The Forever Sleep

The Forever Sleep

A Chapter by Laine
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Everyone has secrets. Its human nature to have them as well as impossible.

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Everyone has secrets.

Its human nature to have them as well as impossible.

There is always something that you hide from your parents, your friends, your significant other or someone else in your life.

It can be something weird like how you like a mayonnaise, peanut butter, strawberry sandwich, or it could be something extreme like you saw someone killed and now you’re part of the Witness Protection Program.

My name is Gabrielle Aimee Devereaux, I am a seventeen year old girl with too many secrets.

I was born in
Paris, France, cool right?

I may have been born there, but I was raised in a town called
Winchester Falls which is halfway around the world.

I haven't been to Paris
since I moved to Winchester Falls.

This leads me to my first secret, the one I’ve had for as long as I can remember.

At nineteen, Camille Dumas was considered to be the most beautiful woman in all of
Paris: long ruby red hair, beautiful sparkling blue eyes, alabaster skin, tall and willowy, more graceful then a ballerina and a wonderful smile.

My Maman was born a model.

She had a hard life; she had worked ever since she was twelve to help my grand-mère Babette out as my grand-père Francois had passed away of lung cancer when Maman was six.

“There wasn’t anything she wasn’t good at,” my aunt Sarah told me, “Camille was beautiful, kind as well as sweet. She loved life and celebrated this love daily. I cannot remember a day when she wasn’t smiling. For all the hardships she had been through, she always saw the positive side of it all. Always saw the light at the end of the tunnel. She just… shined with light and happiness. Camille was as free as a butterfly, just like the birthmark on her ankle.”


Which my aunt Sabrina was convinced was a tattoo until I was born.

 

Papa always said that I look like her, but I don't. My skin is pale and slightly freckled, my dark hair hair is limp and hangs in front of my face, my eyes are just grey and I'm the klutziest person that ever lived.  I only have the birthmark, but it can be found on my right shoulder hidden by my shirts.

My father used to call her “Mon papillon cramoisi”: my crimson butterfly. I'm his “mon petit papillon”: my little butterfly.

Maman was given a job at École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts as a model for one of the portrait classes.

That was when she met Benjamin Devereaux... the man who would become my father.

I’ve always been told it was love at first sight and I believe it.

Maman fell in love with the dark haired, smoky eyed American artist instantly and it was the same for him.

He was the rebel of the family besides my Aunt Sabrina who had runaway five years earlier on her eighteenth birthday.


 The Devereauxs were known to be a family of politicians and lawyers. My grandfather had planned that life for my dad before he was born: he would go to Harvard and one day be the governor of New York as well as perhaps… one day… President of the United States.

Well, only my father’s little brother Thomas became a lawyer out of four kids and his career was ruined after it was discovered he had a mistress… who was seventeen and was pregnant with his kid.

My dad went on to be an artist and was disowned the day he moved to
Paris, just like my Aunt Sabrina had been.

“He looked… relieved the day he went to
Paris. For the first time in a long time, your father looked happy. Benjy was doing what he wanted, not what our father wanted. He was doing something he loved and I was proud of him. I had more pride that he was my brother from that day on and it won’t change. I’m still proud of him.

But when he was with your mother, there was a light in his eyes I had never seen before. He always smiled when she was in the room and seemed to glow with happiness and joy that Camille brought him.”

My parents were inseparable after that and on the day he graduated four years later, Benjamin John Devereaux known as Benjy by most of the world, proposed to Camille Jacqueline Dumas.

Two months later, they would be married and then two months later, under the guise of the most wonderful thing that happened to them, was a mistake.

 

The biggest mistake of their lives… one that would take the life of my mother.

 

Me.

 

Almost a month and a half before my mother was due to give birth, she went into labour.

 

And on Christmas Eve, 1993, I killed my mother by being born.

 

She just… pushed too hard and a vein in her brain popped.

 

Grand-mère told me that I was the last thing she saw and a smile was on her face when she closed her eyes for the last time.

 

My father was sick with grief and couldn’t even look at me, much less hold me until I was almost one year old.

 

After I was born, Grand-mère came to live with us.

 

Grand-mère Babette took care of me during that first bit of my life before the cancer that killed her husband, took her away as well.

 

I remember her as if I saw her yesterday: pure white hair, sweet smile and kind chocolate brown eyes. She always smelled like roses and jasmine with a hint of citrus.

 

Grand-mère was the stereotypical grandmother, always kind and sweet, loved to bake and make things, spoiled me rotten, walked me to school and always had a hug for me.

 

I loved my Grand-mère.

 

I remember the visits to the hospital, how the smell of the cleanliness made me ill.

 

I remember how fragile she looked in the white bed, the smell of roses gone, replaced with the clean smell.

 

I remember her funeral, the coffin laying there and not understanding what “dead” meant.

 

I remember my father standing next to me, dressed in a suit, his head down, arm around my shoulder, holding me close to him.

 

I remember wearing the dark bottle green dress that Grand-mère had made me.

 

I remember looking up at my father, how much older he looked then his twenty-seven years, his small smile at me.

 

I remember my questions.

 

“Papa… why is Grand-mère Babette in the box?” A look of sadness passed his face as well as a look of thought. How to explain to a five year old what death was.

 

“… She’s sleeping, papillon.” I was confused. If Grand-mère was sleeping, why wasn’t she in bed?

 

“Then when don’t we wake her up?” I remember Dad smiling sadly, his grey eyes were filled with sorrow and his face pale. Grand-mère Babette had been the closest thing he had to a mother as my paternal grandmother is a drunk.

 

“This isn’t the sleep you can’t wake up from, Gabby,” he whispered softly to me. I got quite for a moment.

 

“… Is sleeping the forever sleep?” Papa smiled softly.

 

“Yes, mon petit papillon, the forever sleep.”

 

“The one you never wake up from?” I remember the sadness creeping up into me.

 

Papa nodded his head slowly; the tears were starting to fall down my cheeks.

 

I felt alone and scared, I had lost my mother and my grand-mère to this evil sleep.

 

What I didn't know was that I would loose someone else to a secret... one that would become my own secret one day

 

**********

 

When I was seven, I asked Grand-mère why I didn’t have a Maman like everyone else did.

 

I sat at the kitchen table, watching Grand-mère make the dough for her famous chocolate chip cookies when I asked. I remember how she froze and looked at me; her chocolate eyes had a sparkle of sadness in them

 

“She’s sleeping the forever sleep, mon peu le curieux,” my little curious one, “and dreaming of the angels.”

 

“Maman’s not dreaming of angels… she is one, Grand-mère.”

 

I remember my response, the smile on my Grand-mère’s face and the sorrow in her eyes.


I had always believed my mother was an angel, she looked like the ones I had seen in pictures when I was a child. 

“Yes, mon amour, she is.” Grand-mère went on baking when I asked my next question a few minutes later.

 

“Grand-mère… why did Maman go to sleep?” I was only three; I didn’t understand that it was my own birth that had denied me my mother.

 

Grand-mère smiled softly at me, placing balls of the chocolate filled dough onto the pan.

 

“Every one has to sleep the forever sleep one day, Gabby; you, me, Papa, everybody. But you won’t until you are very old.”

 

“But Maman fell asleep and she wasn’t old. Why did she sleep?” I was so curious and as I go back to my memories, I can now see that my Grand-mère was trying to hold back tears.

 

“… I don’t know why, Gabrielle. It was just how it was supposed to be.”

 

I was going to ask more, but then Papa came home and my attention instantly went to my father.

 

I never asked Grand-mère about the forever sleep after that. Two weeks later, Grand-mère would be admitted to the hospital and less then a month after that was when I asked Papa why my grand-mère was in a box.

 

It was hard after that, everywhere we went we were surrounded by memories.

 

Papa decided it would be best if we moved to live near my Aunt Sarah and Aunt Sabrina.

 

Not long after Papa left for France, Aunt Sarah went to university to become a vet. Her parents weren’t happy about that and threatened to disown her, but she was inspired by my father to do what she wanted.

 

She hasn’t seen my grandparents ever since.

 

Not long after she graduated, she moved to a a city called Winchester Falls to live with my Aunt Sabrina who was a bartender.

 

That is where I would move two weeks after my Grand-mère passed away.

 

I just packed two suitcases, one with all my clothes, the other with my Maman's clothes, her and Grand-mère's jewelery, Maman and Papa's wedding photo as well as Grand-mère and Grand-père's as well as some other little things.

 

I was happy to see my Aunt Sarah and Aunt Sabrine, I had only met them a couple of times, but they are still a kid in a way and they knows what it was like to be my age.


Aunt Sabrina's the rebellious one

 

I was happy again.

 

But my happiness was short lived.

 

Almost a month after moving to Winchester Falls, I woke up one morning to find my father not in his bed. 

 

Aunt Sarah found a note on the kitchen counter from Papa saying that he couldn't take care of me and that he was too broken.

 

I cried for three days.

 

In the process of seven years, I had lost my Maman, my Grand-mère and my Papa.

 

What I wouldn't find out until ten years, would be that the note that my father left?

 

It was a complete lie.




© 2010 Laine



Author's Note

Laine
EDITED!

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Featured Review

:O Such a cliffhanger at the end >.< *update soon!*

;] I really like the opening chapter because it has me hooked, and I don't usually read long chapters because they tend to bore me, but yours didn't. What a great way to start out the book, I'm already excited :D

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I agree with iTouchPandas, what a cliffhanger! lol You have the start of a very wonderful book here, I just wanted to keep reading it. I love the transition between what seemed to be the 'older' Gabrielle and the 'younger' Gabrielle. It sort of reminded me of Charles Dicken's novel 'Great Expectations'. You have great flow here, nothing seemed out of place, or too sudden. This would be a book I'd come back to read. Keep it up! :)

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

:O Such a cliffhanger at the end >.< *update soon!*

;] I really like the opening chapter because it has me hooked, and I don't usually read long chapters because they tend to bore me, but yours didn't. What a great way to start out the book, I'm already excited :D

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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387 Views
2 Reviews
Added on April 23, 2010
Last Updated on May 1, 2010
Tags: secret, diary, death, guilt, depression, family, love, art, paris, university, moving, canada


Author

Laine
Laine

United Kingdom



Writing
drowning. drowning.

A Chapter by Laine