t h e e v e n i n g h o u r t h a t s t r i v e s h o m e w a r dFULL NAME:
Mater Admirabilis PAM, proud owner of ANA PRESCOTT & ISABELLE SHERIDAN,
and I came across this corner of the interweb at THE MALL, YO,
where I've been searching for TOO MANY years.
s i g h s s h o r t a n d i n f r e q u e n t w e r e e x h a l e d a n d e a c h
MAN FIXED HIS EYES BEFORE HIS FEET
Emily Aurora Madison-ValentineNICKNAME(S):
Nineteen  years oldDATE OF BIRTH:
May 25th, 1990SEXUAL ORIENTATION:
StudentELITE OR SCHOLARSHIP?:
Full-time student : in her second year of working on a degree in Applied Mathematics FINANCIAL STATUS:
s o n o f m a n y o u c a n n o t s a y o r g u e ss f o r y o u k n o w EYES:
ONLY A HEAP OF BROKEN IMAGES
Not one feature in particular, but more the combination of many give her an almost doll-like appearance. Soft and delicate, pretty in an oddly innocent kind of way.PB:
i d o n o t k n o w w h e t h e r a m a n o r a w o m a n - b u t w h o i sGENERAL PERSONALITY:
THAT ON THE OTHER SIDE OF YOU
There is one thing that anyone who's ever known Emily can attest to, one undeniable trait that would identify her in a crowd, no matter how dense or bustling. That is, each and everyone one of those individuals, whether they knew her as a little girl or a young woman, could easily recognize that distinct quality of someone being watched which categorizes every gesture she makes. There's just something in the way she moves herself, raises her perfectly arched brows, turns up the corners of her pouting cardinal lips, that tells you that she is on her very best behaviour, which she nearly always is. There are many a number of reasons accounting for this, and it would probably take an eternity to explain each and every one of them. However, for your benefit, I’ll detail the most prominent few.
For starters, you must realize the family from which she comes. Take a good luck at her name and you’ll see that it’s very telling. No, that’s not a silly thing to do, not in the slightest. Honestly, just have a look. Emily Aurora Madison-Valentine. Her given names are classic, a very wise decision made by her parents. They aren’t the product of the latest craze in the ‘50’s, nor were they a madcap decision on her mother’s part. They have a traditional elegance to them, rendering them beautiful and well-known, while still maintaining a sense of originality. After all, most have probably met a few Emily’s in their life-time, but surely not more than they can count on the fingers of one hand, and the same can be said for Aurora. That being said, it’s easy to extrapolate that her parents were a pair who put a strong emphasis on tradition, but still wanted their daughter to be uncommon enough to stand out in the sea of other people. Her surname, on the flip side, is just as informative, if not more so, though in a very different way. She kept both her parents’ names, as did her siblings, which denotes one of two things. It could mean a strong sense of egalitarianism, but it could also mean that her parents wanted her to show off both names. In this case, the latter is more probably the case. With parents like James Valentine and Elaine Valentine, Emily is a girl who comes from two long lines of ambitious, successful, and incredibly powerful individuals…not to mention almost shockingly wealthy. Her lineage inspires respect and subordination, and, whether consciously or not, her parents decided to give her a double-dosage of this. Handy, to say the least.
That being said, you should now think on her childhood, and the way she was raised. With a politician for a father, Emily learnt very young the importance of the phrase, “What happens in the family stays within the family.” This applied to nearly everything in her home life, from her mother’s wanton ways, to her father’s less-than-perfectly-honest political campaigns. Fights, drinks, curses, you name it. It probably happened under the Madison-Valentine roof, but you’d never know it. Not from the parents, and not from the children, Emily included. So you must understand that Emily took this philosophy and made it her own, employing it with every aspect of her own life. Anything displeasing, or potentially incriminating that occurred in her life wasn’t really a problem. Not for anyone but herself. Why, you ask? That’s simple; the girl just didn’t tell a soul. She swept it under the rug and stamped on it until it went away. Secretive, yes, but also highly effective in maintaining a spotless reputation. What can she say? It was a learned behaviour. With this practice in place, Emily ascertained that no matter what happened in her life, she always came out on top. Or at least, she came out looking like she was.
This sounds awfully difficult, I’m sure, as is Emily. However, she believes there’s nothing in the world worth achieving if you don’t have to work for it. According to her, nothing that comes easily is that great of an achievement; instead, it should be taken as a given. Taken for granted, in other words. Oh, and she does take a good number of things for granted. Her brains, her good looks, her money…she’s terribly vain about all these things, but she never thinks to be thankful for them. She simply knows they’re there and knows they’re hers, and that, my dear, is that. You could call her silly and hare-brained for this, but she disagrees. Vain she would have to admit to being, and self-absorbed? Definitely. Hare-brained though? Never in a million years. It’s not silly of her, she argues, for her to take qualities inherent to her, and attributes which she takes good care of, to be indefinitely hers. Regardless, we’re getting off-topic. The point of this was to explain the great pains Emily takes to make sure she comes out in the best possible light, no matter the situation, and we will get right back to this, starting now.
If you presumed that her elusive behaviour would entail not having many friends, then you were very right. After all, it’s terribly difficult to become friends with someone who never opens up to you, never lets you know when something is wrong, and only ever acts courteously. So courteously, in fact, that you can’t help but wonder if they have something up their sleeves…which they usually do, and which Emily, in particular, always does. One step ahead of the game, thinking just a little too hard, planning and plotting, she is as manipulative as they come. With her brains, it’s frankly no wonder that she’s this way. She had a teacher when she was younger who teasingly told her that he was quite sure that her mind worked four times as fast as the average human brain, considering how quickly she processed and responded to information. This teacher may have been joking, but they weren’t too far off from the truth. One of Emily’s greatest talents is her ability to quickly analyze and assess a situation, only to figure out the best possible way to go about handling this given situation. She’s intelligent, resourceful, and she doesn’t just think outside the box. She destroys it.
In her destroying of said box, she’s come to a conclusion: friends make you weak. Acquaintances, on the other hand, are wonderful. They provide you with company, banter, gossip, and are there to land a hand when it is required. True friends though, real friends, the ones you read about in books, and watch in your favourite movies and television programmes, are incredibly dangerous, as far as Emily is concerned. These select few are the ones who know your deepest darkest secrets. They are the ones you let into your heart and mind, into your soul. You share with them your good times and happiness, but then you also tell them what hurts you: your fears, your anxieties, your pain and suffering. They can help you, and offer you support, but essentially, they make you vulnerable. Since they know what can hurt you, they therefore know how to hurt you, and they will inevitably hurt you. It might not be today, or tomorrow, or next month, or even next year, but they will hurt you. So, Emily does not care to have this kind of person in her life. Not because nobody has ever tried to fill this role, nor because they haven’t offered. Instead, it’s been her choice. She doesn’t want anyone more who can hurt her in her life. Her family already can –and does- and that, according to her, is more than enough. As a result, anyone who has ever expressed an interest in her, anyone who has ever tried to befriend her, she has pushed away. She wasn’t rude about it, no, she was just a little cold, just distant enough to keep them at a safe enough distance from her to keep herself shielded.
There is, however, another reason behind this practice of hers. You see, in Emily’s experience, everyone who has ever been nice to her has wanted something from her. Whether it was a date, a cookie from her lunch, ten bucks, or any other kind of favour, each and every person who has smiled at her a little longer than what is generally acceptable has wanted her to do something for them. Don’t feel bad for her though; she’s essentially been the same way. Call it using, taking advantage of people, or call it just being a bitch. That’s what she’s learnt. It’s what she knows and it’s not about to change. In Emily’s mind, kindness is a means of getting what you want, which leads to the clinical quality of nearly every single one of her relationships. Generally, she only ever feels entirely comfortable enough to be nice to people when three crucial conditions are met. The first is that they must not want anything from her. Rather, there has to be nothing they could plausibly take from her. The second is that they must not have anything she really wants from them, thus resulting in her not manipulating them into giving her what she wants. The third is quite simple: this other party must be interesting enough to grab her attention and maintain it. Emily doesn’t think she’s being too difficult with those conditions, but anyone else in the world…well, they disagree.
By this point, you may have come to a quite reasonable, and very accurate, conclusion. Despite Emily’s constant shows of confidence, she is a highly self-conscious girl. Insecure, even. If you were thinking this, then you were most definitely correct. She goes to great lengths to hide this fact, with false smiles that rarely go up to her eyes, hair tosses, and snide comments tossed in here and there, and she uses the poise and grace instilled within her since she was a young child to back those up. However, when you get down to it, the girl with the icy stare and the firm handshake is very, very self-conscious and you could even say she’s vulnerable. You see, growing up, her brother Edward was the son her parents always dreamt of, and her sister Bitsy was an intellectual prodigy, and her? Well, she was little Emily. Very pretty, and good with numbers too, but, at the end of the day, it was never good enough. She tried, she really and truly tried, did everything in her power to get into her parents’ good graces, to earn one of those oh-so-coveted smiles that Bitsy and Edward got on a daily basis, but it wasn’t ever quite enough though. As far as her parents were concerned, she wasn’t nearly as impressive as her elder siblings, and when it came down to it, she was really just a spare.
This did not sit well with her. Not even a little bit. As a result, Emily tried her hardest to come up with an algorithm for gaining her parents’ love and affection. After much observation of her family’s behaviour, she came to one conclusion: her parents liked people with money and power. They were nice to those people, and they gave them attention, and essentially everything she wanted from them. With this in mind, she came to the understanding that if she wanted these things from her, then the way to go about it was by gaining money and power. It seemed to her that the two variables were directly related, each increasing in tandem with the other. Therefore, her goals followed a triangular route, as follows. Emily wanted love and affection. In her world, love and affection were gained through wealth and status. Therefore, Emily must want wealth and status. Easy peasy, right? Naturally. As a result, it’s become her primary goal in life to garner as much wealth and to gain as high a status as she possibly could…and she, for one, always makes sure she achieves her goals. STRENGTHS:
* Emily's highly intelligent, and her analytical ability is uncanny. She can look over, asses, and procure an action plan for a given situation or problem to solve in a fraction of the time it would take another person.
* She's also well-versed in etiquette, and comes from a very strict upbringing. From the time she was a little girl, her parents taught her how to act in social situations, what to say, when to smile, what fork to use, and the like. That being said, when in public, or in the company of people of so-called importance, her behaviour is excellent, and her manners nearly flawless.
* To the few and far between that Emmy does care about, she's amazing. Loving, affectionate, and incredibly loyal. She'd do nigh anything in the whole world for them, and they love her for it.
* It's terrible to say, but she is an excellent liar, and she makes good use of this skill on a regular basis. It takes someone who's very good at reading other people to be able to differentiate when she's being honest and upfront about something, as opposed to putting on a facade.
* She's highly determined, and has a spark to her, an energy, that makes her diligent to the point of being relentless. She's a girl who knows what she wants, and will stop at absolutely nothing to get it. When she wants something, really and truly, she will do everything in her power to stack the deck in her favour, from calling up old contacts who could prove to be useful, to pulling all-nighters to work on whatever it is she wants.
* If we're being frank here, Emily is extremely talented when it comes to numbers. She can do quotients and products in her head that most people can't even do by hand, and the way she tackles integrals is very impressive.
* She's also great with cars, which is probably more because she's spent so much time working on them and with them, as opposed to some kind of inborn ability. Regardless, she knows her stuff, and hasn't had to go to an actual mechanic in a few years now, because, honestly, she doesn't trust them to do a better job changing her oil than she can do herself. WEAKNESSES:
* Emily is very quick to judge people, and often passes said judgement based on altogether the wrong criteria. The measure of a man, after all, isn't entirely based on his wallet.
* Although she herself not only grasps, but also masters mathematical concepts most of us can only being to fathom, she cannot explain even the most simple of them to anyone. Put simply, she's not a very good teacher. She really can't wrap her head around people not being able to understand these things and is quickly frustrated by this.
* Let's be honest here. Emmy is completely self-centred and self-absorbed. She's constantly looking out for number one, and it takes a very special kind of person to get her to care about anything else.
* She's also highly vain with regards to everything about herself, but with particular emphasis on her looks. She'll spend hours preening herself in front of the mirror, and refuses to look anything but her best at any given moment.
* Emily is also incredibly self-conscious. She's insecure and vulnerable, despite her attempts at putting up a cold front for the world. She pretends that insults and negative comments thrown her way leave her unaffected, but they really make her feel completely terrible inside.
* She's also starved for attention, and would do just about anything to have someone care. She just wouldn't admit it even if her life depended on it.
* On a lighter note, this girl is a disaster in the kitchen. She cannot cook for the life of her. When trying to make breakfast for an old boyfriend, it took her six batches of eggs before she was able to serve anything edible. Need I say more?
* Finally, Emily is a complete snob. If you have something that could benefit her, generally in the form of a trust fund, a career in a profession such as medicine or law, or connections to higher powers, or any kind of money, really, she'll play nice. Fake a smile, laugh a little, do the small-talk thing. If, however, you don't, well then you have a problem. She's cold and rude at best, and a complete b**** at worst. LIKES:
* The Bernoulli family and their accomplishments
* The smell of jasmine and mandarin
* Mechanics, in theory and practice, particularly of the automotive variety
* Granita and other Italian ices
* Hand-written notes, as opposed to typed ones
* Tiffany jewelry
* Rainy days, made even better by thunderstorms
* French manicures
* Cuddling underneath blankets for hours in the morning
* White orchids and black dahlias
* Calculus, of both single and multiple variables
* Being paid attention to
* Cars of any and every variety
* Tuning up said any and every cars
* Having that spot two inches under her jaw kissed just right
* Raw cookie dough
* Proper order and organization
* The feeling of fresh linens, straight from the drier
* Instant Polaroid pictures
* Murmured "I love you"s during big, warm hugs
* Scruffy boys...though she'd never admit to it
* Bear hugs and butterfly kisses
* Her graphing calculator
* Dirty little fantasies
* Well-respected privacyDISLIKES:
* Unintentionally rumbly car engines
* Tackiness in all shapes and sizes
* Indefinite integrals
* Over-controlling people
* Burning her salmon and roasts in the oven
* Soft drinks of any kind
* Modern art, particularly surrealism
* Busy-bodies and nosy people
* Having to work for her parents' attention
* Being judged
* Spineless people
* Playing second-fiddle
* Crumbs on tablecloths
* Small, yappy dogs
* Things she can't understand, emotions, for one
* Getting caught in the rain with sandals on
* Unnecessarily dramatic television programmes
* The Great Gatsby
* Dry turkey
* Therapists and grief counsellors
* Admitting she's made a mistake
* Being told what to do
* Men who won't take no for an answer
* Hurt so deep that she can't handle it
* Not understanding things
* Experimental musicQUIRKS:
* Emily feels the need to arrange all her materials when writing tests, or working on an esssay, or even just getting through some proofs at either 90 or 180 degree angles to each other. Papers must be perfectly parallel to pencils, while sharpeners belong at the perpendicular position to the top-right-hand corner of the paper. It just makes things easier to find, apparently.
* She's not a highly affectionate person, however when she's speaking with someone she particularly cares about, she has her own little ways of telling them she cares. Smoothing their hair, or running her fingers through it is a big one, as is adjusting their collar: maternal and caring all in one movement.
* Emmy doesn't even consciously realize she does this, but she always, always crosses her legs, whether it's by folding one over the other, or by folding them both neatly underneath herself "Indian-style".
* Emily absolutely adores hedgehogs, and regularly attempts to convert others to her love of them. That is, she habitually gives her friends, family members and other loved ones hedgehogs as birthday, Christmas or anniversary presents.
* She always does a turn of her car before getting in, giving it a quick once-over to make sure everything is in proper order. Bumpers - front and back, tires, windows, windshield wipers, mirrors, doors, check. No new scratches, or bumps, or anything out of place.
* Speaking of once-overs, whether you're someone new in her life, or a long-time fixture, whenever Emily happens to meet up with you, the very first thing she does is give you the patented Two-Second-Emily-Madison-Valentine-Once-Over. It works on a pass-fail system, determining whether or not she thinks you're up to par with her standards for spending time and energy on. Ouch.
* Emily's been known to bite her lips when in a particularly trying situation, be that mentally, or emotionally. When she's particularly nervous or upset though, she'll bite it so far down it would appear that she's actually eating her own lip, which she naturally isn't, but...you get the point.
* When she's feeling especially anxious, she often picks at her cuticles, pushing them all the way back down to the very bottom of her nail. It's rare, but it sometimes happens that she pushes them far back enough to bleed.
* It's very rare that people really and truly get under Emily's skin, to the point of infuriating her. However, the result of this is notable enough to deserve mention. She throws things. Big things, small things, often valuable things. Many a vase has been broken by her hurling it across the room at the Madison-Valentine household.
* Emmy often tries to apply mathematical principles to every day life, which is great. Sometimes. However, in situations where it's the laws of chemistry that take precedence over those of mathematics, things don't work out so well. Emily's experiences with cooking come to mind. She plotted a curve relating the cooking time of a veal roast to the temperature at which you put the oven, and estimated that an hour at 350 degrees Fareneheit was equivalent to forty-one minutes at 450 degrees Farenheit. She was wrong.
* She also thinks that telling guys stories about famous mathematicians and their various endeavours is appropriate pillow talk. Enough said.
w h a t a r e t h e r o o t s t h a t c l u t c h w h a t b r a n c h e sPARENTS:
GROW OUT OF THIS STONY RUBBISH
James Arrhenius Valentine :: Fifty-eight  years old :: Politician
Elaine Alexis Madison :: Fifty-six  years old :: SocialiteSIBLINGS:
Edward Alistair Madison-Valentine :: Twenty-six  years old :: Student
Beatrice Mary Madison-Valentine :: Twenty-two  years old :: StudentSPOUSE:
---OTHER SIGNIFICANT FAMILY:
Pearl :: Thirteen  months old :: HedgehogPLACE OF BIRTH:
New York, New YorkGENERAL HISTORY:
- May 25th, 1989 –
It was on an unusually balmy May evening, one so warm and humid that you would’ve sworn summer was in full swing, that Elaine Madison’s angry shrieks pierced the blissful silence of Providence Hospital in New York City. Cussing and promises to God that she’d murder her husband for doing this to her rang out through the sterile hallways, all the way up to the reception area, where nurses huddled together, wondering what on Earth was happening to Ms. Madison that hadn’t happened to any other woman giving birth. The truth of the matter was that exactly nothing special was happening; it was a routine pregnancy, no complications, no difficulties, just the usual pains and contractions. It was the woman who was highly unusual, but then Elaine always had been one for histrionics.
Four hours of screaming later, at precisely 11:13 pm, the exhausted and angry Elaine was presented with a warm bundle of blankets wrapped around a tiny baby daughter. Naturally, her response to the gurgling baby was a raised eyebrow, and a clipped, “Do I seem ready to be holding an infant?” Of course, with tendrils of her dark hair plastered to her flushed face, and her dripping body, soaked with perspiration, she most certainly did not look prepared for such a task. In the experience of the hospital staff, however, most mothers chose to ignore this fact, opting instead to hold their sweet babies just once before they were whisked away to be weighed, washed, and tagged. They clearly did not know that this had not been the case for Elaine after her first two children were born. Instead, she demanded they take the little girl away, and not bring her back until they were both prepared to have their first “meeting”. James Valentine, the little girl’s father, stood quietly next to the mother, nodding in agreement to everything she said. “Not until everyone was ready,” he concurred.
Bemused and bewildered, the nurses took the baby away, only to bring her back nearly an hour later. Elaine, with her hair neatly brushed and pulled back, and face washed, with a fresh coat of mascara, now declared herself ready, as she propped herself up on her many goose-feather pillows, to hold her daughter. Pretty, she deemed the baby, scooping her into her arms, with what seemed to be the makings of a good nose. Thank God, she thought to herself, that she hadn’t got her father’s honker. After an assessment that lasted about the same time as the George Michael song playing on the radio, she stretched out her arms and announced that her daughter, Emily Aurora, was ready to be held by her father, thank you very much, and that, my dear, was that.
- August 31st, 1994 –
A kiss on the forehead, a murmured “good night” and Nana Maria found herself flicking the lights off in Emily and Bitsy’s room. Everything had been taken care of before the girls’ first day of school the next morning. They’d both been bathed, removing all traces of the sticky watermelon juice from their cheeks, and the sand underneath their fingernails from their escapade to the park that afternoon. Their clothes for the next morning were neatly laid out, with their little shows directly underneath the two identical hanging uniforms. The girls had bought the last of their school supplies, consisting of a Barbie lunchbox for Emily, and a Power Rangers one for Bitsy, who was altogether much too grown-up at seven years old for Barbie, as well as new pencils and matching pencil cases that looked like cuddly dog toys. Emily had inquired as to the possibility of one shaped like a hedgehog, but the store clerk had given her an odd look and presented her with a German Shepherd. Everything was exactly as it should be.
Everything, except for the fact that Emily was nothing short of terrified for her first day of school the next morning. Edward had laughed when she’d told him, ruffled her hair and assured her that she’d, “Do good, kid.” Bitsy, on the other hand, who had an attitude even then, and had rolled her eyes, telling her sister that it was, “Nothing. Seriously, Emmy. Relax.” Of course, Emily had found neither one of her siblings’ attempts at reassurances very comforting, and it was because of this that she was tossing and turning under her clean periwinkle bed sheets. A hissed, “Go to sleep!” came from Bitsy’s side of the room, making her bite her lip. She wanted to, she really and truly did. She was just…scared, which was exactly what she told her sister. The older girl sighed, and told her it’d be fine, everything would be fine, she just had to quit being so antsy.
Sitting up in her bed, and pushing a short blonde curl away from her face, she whispered, “But what if it isn’t?” A worrier even at five years old, already over-thinking everything, the distressed tone of her voice was evident to her sister, even if the anxious look in her eyes was not. With a sigh, Bitsy rolled over and sat up, now facing her. Using a tone reserved for big sisters, and big sisters alone, that was at once weary and knowing, as well as affectionate and protective, she murmured back, “Then I’ll take care of it. I’ll be there, and I’ll fix it for you, Emmy. I always do.” And she would, like she had so many times in the past, and would keep doing for as long as they could remember.
- December 24th, 2000 -
The first Christmas of the new millennium had brought many surprises, both good and bad, for the Madison-Valentine clan. It was the year Bitsy asked if she could bring her first boyfriend over to the house for Christmas Eve dinner. Knowing her, the family had been expecting some kind of bad-ass rebel type, smoking and drinking at fourteen. Shockingly, he’d been nothing but polite and charming – he’d even worn a tie. To everyone’s amazement, it’d been Edward who’d brought an air of rebellion home with him. He’d come home to the table with a hickey, which he hadn’t even tried to hide, and a suspiciously sore arm. Upon further inspection, it was found to be a tattoo of the Virgin Mary he’d got on a whim that morning when everyone had thought he’d been doing some last minute Christmas gift shopping. It’d earned him a slap from his father, and tears from his mother, but Emily had secretly thought it was cool. Kind of…attractive, if she was being honest. Not that she’d said anything about that. Her parents were altogether much too furious about it for her to voice any opinion that wasn’t in exact accordance with theirs. Mind, she probably wouldn’t have said anything even if they hadn’t been furious. After all, she wanted to make her parents happy, and they were always happy when she agreed with them. So, as a general rule, Emily agreed with her parents, did as she was told, followed the rules, and never, ever toed the line.
It was because of this, she was quite certain that she received her “special present” that night. Her father had come into her room late that night…well, early that morning, really. It was just after everyone had finished up their mugs of hot chocolate, and opened all their presents at midnight, just like they did every year. When he’d knocked on her bedroom door, Emily had only just slipped her nightgown over her head. She’d told him to come in, and he’d kissed her forehead, murmuring, “My little princess…” She’d smiled, beaming at his words. She loved it when he said that; even if she was getting a little old for that kind of thing, it still made her feel special. He’d cupped her chin in her hands and told her she’d not only been a good girl this year, but an amazing girl, and that she deserved something extra special for her extra good behaviour. With that, he’d fastened a gold chain around her neck, with a little crystal heart hanging from it.
“From you and Mommy?” she’d asked softly. He’d shaken his head; no, this present was just from him, and she understood. They’d been having problems even then. She knew, she’d heard the fights, but she’d never said anything, and she wasn’t about to start now. So, she just gave a little nod and thanked him. He’d looked at her long and hard, cupping her cheek in his warm hand, before whispering that he loved her Emmy, and that he was proud of her. Then he gave her that smile, the one that she wanted so badly, but rarely ever received, the one that told her he meant it, and her heart swelled with happiness. He’d left then, with a kiss on her forehead and a soft, “Get some rest.” The moment was over, but that warmth inside of her didn’t fade for days. To this day, it’s Emily’s fondest memory of her father.
- April 13th, 2005 -
Ballroom Blitz: that’s what Valleyfield Country Club promised this evening would be. At least, that’s what the invitations stated. Really, it was just their bi-annual charity ball, whence all the affluent families belonging to the club got together to show off their beautiful families in the name of a good cause. Naturally, the Madison-Valentine’s felt it was necessary to make an appearance, all of them looking their very best. Emily, of course, was no exception to this rule. At nearly sixteen, she’d already developed the soft curves and delicate mannerisms of a woman. She’d grown up, her father had announced when he saw her. His little girl had really and truly grown up, and he was proud of what he saw. With her pretty blonde waves, and wearing that sweet white eyelet dress, she looked beautiful that night.
Well, that’s what people were telling her anyway. Old family friends had looked her over appraisingly and announced her to be, “Lovely” while the boys were giving her that cocky grin whose meaning she knew all too well. Even her mother seemed to agree that she looked very nice, although she wasn’t nearly as positive about it as most other people had been. No, when asked about how Emily was doing, how she was faring in school, and what she might do when she got older, the ever-aloof Elaine cleared her throat, contemplating this. Clearly, this was a difficult question for her, one that required much thought. After a moment’s pause, she finally had what she deemed to be an appropriate response.
“At least,” her mother murmured on more than one occasion that night to her country club friends, “she’s pretty. She’ll do just fine for herself with that face. She’ll marry well some day, if nothing else.” Soft whispers from hushed voices always ensued, but they weren’t so quiet that Emily herself couldn’t hear. All her mother thought she was good for was to get hitched, to “marry well” in the hopes of establishing good relations with some other well-to-do family, in some kind of bizarre and out-dated tradition of centuries past. That…stung. A lot. Marry well. Like she had? Oh of course. That had worked out well for her, hadn’t it? Fighting and screaming, cheating and lies, but all the money she could ever hope for. Good job, mother. All this made Emily want to prove her mother wrong, made her want to show her she could do more than that, that she could be more than that. But then, this was Elaine, and nothing Emily had ever done in the past had managed to do that. Maybe, just maybe, she should stop trying to do other things than what her mother said she wanted. Maybe she should stick to what her mother hoped for her. Maybe then she’d live up to expectations.
- August 16th, 2007 –
“I don’t get it, Em. I really don’t get it.” Yet again, Anthony Barrett was voicing his displeasure about Emily going to Stamner Park for her post-secondary education. They’d been seeing each other since their junior year of high school, and had broken up and got back together a half dozen times since, only to get back together a few weeks later. What could they say? They missed each other. Obviously, Anthony was displeased about her departure, to say the least. With a kiss to her bare shoulder, he murmured into her neck, “Why don’t you just transfer to Columbia? The admissions people there liked you, remember? Or…you could come with me to NYU, hm? You know we'd have fun, babe.” Emily forced a little smile at that comment, letting him know that she understood just what his tone meant when he’d said that.
Sex. He'd been wanting it for months, and it hadn't happened yet. He’d been surprised when she’d whispered into his ear that he would be her first - when it happened - and yet amazingly pleased at the same time. What could she say? She’d been waiting for the right guy. Now that, that had made him beam with pleasure for exactly three seconds before he proceeded to tear her pretty little BCBG dress off and immediately move on to every activity she would permit him to. Naturally, with how happy he was, she couldn’t break it to him that letting him have her would, in fact, rescind her desire for the right guy. In all fairness though, he seemed like he was – he was everything she’d been told to want in a man. He was wealthy, with a good career ahead of him, and a fine education; his father was one of the most powerful businessmen in the country, and this was something he was planning on passing along to his son. He was handsome to boot, with deep blue eyes and dirty blonde curls to match her own, and he could even be charming. It was a match made in heaven, and both families had been tickled pink when the two had started dating. Perfect. Except for the fact that Emily…really didn’t like him all that much. He was just fine, a nice guy, but…no rush. No tingles. No fluttering heartbeats. Zip. Nada. Nothing.
With a soft kiss to his temple, she answered quietly, “I just want to get away, Anthony…”
“No, sweetheart…of course not from you.”
Well, not from him in particular, at least. From everyone. It just so happened to be that he was a part of everyone. She just wasn’t going to inform him of that part. Instead, she smoothed his hair, and snuggled a little closer, letting him enjoy this for as long as it lasted.
a t t h e v i o l e t h o u r w h e n t h e e y e s a n d b a c kMEMBER TITLE:
TURN UPWARD FROM THE DESK
`` fastidious and preciseANYTHING ELSE:
I like tiiiiight
pants. SAMPLE POST:
High heels clicked hard and fast against the cool, ceramic floor, definitely purposeful, bordering on angry. The same words, incidentally, could be used to describe the owner of the black patent pumps, with her blue eyes flickering and her lips puckered into a determined pout. Any given passer-by would definitely agree that right then, the expression on Emily’s pretty face screamed resolution, if not irritation and resentment. Not that this really mattered - there was nobody else in the corridor, nobody to see her, which was really just as well. This way, at least, there was nobody for her to glare at. Nobody to throw a catty remark to. Nobody for her to inform that Professor Hirsch was possibly the most neurotic, the most moronic, and the most positively infuriating teacher here. While these were all probably both untrue and unfair statements, as far as she was concerned, they were doctrine: undeniable facts that should be observed and taken into account by everyone else.
You see, Emily loved mathematics. She’d always loved mathematics. Yes, there was the comfort they provided, that sweet sense of stability only found in that knowledge that the sum of two integers would always be the same, that the integral of a cosine function would forever be a sine, and that no matter what else was going on in the world, opposite angles would be incontrovertibly equivalent. Then there was the sheer logic of it, the way everything happened as a result of following one of the five principle axioms, the way there were rules, and all actions came as reactions to them. It all followed common sense; nothing was up for debate, nothing left to chance or to personal interpretation. Cold hard fact.
Just like, she believed, it was nothing less than fact that Professor Hirsch was a pompous idiot. Not only did she enjoy mathematics, but she was talented in that field. She knew it. Everyone knew it. She’d been mentally solving for quotients that most people couldn’t get with a pencil and paper since she was in elementary school, and she could decipher chain rule derivatives practically in her sleep. Professors had deemed her work “beautiful”, and she’d never received a grade lower than a ninety-two percent in any class related to the field of arithmetic, not on quizzes, tests, assignments, exams… Not until this morning, that is.
“Eighty-three,” Emily shook her head furiously as she thought of the assignment she’d had handed back in her Analysis class, “Eighty-three! That asshole!” Naturally, she’d gone to see him, her cheeks stinging with fury, and had demanded to know what the meaning of this was. She’d checked her work; she deserved more than an eighty-three. More than a ninety, even! Alright, it wasn’t her very best work, but clearly problems five and seven merited part marks that he hadn’t given her. He’d raised his eyebrows, rolled his eyes and told her he didn’t believe in part marks…which would have been very well, if not for the fact that she saw him giving other people part marks just after she left his desk. Naturally, her next course of action was clear. She’d have to see the dean about this. She would show him her assignment, he would see she was obviously correct about her deserving more marks; he would set things straight, and then give Professor Hirsch a good talking to. It would all work out fine, and Emily could be appeased.
There was only problem with that situation: it hadn’t happened yet. She, as things stood, didn’t have her ninety-plus grade, since the dean had left his office already. She’d arrived about twenty minutes earlier, at five forty-five, only to be faced with his secretary, who was sifting through piles of mail. The woman had informed her with a smile that, apparently, he always left at five o’clock sharp, to be home in time for dinner, but that she could leave a message for him and schedule an appointment for her the next morning, first thing. As sweet as all of this was, it still left Emily was a highly unsatisfactory grade, and a very displeased demeanour. After all, she hadn’t even gotten to vent and plead her case to the dean; this was all still festering inside of her…which, in turn, was why those pretty black heels kept clicking so incredibly furiously against the floor as she walked through the winding corridors of the Academy on her way back to her room.
Some people might’ve thought this was completely ridiculous on her part. It was just one assignment, one itty bitty thing worth, what? Three percent of her final grade in one single course? Probably something like that. She really shouldn’t be stressing. To Emily, however, it was of the utmost importance. This was her pride, her near-perfect record, and she didn’t want to break that. It was a question of principle, really. Some people still would’ve thought this was ridiculous; she could think of more than a few just off the top of her head, ranging from minor acquaintances, to good friends, and everything in between. She wasn’t quite sure why, but Swayze came to mind. Sweet Swayze, with a baffled look on his face she knew all too well, one that she had a feeling would arise if he found out about this story. That boy…was way too…she wasn’t even sure. He was just…something. That was the right word for it : he was something, alright.
He was also, apparently, three feet in front of her. She blinked slowly then, wondering how on Earth she’d managed to miss him. It wasn’t exactly bustling in the hallway, and there wasn’t very much else to look at. Besides, this was Swayze…and wherever he went, noise and cacophony were sure to follow. Those were obvious enough in an ordinary setting, but here? They should’ve stuck out like a white elephant. Yet they hadn’t, somehow; she just wasn’t entirely certain why. Regardless, smiling slightly, she got a little closer to him. Even in her previously terrible temperament, just the sight of that boy was enough to bring a grin to her face, and a teasing glimmer in her eyes. It was a gift of his, an inborn ability that even she wasn't immune to. Once she was close enough to smooth his hair off of his forehead, a highly typical greeting when it came to him, she did just so, and smiled at him, “Hey Sweetie…what are you do–”
Emily broke off then, blinking slightly as she took him in, entirely. Same shaggy, Swayze hair, and bright blue Swayze eyes, same dazed look, same obscure metal band t-shirt…and then the not-so-same bruises covering his left arm. Angry purple splotches going up his forearm, then sneaking underneath the sleeve of his t-shirt, and obviously creeping all the way up and along his shoulder to his neck, since there was yet another set of bruises close to his throat… Lips pursed and eyes narrowed, she brushed her fingertips very lightly against his arm, “Sweetie, what are these?” She paused for just a second, as she pushed his sleeve up slightly, uncovering – as she had suspected – yet more bruises. Her eyes flickered back to his, as she asked, gently, but firmly, “And where do they come from?”