|Elysia: The Lucky One
Not much happens in Burbon, New Jersey. Not much at all. I know that sounds like a complaint, but it’s not. If you asked my grandmama, she’d say the same - not much happens in Burbon, nothing at all.
And there’s something comfortable about that.
It’s not the kind of place that people tell stories about, because it’s a safe sort of place where people come to raise their kids. It’s the place where the heroes come home to, where people in stories start off before they begin their big journeys into the wide world. That’s the place Burbon is. A hometown. Like St. Petersburg or the Shire, it’s a place people protect, where they lay their beds down to sleep and where they grow gardens and plant trees. I love Burbon, in my way, but you can’t make a life in Burbon if you don’t have one yet.
For most of my life I’ve lived by the grace of Luck. Before my mom died my dad used to call me their little miracle. It was silly, embarrassing, because it was so cheesy but that’s what I was to them, a miracle. Life’s a gift. People scoff when you say it because it’s obvious but sometimes we need to be reminded of what’s obvious every once and a while. Because it’s like walking, or even breathing, we’d forget why it’s important if we weren’t reminded of what it’s like to live without them every once and a while.
I almost didn’t live. It’s strange to say even now. I almost...remembered nothing at all. Imagine that, getting up to Heaven and only remembering uterine walls. Angel Gabriel asks you if you sinned and you just say you didn’t get a chance to. My mom said I was lucky they caught the umbilical cord that had wrapped around my neck otherwise I wouldn’t have made it. And then as if that weren’t bad enough I was born with underdeveloped lungs. My poor mom and dad. Grandmama said they lived at the hospital till I was released, camped just outside the glass window that separated me from them just watching me.
But I pulled through, and whenever I’m faced with something that I just think is impossible I think of little me in a glass box with tubes helping me breathe and things just seem less impossible. After all, what’s harder than growing a pair of lungs? Not much. Scientists are still trying to figure that out.
Getting into Regent’s was something short of a miracle. Really, I really am very lucky. My sister says they must have mixed up the applications because there’s no way they would have chosen me when they accepted a boy like Drew Campbell. Which is true. I was never brilliant in school nor was I outstandingly bad, and in a town like Burbon that just means you’ll live an okay life and settle down fine. I was lucky, some days I still can’t believe this is happening to me.
Regent’s is a small school just outside of Shilling. With around six thousand students it’s the place I’ll be calling home for the next four years. They say it’s so small that everyone there knows everyone else. Imagine knowing six thousand people. I can only think of maybe fifty. Six thousand’s just so much. I think that just adds to how amazing this all is.
They have birch trees on campus, up in the front when you just drive in. Three thin white birch trees planted next to the school placard like we used to have in front of our house before dad cut them down. They’re tall, much taller than the ones we had, and when I passed them I knew I’d be half tempted to swing around their trunks like Maria did in The Sound of Music. Kylie says I shouldn’t because then they’d kick me out of school for being crazy, but it is really tempting.
Someday I just might.
Regent’s is a good college, that’s what I’ve heard. Any school is really. Like Grandmama says, as long as you’re learning anything worthwhile and not filling your head with nonsense you’re getting an education. Some people are destined for a different kind of future than the one they expected and I’m one of those people. I’m lucky. Lucky to be here, lucky to have this chance.
But all the same, there’s a thrill in me when I think about it that sort of feels like terror.
A/N: Write what you know, that's what I was told when I was growing up, so yeah...I set it in Jersey so it should be more vivid and honest. Regent's is based on one of the schools here and a couple of other ones, all the towns are made up. I should start writing the actual story soon, I just need to find voices for Ariel and a new character I have in mind who is just loads of fun.
Feedback of any sort is appreciated :) just tell me how she feels, if she's bright and sunny or weird or unrealistic cause she's supposed to serve as a norm in the story. A side note, she's called Elysia as in the Elysian Fields the final resting place of good souls.