" Emmaline my dear, its almost seven o'clock, you'd better hurry and get dressed into your costume. I'm sure you'll probably be late."
Emma sneered at her mothers words as she laced a black velvet choker to her thin pale neck. Stray black hairs frolicked as the cool autumn wind came through the gaping window. It sent shivers throughout her body. As the clock came steadily to seven, Emma slipped into her beautiful pink dress. It was made from satin and had lace around the frontal area, on the sleeves and at the bottom trim. The neck extended well down the front of her chest, with an under-lining fabric which had cris-crossing ribbon down the center. The whole dress in general was an hour glass shaped. The poor girl was squeezed into the beautiful dress by force and shifted uncomfortably. She pulled her hair half way up and tied a shiny gauze ribbon around the top of the pony. Her silk black hair cascaded down her back, ever so gently tickling her skin.
Emma walked back to her make-up table, shoes clicking on the hardwood floor. She scoured her drawers of cosmetics, only pulling out the necessary items. Once finished plucking make-up she looked at what to do first. 'The eyes' she thought. The brush circled in the pink eye shadow and then covered its shimmer over her eyelid. Then she tediously applied mascara to her already black eyelashes. For her last finishing touch, she glossed her rather large lips. She gasped in delight as she looked herself in the full length mirror. One last thing, her bag full of make-up, a book (just incase)her new a improved I-pod and her wallet. She quickly gave a last glance into the mirror, then turned and opened the wooden door to head downstairs. The familiar hallway was dark and silent. Emma descended down the wooden stairs, counting each one as she stepped. (10,11,12) On the last step she slipped and just in time grabbed the railing, stopping herself from falling straight on her face sending her heart into a frantic beat.
" Aunt Fran, I think we can go now. Am I forgetting anything?"
" Yes, how about your invitation?"
" Is it necessary?"
"I'd think so."
" Alright, will you answer your phone this time when I call for you to pick me up from the Halloween Party?"
" Yes! I didn't know it was you last time! I'll make sure to answer..."
Aunt Fran opened the front door and a cool fall gale rushed in a rustled all the plants and papers in the front hall. Emma shivered in her white laced heels.
" Maybe you should go and get the cloak that you begged me to make you. You've only worn it once."
" Where is it?"
" Upstairs in my closet. Make sure not to touch anything."
" Of course."
Her heels clicked once again when she traced her steps back up the stairs. The hall was a vast darkness, an eerie silence stood heavy in the air. The dark wasn't Emma's favorite thing, actually she was very afraid of it and the only time she felt comfortable in the dark was in her own bed. Her fingers lightly ran down the stucco wall as her eyes stared out the window at the end of the hall. The moon was high in the sky and was in full bloom. The trees bobbed back and forth in the cold breezy air.
Her aunts door was the last one on the right. Emma placed her hand on the door knob and turned it slowly. She had never been in her aunts room before, not even the first time she been over here. The door flew open to reveal a picturesque Victorian room, complete with a canopy wooden bed. The walls were white with a light wood trim. The night stands and armoires were all a dark mahogany wood, finished with a polished shine. Next to the perfectly made bed was the white closet door. Emma opened it and saw the contents were bare. A few black dresses and her red cloak were the only things accompanying the closet. She grabbed the cloak and briskly jogged her way back down to her aunt, impatiently swaying back and forth, her arms crossed and her foot tapped loudly on the floor.
" Alright. I got it."
" Good. You're ready now right?"
Emma swung the cloak over her shoulders and tied the strings close to her throat.
" Yea we can leave now."
Her aunt opened the door once more and walked down the cement path towards the red sports car that was parked next to a young tree. Emma waited next to the car staring into the starry night. From the hill at which their house sat, she could see the whole city of Paris, its lights twinkling all different colors. The Eiffel Tower was looking over the town of Paris, protecting it from any mystical danger. Emma heard her aunt yelling at her to get into the car, so she boarded into the vehicle. The ride was silent and awkward, Emma staring out the window with her Aunt concentrating on the road. She imagined her perfect night, dancing the whole party with her crush Laramie Andre, she's had one on him for 8 years. He was the richest man in all of Paris and the highest status in society as well. Oh what a sight to see. He had dark green eyes, with light blonde hair, his figure was slender but built. For a 27 year old, he was in fine shape, and caught many of the girls eye. Yet even through her day-dream, deep down she knew there would be no hope.
The Paris Opera House was a divine sight. There were spot lights and a red carpet sprawled out for those who deserved to walk its velvet. Limousines were lined up to let the wealthy out. Emma had to say that she felt a bit out of place to be at a party like this. Laramie did invite her, that thought did put a sparkle of glee into her. She waved a hand off to her aunt and walked up the red carpet, paparazzi whispering and snapping pictures of her as she ascended the carpet. The doormen opened and closed the doors every few seconds as the guest piled into the marvelous building.
Emma snatched her mask just as soon as she walked through the door. The warmth of the building melted her freezing fingers while she put the string of her mask over her head. Her voluptuous body tensed as she saw the amount of people– all wearing masks– that were in the main lobby. Not that she was claustrophobic, she didn't feel comfortable in large crowds, especially when people were staring at her, rudely too. Most men were staring with thirst in their eyes. The women were rolling their beady little eyes, and lifting their chins in attempt to hide their jealousy. She wasn't use to the good attention, nor was she ready for it. She felt her cheeks grow hot under the multitude of stares growing. Thankfully out of the corner of her eye, she caught Laramie coming to the rescue.
" Ah, Emma you're here. I was beginning to worry that you were ditching me. You look really good tonight." Laramie flashed a beautiful smile to Emma, making her heart flutter.
" I am not that stupid to ditch you Laramie. I would be considered a loser to do that." Emma tried to smile back but ended up giving him a half-frown, half-smile under the pressure of the glaring people. " Im not good around people."
" Well how about I start the music and we dance together. I'll be back."
Laramie went past the people to the DJ, talking to him in a quiet tone and then looked back at Emma with a look of admiration. ' Maybe he just sees us with a sibling relationship.' Behind her, people were pushing through the door, bumping into her just as a stuck-up wealthy person would do. As the music started the stares shifted from her to the music, and Emma felt the knot in her throat relax. Laramie disappeared from the DJ and traced back with a glass of wine. Emma smiled at the glass, finally a source to loosen her up.
" A drink?"
" Thanks. I love Halloween don't you? I don't have to be myself. I can pretend to be whatever I feel like." Emma shifted her weight from one foot to the next, while Laramie looked down at her tenderly.
" Yea, I know what you mean, you can just crawl out of the nut shell you have to life in everyday. Uh, Emma I'll be back. Im sorry but I have to make my rounds considering I am the most allegeable bachelor in the city of Paris. It's a scary thought. I'll come back to you, I promise."
Emma nodded. Another chance blew by for her to get him by herself. She knew very well that he was the most allegeable bachelor, and she wanted him to be with her. Standing there alone once again, she felt someone watching her, a feeling that made her uncomfortable beyond belief. She walked away from the front of the lobby to the side of the grand stair case. The shadows are a safe place for her to hide without any one watching her. The music played fast paced beats and soon Emma found herself stepping back and forth almost breaking into full dance.
Time had passed since Laramie promised his return. Emma felt herself stuffing up and decided to find the court yard for some fresh air. She walked the long silent hallways, passed empty darkened rooms which promised a devious background. The lights were dimmed as a few candles were placed along the hallways, just for the special effect. Finally she found her way to the doors to the court yard. Her hands traced the wall till it hit the cold, glossy glass. The doorknobs were cold and heartless, unable to express any inanimate emotion. Her fingertips pushed them down and the doors flew open. The air flipped her dark midnight hair behind her as she stepped into the court yard. Her steps faltered as she heard a woman giggle and a mans voice. Out from behind a column, came Laramie, his hair whipping wildly in the fierce night wind. Emma was about to call out to him on how he had forgotten to get her, but then a blonde came out from behind the column with him. At first, she thought they were just teasing each other, a childish thought indeed. But then, Laramie wrapped his arms around the girls shoulders and kissed her fully. Emma's heart froze in its place and then broke into millions of pieces scattered amongst the hard, leaf covered ground. She felt her eyes heat up with watery, hurt tears, the saltiness invaded her mouth and slipped onto her tongue. A surprised gasp emanated from her throat and spread through-out the court yard. Laramie turned around, his smile sunk into a frown.
" Emma, how long have you been standing there." Laramie moved forward, walking slowly and unsurely.
" I shouldn't have even imagined that I would have a chance with you. It would be too much of a dream wouldn't it! God, how stupid can you be Emma?" She said, more to herself then the couple standing frozen, worried on what to do.
" Emma, I'm sorry. It just sort of happened. I did like you, I really did. But then Angelica came along, and it was like love at first sight." He moved forward to place a warm gentle hand onto her shoulder. She shied away from his attempting grasp.
" It isn't your fault. I was the one who dreamt it all could happen. Don't blame yourself for what I thought could be possible." Emma succumbed to the tears that were held back for the whole period.
" Do you want to talk about it?"
Emma glared at the man.
" Oh yea, I would love to talk about how you fell in love with a stranger! After all we have done. The picnic, the night out dancing, the dinner reservations. I guess that all just slipped your mind hasn't it."
" No. I remember all that perfectly. But its just that, I don't know. My mind played tricks on me. And, also Angelica and I had more chemistry."
" I failed chemistry. Apparently I'm bad at both the to definitions." A tear fell onto her cold fingers.
" What do you want me to do Emma? I'm in love."
Emma's sadness soon transformed into anger.
" Forget it! Forget you! Just tell me where the women's bathroom is then. Could you manage that without your mind playing tricks on you?"
" Its too the right and down the hallway. Are you sure you don't - "
" I don't need anything from you anymore Laramie. Have fun with your 'Angel'."
Emma turned sharply on her heels and marched past the double doors and turned to the left. She mumbled curses and complaints under her breath as she made her way deeper into the Paris Opera house. Soon the lights were barely even on and the candles were keeping the hallways lit. ' This can't be right. What the hell did that ass tell me? He must have wanted me to get lost.' Emma started to panic in the growing light. She was about to turn around, but a lit stairwell caught her eye. Finally she had reached the women's bathroom. She thought it would take her 3 light years for it to come. Her fingers wrapped around at the sides of her dress, hoisting it up just slightly, as she descended down the spiral staircase. A room came into view, very old and dust circulated through the white-washed cement compartment. It definitely wasn't the ladies room.
Emma studied the room with a narrowed eye. It was a drawing room, with old rotting papers and candle holders spewed over on table tops. She put her bag down next to the table and stopped. Emma gazed at the oddity, wondering why this room had been lit. She sat for a moment and tried to think of a logical explanation for the candles being on. Her ears strained to hear any movement, but all they caught onto was the music blaring and the chattering of the party. A sparkle out of the corner of Emma's eye caught her attention from the party noise. It was a shining light on the floor, golden brown. She bent down to get a closer look at the shining light, perplexed on how this could be so bright with the dim light in the room. When she touched it, the place where the light hit her fingers tingled. Finally, without any more patience left, Emma picked up the light. She laughed when she found it was merely a golden wedding band. On the interior of the band had inscription in it. It read, ' I love thy Angel', and on the exterior were roses inscribed into the metal. Who ever must have carved this must have had a crafted hand. Emma smiled at the spirited words, it almost reminded her of something, like Romeo and Juliet or... she couldn't pin-point it. But soon her feeling of joy terminated as her eyes found it difficult to concentrate on one specific thing.
The chattering of the party up above slowly evaporated as Emma clutched the golden wedding band in her palm, her fingers turning white from pressure. Her head spun inside her skull rapidly, making the empty old compartment room a blur of colors. Reds, blues, greens, and florescent yellow spun into a color vortex, until all the colors flushed into a black oblivion. The last thing Emma remembered was her feet losing balance with the floor, and her delicate black head banging against the end of the old wooden table behind her. As she laid sprawled out under the table, the dust and mold blew away from each crevice and landmark. The candles were reborn into flickering fire and the stones old age melted away into a younger form.