My Name Is Rose
DESTINY WAS BEAUTIFUL. I turned in her direction when she started to speak, thinking how flawless her features appeared compared to mine. Her long, velvet brown hair was the same color as her mother’s. Perfect almond-shaped eyes, the deepest chocolate brown hue, reminded me of Hershey’s syrup. Her smile could light up a room, and she’d begun to understand how all these attributes could win her the attention of every boy in school. She favored her mother’s side of the family, Uncle Jacob being of sturdier stock, and a thick head of dark brown hair that hadn’t seen a pair of scissors for at least three years. He had brown eyes. I had brown eyes. River’s and Glory’s eyes were blue.
I could smell the heavenly aromas coming from the kitchen. The stove, a cast-off from better days in someone else’s house and notable for its olive green drab color, was in perfect condition. River and Uncle Jacob knew of a particular junkyard where all the wealthy people discarded their worldly possessions when they tired of the color, shape, or size, most outdated in five years or less. They made regular trips, eventually finding whatever we needed. They didn’t think they should ever have to pay for anything, as long as it was discarded. Whether cheap or frugal, I didn’t know yet, but it made me feel poor – too many hand-me-downs and nothing ever crossed our doorway with a price tag on it. Even our bathtub was salvaged, along with most of our furniture. Destiny’s house was the same. Our trips to Good Will and second-hand stores in town didn’t hold the same allure for us as they had when we were younger. When I asked Glory for a new pair of jeans or tennis shoes, she always reminded me that money didn’t grow on trees.
Yet for all their self-denial, River and Glory seemed content. Uncle Jacob and Aunt Fern appeared blissfully happy, as well. As I became more and more aware of my surroundings, I felt neither content nor blissfully happy. Most of the time I was bored and wondered if I would ever experience the world that beckoned beyond the commune. As much as my parents wanted to escape the outside world, I longed to join it.