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- Posted: Wed, 14 Mar 2012 10:40:29 +0000
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- She had fallen asleep, she realized, as she felt a hand on her shoulder and her name being called out ever so softly in a familiar voice. Her eyes flickered open, her neck was a little strained. She turned to her left to find her mother, telling her that they had arrived. Arrived where?
She unbuckled herself as she waited for their trustworthy and ever-so loyal butler, Jean-Luc, to open the door for her after her mother. The eye of heaven was glaring in the sky, the weather warmer than the day before. Still a little drowsy, she found herself stepping out of the limousin and into a strange and unfamiliar place. Her eyes adjusted to the sunlight before scanning her surroundings. There was a mansion surround in bushes and statue in a distant. She had never seen this mansion in Paris before, not on the days she sneaked out into town or when her father took her out to explore.
And that was when she remembered it all, drowsiness finally fading. She was no longer in France. She was in England. London, to be more exact. She was standing in front of the Imperial Academy.
She suddenly felt a pang in her heart. She willed for her legs to run, run far far away from here but they stayed pinned to the ground. Her eyes were staring at the mansion, but her mind was in a complete mess. Once she set foot into this place, she was to stay for years until she graduated. It was her first time attending an academy, and even though she seemed pretty calm about it before, she could feel the fear coming at her at full speed now, gripping at her heart and messing with her mind. Questions began to pop, but answers were nowhere to be found.
She was brought back to reality when she felt her mother rub her shoulder, as if she could sense her daughter's fear. "Oh, mère", she said, turning to face her mother fully. She was twenty years old, and she had never left home without her mother. She wasn't sure if she was capable of living with strangers, and she wasn't sure how long she'd last in a new environment. It was punishment alright, and possibly her worst. And even though she'd never done it before, she was ready to beg her mother to take her home immediately.
"Cherie, don't worry. You'll do just fine here", her mother said, assuring her with a small smile. But her eyes had betrayed her - she could see the uncertainty in them. They locked eyes for a moment, and she realized her mother was trying to remember all the details of her face, so she did the same thing. She began from the eyes, clear blue and always seem to sparkle, with wrinkles at the sides. Her nose small and straight, her delicate red lips standing out from her black outfit, her similar brown hair arranged perfectly in an up-do with pearled accessories. She looked absolutely elegant and beautiful as always.
She held up a gloved hand and cupped her face in it, smiling more warmly now. "Right. Now you be good, Astrid. I want no unnecessary trouble while you're here", the gloved hand moved from her face to her shoulder once more, "And if there's anything, anything at all, you give me a call and we'll fly-"
"Oui, mere. I understand clearly, and now I have to go. I'm already late", Astrid said hastily, giving her mom a peck on the cheek and a brief one armed hug before getting her luggage. It was impossible for her to take everything, since she had two luggages of clothes and necessities, two boxes filled with her art supplies and not to mention her precious easel, too. So she had to count on Jean-Luc to help her with the others. "Maybe I should go in with you, take a look at the surroundings and-"
"Au revoir, mere!"
- - - - -
She sent Jean-Luc away with a brief hug as well after they had settled everything in her dorm room. It was a decent-sized bedroom fit for two, but it seemed she didn't have a roommate for the time being. It satisfied her, knowing she'd have the whole room to herself and not share it with a stranger. She had never shared rooms before.
Looking around the room, Astrid began taking in everything she saw, eyeing all the details and templated a painting in her mind. It was the way of an artist; every detail, every color was to be taken in and envisioning everything they saw into a picture in their mind.
She already missed Paris. Her room, her motherly servant, Beatrice, the view from her window, her garden, the lovely boutiques, the cafes where she'd sip coffee while sketching portraits of the customers there. She missed her father most. And amazingly, she was starting to miss her mother's endless babbles. Even though she'd always wanted to leave the nest and go out to explore, to have an adventure of a lifetime, she didn't want it this way. She did not belong here, she felt. This was mere punishment.
But she collected herself and tried to stay positive. Putting away her hat, she distracted herself by unpacking all her stuff, hanging all her clothes in the wardrobe, organizing her art supplies on the desk and setting up her easel by the window where the light shone the brightest. She restrained herself from picking up her paintbrush before everything was in place. Then she prepared her canvas and paint, opened the window to let in some fresh air, the curtains swaying gently in the breeze. With the paintbrush in her hand, she held it up, but it hung in the air.
Nothing came to her mind.