jus d'orange | Teen Ink

jus d'orange

July 16, 2013
By Alon93 BRONZE, Melbourne, Other
Alon93 BRONZE, Melbourne, Other
3 articles 0 photos 8 comments

After three sleepless nights, I found myself stumbling through a cavernous ballroom, dressed in frayed, striped pajamas. A large crystal chandelier hung from the roof, swaying gently to the warm sounds of saxophone. Men in expensive tuxedos stood resting on their sterling silver and dark red mahogany canes, while the women lazed on grand, velvet couches, glasses of Moet in hand, sequined dresses dazzling in the incandescent lighting, their bottle-blue eyes coolly scanning the room. For a fleeting moment I glimpsed my daughter sitting beside them in her ragged school uniform, feet up on the couch, showing off the tear in the stockings above her left knee. A burst of laughter drew my attention to back to the group of men, pearl-white teeth exposed through gaping smiles. A certain warmth radiated from their presence, engulfing my tired mind, beckoning me to join them. Smells of cinnamon and alcohol wafted through the house as I wandered forward, floating through the plethora of color and music in a bedazzled haze. Cream walls and maple doorways materialized before me as I moved through room after room, though the people did not seem to change. It was as though the world was immune to the effects of inertia, or simply did not care about them, and each step I took brought me back to the place from which I took it from. An eternity later, I stumbled into a small kitchen, covered from floor to ceiling in marble tiles, patterned with intricate twirls of white, like foamy waves licking the sand on the beach where I first met my husband. A single wine glass stood on the matching marble counter, the lone occupant of the entire room, lest myself. I reached out to touch it, and a sudden desire to grasp it overcame me. I desperately wanted to take it in hand and glide effortlessly back into the ballroom, softly murmuring “How do you do monsieur, how do you do?” As soon as my fingers brushed the glass, however, the world around me shattered. I had never tasted such purity of happiness before, and it left a sweet, minty tinge in my mouth. I realized at that moment, that all that mattered in life was French champagne.

The following morning I lay shivering in bed, eyes fixated on the Goosebumps slowly creeping up my arms. I rolled over and gently kissed my husband’s cheek. Still wearing my pajamas, I shuffled sluggishly into the bathroom – the second door to left down the corridor, or the first to the right if you’re approaching from the kitchen. I stripped off my pajamas and turned on the shower. The shower-head twisted violently in my direction, spraying me with a freezing cold jet of water as I gasped in frustration. Five minutes later I stumbled into the kitchen, a damp towel wrapped around my hair, and poured myself a glass of stale orange juice. My daughter came running up to me and hugged me, whispering “good morning mama, I tried not to wake you.” I smiled and sat her down on my lap, her hands curling around strands of my hair, poking out of the towel. As she carelessly started listing all the things she wanted for her birthday, I closed my eyes and tried to imagine the house I had left in my dreams. I could still see the thick black mustaches on the men’s faces and the women’s long dark eyelashes; I could smell their perfumes and taste their lipstick. Vaguely aware of my daughter’s tame tugs, I dreamily opened one eye to the dullness of reality. Her bottle-blue eyes were fixated on mine, and for a fading moment I could once more taste French Champagne. Then she reached up her hand towards my face and, giggling, flicked me sharply in the nose, and the last wisp of my dream world vanished. The room was cold, the juice bitter, and my pockets empty.

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This article has 2 comments.

Alon93 BRONZE said...
on Jul. 26 2013 at 9:34 pm
Alon93 BRONZE, Melbourne, Other
3 articles 0 photos 8 comments
Thanks for the valuable feedback. I completely agree with you. I have altered the story a bit, and it seems to flow a lot better. Thanks again!

kamkit BRONZE said...
on Jul. 25 2013 at 10:30 pm
kamkit BRONZE, Ventura, California
4 articles 1 photo 22 comments
Great flow between the waking world and her dream world, your descriptions of the ballroom were jovial and yet eery, a great contrast when setting the mood for a dreamscape. Your vocab is varied well, so there is no getting bored here. I think a few sentences can be worded better, but that is pretty simple to fix. For example, when she heads to the bathroom, the exact description of where the bathroom is interrupts the flow, it seems out of place. Also, even though the French champagne is a big part of the concept, it being "all that mattered in life" seems a little melodramatic for the scene. I really like the ending, how you compare the riches she has in her imagination to how little she has in reality- French champagne vs. orange juice. Really good job with this. :)