joy as she could muster. Oh, how she had hoped to be a part of it all. This could have been her opportunity to return to the stage that she loved so well. She had rehearsed her monologues again and again, studied up on the role for which she was auditioning, and walked into the casting office with her head held high.

“‘Twas not to be”, she supposed after much contemplation. Yet it didn’t take away the sting every time she saw another positive critique about the show that could’ve catapulted her back on top. She’d made her choice, left a successful career in order to raise her children away from the hustle and bustle of the city. She’d expected a welcome return once she’d decided to come home, but too much time had gone by. Friends of old retired to make way for fresh faces and ideas. She didn’t have a connection left to introduce her to a public that wasn’t waiting.

She’d chosen a burgundy dress that showed off her best feature – tall, muscular legs – and accented it with a caramel-colored cashmere scarf that had been a gift from her former mentor. She wrapped the gift around her bare shoulders and let the frayed edges accentuate her hips. She clasped the Rainbow Agate stone pendant that hung around her neck and closed her eyes. “Please let tonight be a new start.”

Clarisa heard her husband call for her and knew she was ready to make an entrance.


Anne and the Spirited Crowd

Multi-colored stone with accents of black, silver, and red.

Multi-colored stone with accents of black, silver, and red.

Jealousy. Ferocity. Passion. She struggled with all as she stared out at the crowd. They blamed her. Doubted her. Scorned her even. Yet, they had no clue. No sense of the truth. She’d never tell them. Wouldn’t admit how much they rushed to judgment. They believe d what they wanted without hesitation.

 Now, here she stood, angry at all she lost and grieving for what taken from her. Her child, now being raised by the friar and his wife. Stolen out of her arms in the name of God and all that was holy. Because clearly, she was not.

 He was here, the man she loved. Yet, he chose to stand beside a woman that offered normalcy and prosperity. She could provide him neither. Despite his cowardice, she loved him still and hoped that afterwards he’d realize the error of his ways.

 The heat intensified and the crowd’s anticipation flooded her sensibilities. The fear stabbed at her with as much strength as the ropes that bound her to the post.

 They gagged her mouth, refusing her the courtesy of any last words. But she didn’t need sound to get her message across. They would suffer for this choice but not because of any actions she took. Their hatred and closed-minded perspective would lead down a path of misery until they succumbed to the pain and frustration. She wouldn’t haunt them nor curse them for eternity. She pictured her daughter and said good-bye.

 The smoke filled her nostrils, and she coughed through the handkerchief. The crackling grew louder and the first touch of fire scourged through her every muscle. The pain seared not only her skin and clothing but her spirit too. “Make it quick,” she pleaded. “I’ll move on to a new life. Just hold on, it’s almost over.”

 The sky blazed in an orange haze, and her spirit flew home.

Rosa and Those She Loves


Rosa didn’t want to go; however, the time had finally arrived. She stared at her grandfather’s pocket watch and counted along with each tick-tock.


“Come now, Rosa, we’ll be late.”


She accepted the hand offered to her and smiled in response to Patric’s pleading eyes. She’d loved him at first sight and knew without a doubt that they’d spend the rest of their lives together. Here they stood on the precipice of a life-changing choice. If even one of them hesitated, well that was something she had no desire to contemplate.


“Let’s go,” she replied. “I just needed one last look.”


“You spent your childhood here,” Patric said as he wrapped her in a supportive embrace. “We had a lot of great memories here.”


She laughed when he whispered in her ear. “Remember how you hid under the bed when my parents came home?”


“Yeah,” he said. “I can’t believe she knew I was there the entire time.”


“That was quite a revelation to announce to us during our engagement party. I thought you were going to turn purple.”


Being near him brought her comfort mixed with utter joy. She rested her head back against his chest and gazed up at her bedroom window. “You think they’re okay with this? Really.”


“Hey,” he said, turning her to face him. “They love you no matter where you live.”


“It doesn’t hurt that they love you too.”


“Eh, yeah, that doesn’t hurt.”


“I love you more though.”


“You better,” he replied through a smirk.


Rosa kissed him softly and brushed the hair from his eyes. “Always.”


“I’ll give you another minute.” He kissed her forehead and slipped his hand from hers, not before giving it a squeeze.


Memorable moments from her 30 years of life flashed before Rosa’s eyes. The peeled paint on the siding refreshed and the flowers bloomed as she recalled her father teaching how to ride a bike. She remembered the day her parents brought home the German Shepard that became her best friend. Rosa grabbed her remaining piece of luggage and rubbed her fingers over the “For Sold” sign before joining her fiancé on the beginning of their journey.

Maria and the Lilac Roses

Floral pendant with colorful accents.

Floral pendant with colorful accents.

The summer breeze helped cool Maria’s temper, but the heat only aggravated her plight.  Stuck on a ferry with her grandmother and mother, she wanted desperately to be elsewhere.

Ten years have gone by since her grandfather and father drowned. She didn’t care that it was the anniversary of their death; spending the day between her mother and her father’s mother was not a situation that ever ended well.

The ferry docked, and Maria took her sweet time debarking.  Another year, another day of mourning.  She never understood why these two stubborn, smart, and pigheaded women chose to look back instead of moving forward.  She missed the guys as much as they did, but there was so much more that she could be doing today instead of going on a tour.

“Let’s go, Maria,” her mother yelled.  “We’re going to be late, and they’ll leave without us.”

“Helen, don’t shout at her,” my grandmother interjected.

Maria rolled her eyes as the women continued to bicker, sheepishly smiling at the interested passengers.  “This is going to be a long day,” she murmured and followed behind her female companions.


“And over here you’ll notice that the roses are just starting to bloom…”

Maria tuned out the monotone voice of the tour guide and pulled out her cell phone.  A full 24 hours and no text from Hank.  She wasn’t one of those clingy women who obsessed over a guy after one date, even though it was an amazing first date, or was she?  She shook the thought away and grimaced when she noticed no new messages.  She stuck the smart phone back in her pocket and politely nodded at the middle-aged guide, despite his obvious displeasure.

“He’ll show up.” Her grandmother loved to volunteer advice, and it rarely bothered Maria because she was frequently right.

“I doubt it. He hasn’t replied yet.”  Maria rested her head on her Gran’s shoulders.

“Hush, Maria,” Gran scolded.  “Must I remind you how I met your grandfather?”

Maria chuckled and though she could recite the story verbatim, she loved hearing her Gran’s version.

“Well, I’m not telling it now,” Gran whispered.  “You’ve been rude enough for all three of us.”

Gran kissed the top of Maria’s head and strolled back towards the crowd.  Maria sighed and pulled out her phone once again.  Though she intended only at checking the time, what would it hurt to see if there were any new texts?  At seeing the hourglass spin, she scoffed at her teenage-like behavior and slid the phone back in its placeholder.

Yet, in her pocket it did not land.  Onto the ground, nestled in the midst of lilac-colored roses, Maria’s entire life lay hidden.

Calipea and the Falling Snow

Peacock pendant with colorful accent beads.

Peacock pendant with colorful accent beads.

Calipea nestled in the snow, her small frame cocooned in layers of protective apparel.  As the snowflakes tickled her nose and kissed her rosy cheeks, she stared up at the beautiful dance of the falling snow.  The sunlight intermixed with the snowflakes, creating a prism of sparkling light above.

“I’m going to miss this place,” she whispered.

Tomorrow, Calipea will settle in at her new home.  A land much different from her current one.  A home where the sun’s always shining, the temperature is just perfect, and the atmosphere warm and pleasant.  She hadn’t expected to fall in love with the weather, the people, and the beach.  A lifetime of rugged mountains, frigid temperatures and snow-covered roads had been enough for her growing up.  This was her home.  She knew no different and didn’t want to.

All of her friends couldn’t wait to “escape” the chilling boundaries that enclosed them.  To get as far away as their skis could take them.  Not her.  Calipea yearned for the chilled air against her face as she raced down the snow-capped mountain.  The freedom.  The allure.  The independence.  Nothing else calmed her like strapping on a pair of skis and hitting the slopes.  The power in her hands, she zipped passed trees and sped towards her destination.

At thirty-three years of age, this lifelong snow bunny watched the flakes trickle through her fingers and readied herself to say goodbye.  She brushed off the snow from her thermal jacket, wrapped the knit scarf tight around her neck, and headed back to the cabin.  She still had plenty of packing to do before tonight’s Bon Voyage bonfire.  As sure as she was that she’d get homesick for this winter wonderland, she also knew that if she didn’t move to California now then she never would.