Clea Jenivie, District Five (Finished) Oct 24, 2011 18:48:40 GMT -5
Post by Stare on Oct 24, 2011 18:48:40 GMT -5
✰ Clea ✰ Samia ✰
✰ Jenivie ✰
Things I almost remember.
Clea is the third eldest in a family with seven children. Her older siblings have all moved out, and only one of her younger siblings is eligible for the Reaping. Naming them from eldest to younger, it is Addie (twenty-three years old), Bella (nineteen years old), Clea (seventeen years old), Drake (fifteen years old), Ella (thirteen years old), Fredrick (eleven years old), and Gracie (five years old). She lives in the oil district (District Five ), and works as a glassblower, which is the family business. Clea's father is also a hard working glassblower, and her mother makes perfumes. Their little shop on the corner is actually quite popular, but they still find they are just barely surviving.
And a song
Once upon a December.
There is only one looking glass in the Jenivie household. It rests at an angle against the stained wall, so one must kneel down to actually see their face. (My journal says that Papa is always trying to tell us that he will hang the mirror, but my journal also says that Papa has been making many promises he cannot keep as of late.) A large crack distorts the world that the speculum shows, but the image is still clear- Mrs. Jenivie is always careful to keep the polished glass shining. Clea is always perfectly satisfied with seeing only her shoes in the reflection, but there are times when her mother worries, and Clea will do anything to keep her mother from worrying. (My journal says that sometimes Mama will try to brush my hair and paint my face, but I don't like it and that makes her worried. Sometimes, it's best just to do as she says, because I don't like it when Mama is worried.)
She's never liked surprises, which consequently means she hates looking in the mirror. Before, it was never a problem- Addie and Bella always fought over "mirror time", and Mrs. Jenivie always fussed over their hair and nails. But after they moved out and Clea grew older, her mother decided it was time for Clea to start caring more about her self appearance. And so she looks, every once in a while, to keep her mother from worrying. But every time is torture- a harsh reminder that she is different and something horrible has happened to her to change her.
The girl in the mirror is always too old- what happened to the chubby cheeks and the short, slightly greasy hair? Where did all her childhood freckles go? (My journal tells me that I'm growing up, but I can't tell. I keep on waking up and expecting to be thirteen and feel thirteen instead of looking in the mirror and seeing seventeen.) This is in Clea's opinion, though- to everyone else, she looks far too young for seventeen. Unspoiled innocence clings to her face, wiping her features of all mature sharpness and making it as smooth as the glass she molds. Her face lacks the pronounced cheekbones and horrible seriousness that plagues the faces of early adults- instead, her face curves quietly and a gentle caring whispers through all of her features. Despite what she thinks of herself, Clea looks young- far too young to have been through what she has.
One would not guess that Cleo belonged to the Jenivie clan. Her family's trademark is their dark, beautiful hair that seems to be naturally silky and curly. Cleo stands out like a sore thumb, with bright red locks that often frizz up too much and is only slightly wavy. It flows down to her mid back, ending in horrible split ends. Her hairline is rather high, but side bands that curl over half of her forehead make this fact less noticeable. Clea's hair doesn't flow as one big curtain, like the rest of her family's hair does. Instead, it clumps into locks in a way that annoys Mrs. Jenivie beyond belief. Mr. Jenivie says that his mother, who passed many years before Clea was born, once had hair just like Clea's. He sometimes shows her pictures of her grandmother- a smiling, bright woman who looked just like Clea. Ironically, Clea's grandmother developed amnesia in her last few years of life, so few of her older siblings have memories of the real woman that she had been.
Clea's eyes are two ice blue disks that are always blank and rather confused. She has always had excellent vision, but her eyes aren't struggling to see- they're struggling to remember. Her gaze is always innocent and curious, yet the gentle girl's eyes feel like they could penetrate right through one's soul. They, of course, cannot, but some people find her unblinking stare rather unnerving. Her eyes are rather small in comparison to the rest of her face, surrounded by a thin layer of lashes and hidden under pale eyebrows.
Despite being convinced that she has nothing but flaws, Clea is actually quite pretty- her youthful, innocent face and cautious smile tend to make her seem filled with sunlight. She radiates a strange mixture of childish joy and heavy sorrow that makes her seem five years old and a million years old all at once. Perhaps she has yet to release her childish dreams (they are reborn every morning, so how can she not?), and that is what rests as a misty veil of unspoken words over frosty blue disks. Moments turned to minutes which turned to days which turned to years, but it seemed that Clea was trapped in Neverland, for youth continues to whisper across her features.
Clea's height does not help to make her look older- standing at just 5'1", only her two younger siblings are shorter than she is. It is yet another surprising trait, because Clea's family has been known to exceptionally tall- Mr. Jenivie says that his daughter's height is yet another trait given to her by her late grandmother. There is a noticeable difference between the faded photograph in the hallway and Clea, though- Clea's grandmother held her head high and was proud, adding a few imaginary inches. Clea dips her head downward and never looks proud- in fact, she almost looks ashamed. It makes her look smaller than she already is, and also far more pathetic.
Clea's bony shoulders curve downward into painfully thin arms with awkward joints. She looks as if a person could blow her away if they wanted to- there is not even the slightest possibility that she tops one hundred pounds. Her wrists are extremely thin and lead to well proportioned hands with long fingers and ten perfect oval nails. Several scars from bad burns wrap around the palms of her hands and fingers, however, but this is to be expected from a glassmith.
Clea is, as stated earlier, extremely thin, so her ribs are rather prominent. Her torso has several white lines crisscrossing over it, bringing back horrible memories of water and choking and a long, high pitched scream. Clea doesn't go swimming much, so few know the scars are there; those that do know that those scars are part of the reason why Clea is the way she is. A few can be found on her back, too, though she isn't sure exactly how many. (My journal says that I've asked Mama to count them. She does, but then she won't give me the number. Her face just becomes very pale and very sad. I don't dare ask anyone else out of fear for stirring the same sorrow inside of them, but their expressions whenever I mention the scars makes me curious- how bad is it?)
In comparison to the rest of her body, Clea has long legs. Like her arms, they are all too thin, with prominent knees that have pale scars from when she was younger and would fall and scrape her knees. Her family often worries about how thin Clea is- surely she must not be eating enough. But they can put a large amount of food on her plate and she'll eat it all, with only a stomach ache gained from their efforts. Clea's feet are exceptionally small with long toes- one one foot, she has a long, wide scar that starts below her ankle and curves around to her big toe.
So many scars etched into her skin, and with no pride gained. Whenever Clea would get a deep cut when she was younger, her father would call them 'badges of honor'. But there is nothing honorable about the white lines on her stomach and back and foot- they are all only painful reminders of the delicate wind chime child that she has become, forever lost in her childhood because she can remember nothing beyond it. She is as fragile and pretty as the glass she sells, although sometimes this worries her parents.
(My journal says I don't like looking in the mirror, and I don't disagree with it. I never even glance at the looking glass when I'm in the living room, because I know I won't like what I see. I just know it.)
Someone holds me safe and warm,
Horses prance through a silver storm.
Figures dancing gracefully,
Upon my memory.
There was a time, long ago, when Clea was bright and happy and excited. A time when she radiated life and no one dared stop the flow of sunshine that was always pouring out of her eyes and into her sweet words. Clea was all innocence and the cutest little girl in district five, with a shock of bright red hair that seemed to make her shine even brighter. People loved her positive attitude and were drawn toward her like a magnet- she was popular and nice and practically everyone in the district knew her name.
But that was before.
The change was drastic and most likely permanent. The new Clea is closed and quiet, wandering the streets warily and only when absolutely necessary. People don't talk to her and she doesn't try to strike up a conversation- she locks the world away and keeps all of herself hidden inside, behind frosty disks so that prying eyes cannot detect the hints of terror that rest just out of sight. If anyone actually tried to search, they would find it rather close to the surface- fear traced into her again and again in the form of white scars and water filled nightmares. Fright is such a consuming emotion- it ate away on the inside of her until there was hardly anything left, and so it now fills her emptiness with a presence that is hard to ignore and even harder to drive away.
Sometimes, on ice cold nights or silent afternoons, fear sinks away into plain despair. Clea wants and feels and needs as she searches for a lost cause in the few moments of her life that are empty. After the accident, Clea lost everything. Her memory sank away into inky blackness so that she could no longer grasp new events- it seemed that she was too busy dangling by the threads of her past the she could not see through the cloudy mist between present and past. The man in the white suit called it Anterograde Amnesia- the inability to develop new memories. Though her parents paid good money, the name did nothing more than give them something to call the nightmare. A growing part of her past will forever hide under a veil of invisibility, with only her journal to hint as to what might be there. Paper memories are nothing compared to the real thing, and while the man who sees her once a week helps some, there is still nothingness between now and then. A huge chunk taken out of the story, with every morning awakening to relive the horror. The man was surprised that she could always remember, with a sudden jolt in the morning, that she had a special condition. He was even more fascinated that certain faces and objects could trigger emotions in Clea, such as the mirror in the living room. The memories aren't there, but the feelings still are, and maybe that helps... or maybe it just makes it worse.
Her absolute terror at the idea of swimming is not a surprise. Clea used to love swimming on hot summer days, but now she trembles at the very mention of jumping into the water. A few have tried to persuade her into the lake, but it always ended in tears and headaches, so eventually they stopped trying and just accepted the fact that Clea would never be the same around water again.
Silence seems to be Clea's best friend (after all the others became traitors and left her). Words remain locked behind pale lips, forever unspoken because whenever she does speak it seems to be so wrong. People don't like it when she speaks- their eyes widen and their lips part and they act as if every word she speaks is a surprise. Clea hates it when people do that- it isn't her fault that she can't remember. Sometimes, they don't act surprise. Sometimes, things can be normal. But most of the time, they are not, and so Clea sticks to silence.
The Jenivie daughter hates arguments- she'll say whatever she needs to say or do whatever she needs to do in order to avoid them. If someone has a differing opinion, she changes her own opinion to avoid debate over the topic. She is obedient, always doing what she's told unless she forgets. She's never been defiant or rebellious- the few arguments she does get into always end with her crying.
She's never been a social girl- after the accident, her friends became freaked out by her new behavior and become extremely distant from her. Clea's journal shows that she's attempted to make new friends, but it's hard when she doesn't remember a thing about them the next day. The only real hope she has is making friends with someone she knew before the accident, and they all left her. Clea, though a teenager, doesn't go to parties or sleepovers or anything like that. Weekends are spent at home with her family.
She's always loved reading, and the large amount of time that she has to herself encourages her. If she's going to read a book, she has to finish it in one night, so many of her evenings are spent curled on her bed in her cramped little bedroom absorbing the words. She keeps notes of different books in her journal so that when she runs out, she knows which books she liked and should read again.
Writing is another one of Clea's skills, which is good, since all of her personality and memories and thoughts are kept in a book. Clea can bring a scene to life on paper, but that's never enough for her. She's always striving to do better, so she can make herself feel and see past experiences like real memories. Paper and pen are not enough to replace a person's mind. And yet she still scratches pen and pencil and sometimes crayon or marker onto snowy innocence until it is stained with her troubles and her thoughts and her. Reflected in every word (every letter) is her own face, her own mind. The silent whisper of something that happened in between today and yesterday rests within the pages of a single notebook to which her mother keeps sewing in new pages for her.
Clea's family are the most important people in the world to her. Her older siblings are always supportive of her, Drake and Ella do their best to help her preserve memories, and her two youngest siblings adore her even though they don't understand her condition. Her parents pay for anything that they think will help, even if it means giving up a meal. Clea would go to the ends of the earth for her family, and though her parents don't trust her with many other things, they do trust her to babysit her little siblings. Clea may be forgetful, but she always keeps a close eye on her brothers and sisters. She sometimes lies to her parents so that they won't worry about her, and will do whatever they want her to do to try and improve her memory even if she know that it is vain. Clea loves her family, and can't stand to see them suffer.
Glassblowing has always been Clea's escape. Whether she is making jewelry for the richest person in district five or a simple bowl as a favor to a poor family, Clea finds her emotions pouring into her work. She loves spending long nights making a beautiful vase, or perhaps soldering together a piece, since her family also makes stained glass works. Making perfumes with her mother has always been interesting, but she finds true joy in shaping glass to its full potential. She is the best at what she does out of all of her siblings- her father calls her a natural. Before, no one doubted that Clea would take over the shop when she grew older. They are doubtful now, however- could her condition affect her ability to make the glass business grow? Her father claims to still have complete confidence in his daughter, but it took a long time before he finally allowed Clea to ever work alone in the shop.
Clea is always polite. She eats like a lady and only speaks when spoken to if any of her parents' friends because that was the way they raised her. Clea was lucky- being the third child gave her more time with her parents than her younger siblings. The more children the Jenivie parents had, the more time they spent in the shop in order to make money, and the more they had to divide the time they did have. Clea became like a second parent to her younger siblings, raising them to be polite and kind and generous even though they had little to give. Gracie shows a certain interest in making stained glass that absolutely delights Clea. Parenting on top of all else should have broken the poor Jenivie daughter, but instead it seemed to make her stronger.
Things have broken Clea- things have shattered her to a point where it seemed like she would never be able to repair herself. But she always did, becoming more fragile each time but still remaining whole through troubles and tears. She's never tried to shut down her emotions in order to stop the pain- instead, she greets it with open arms (breath in, breath out. breath in, freak out) in a way that is most surprising to her family. Though she is delicate, Clea has demonstrated the qualities of a fighter that can be found easily if only one would try to find them.
Far away, long ago,
Glowing dim as an ember,
Things my heart used to know,
Things it yearns to remember.
Clea was born at 12:34 in the morning on February 18ᵀᴴ, the year of the 42ᴺᴰ Hunger Games. She was the third child born the the Jenivie family, and the also the third girl (though that pattern would be broken by her little brother Drake). The healer immediately announced that she was a very healthy baby, and those were the last words Clea's mother heard before she fainted. Her father ended up being the first to hold his daughter- at that moment, he decided that he would strive to give her the world and more. Clea instantly became Daddy's little girl.
The fuzz of red that began to grow on Clea's head was a surprise to the entire family- both Addie and Bella both had dark brown hair just like their parents. Her first word was 'Dada', spoken when her mother took her to watch her father work the glass. Her father said that it was a promising sign, and he was right. Clea's fascination with her father's work did not end that day.
Clea's learning accelerated in her early years. Her older sisters both helped her learn her colors and letters at a younger age than most, and her education only got better from there. She was the first to learn how to read in her class, and was excellent in math. Her parents were very proud of her, as were her older siblings. Around that same time, the first Jenivie son was born- Drake. Even though she was young, Clea became determined to teach Drake just as Addie and Bella had taught her.
The young Jenivie seemed to be the perfect little girl to all that met her. Her teachers called her a brilliant little ray of sunshine, and she had large amounts of friends. She was kind and smart and patient, and her imagination was one of the greatest of her grade. It seemed like the child excelled in all that she did, and was an excellent learner. All of her teachers said that she showed great promise in all areas, but her family knew that Clea wouldn't grow up to become a teacher or a writer. They all knew that Mr. Jenivie's prediction was quickly coming true.
Clea was six when she shaped her first piece of glass against the big spinning wheel in her father's workshop. The glass was pale blue, like her eyes. She worked on it for what seemed like an hour before going over to her father with a perfect little circle that looked like a blue coin. Her father had been delighted at her skill, and brought her to his shop more and more to work with glass. Her mother forbid him to teach her how to blow glass at such a young age (though both Clea and her father begged for it to be otherwise), so her first years in the shop were spent shaping glass and soldering it into beautiful pieces. People began to buy her art immediately, surprised that an eight year old little girl could make such colorful masterpieces. Everyone knew that Clea would grow to take over the shop after her father retired. Her abilities with glass were so completely natural that it seemed she could be a professional. Even if she didn't choose glass as her career, Clea's future was bright.
Clea also had a knack for babysitting- her parents' friends were amazed at how well she took care of their children. All the littler kids adored Clea and her fun, creative ideas. She had a way with younger kids- she would sometimes make them little glass coins like the first one she made herself, and they cherished those coins. Clea was just bright drop of sunshine in the dull area of District Five- people couldn't help but like her.
Clea entered her thirteenth year of life as a well liked, popular, fun person to be with. She was bright and pretty and kind, who never seemed to not have a smile on her face. Clea had a beautiful future ahead of her- a whole life ahead of her that would no doubt be filled with laughter and romance and fun. No one guessed that just a few months after her thirteenth birthday, Clea would change forever.
It was the first thing the doctor asked her when she woke up. The one memory that continues to come back to her throughout the years. People ask her the question often enough, but for some reason, her heart continues to pull it up. She's thought of it so many times that she could remember the event in slow motion, or sped up, or even backward if she wanted to. She could skip a part here or there or remember it into great detail. And it has haunted her for the four years that she has lived with her condition.
The warm summer breeze chills my skin as I surface, glittering ultramarine rippling at my movement. The sun beats down on the swimming hole, lighting up the forest in green fire. A few rays manage to penetrate through the misty water so that they look as if I could reach out and grasp them with my long fingers. The large rock that I love to jump off of sunbathes in the heat that has been suffocating these past few weeks- summer has reached it's climax, which is why I am so surprised that no one swims in the popular place today. Normally, it is crowded with laughing children from the farms- their parents won't let them work in the extreme weather, and so they come here to cool off in the unbearably thick torridity. Today, however, the place remains peaceful, with only my quiet splashes and distant bird cries echoing in the silence. The cool water feels good against my sunburned skin, and I dive downward again, my bright green swimsuit standing out greatly in the cloudy cerulean.
When I resurface again, I hear the distant sound of young laughter. Curious, I drift over to the large rock and heave myself up. The hot surface burns against me, and I quickly stand, shifting from foot to foot until the water dripping off of my cools the area where I stand. I then proceed to wring out my bright red locks, water splashing onto the gray surface of the rock with a loud splashing noise. I hear a sudden "oh!" of surprise, and look up to see a dark eyed boy about my age being followed by two little girls, one of which had made the exclamation of surprise. I quickly realize that the two must be twins, for they look exactly alike, and that the older boy must be their brother. I straighten up in surprise and smile kindly. "Sorry. I didn't mean to startle you."
He grins in a nice way, looking slightly embarrassed and slightly pleased. "Oh, no it's fine. You mind if I let them swim for a while?" He gestures to the two little girls, and I grin at them, earning two shy waves back. The boy smiles down at them, his eyes filled with a mixture of pride and affection. I give a quiet laugh. "Yeah, that's fine. It's a public place- I can't really tell you not to, anyway." The two little girls run past him at these words, taking simultaneous leaps into the murky water. "Be careful!" he calls after them, and I hear one give a non-convincing reply. He rolls his eyes but smiles all the same, and walks over to stand next to me. "My name's Luke. Luke Marling. And those two are Ink and Imi." He points them out individually, but since they're both wearing the same swimsuit, I become confused almost immediately. Seeing my expression, his smile widens. "Don't worry if you can't tell them apart. Not many can."
"My name's Clea," I extend my wet hand, and he grasps it in his warm, strong one. "Nice to meet you." His smile is nice. So is his hair.
"I, ah, don't think I've seen you here before," he says.
"It's my first summer coming here," I say. "My parents are shop owners, so I didn't find out about this place until recently." I smile as the two girls begin to splash each other rapidly, diving underwater for cover and using their feet on occasion. "They're sweet little girls."
"They always seem like it at first," he says, and I laugh.
We spend a few more minutes talking, but all too soon he is calling them back out of the water. "Come on, Mom said only a quick dip!"
"It was nice meeting you, Luke," I say, trying to keep the disappointment out of my voice.
"You too. Maybe I could, ah, take you out for ice cream some time?" he asks. I smile, feeling as if I could fly. "Yeah. Yeah, that would be nice. How about Saturday?"
"Yeah, Saturday sounds good," he nods, and then wraps each twin in a towel. "I'll you see you then!" And then they are racing to get home before their mother's deadline.
For a moment, I watch them, my eyes lingering on the area where they vanished to even as I turn around and take a step. Even as my foot hits the wet patch on the rock. Even as I slip, and tumble forward. And then my eyes rip away as I enter terrifying free fall.
There isn't enough time to scream. There isn't even enough time to take a breath as my back slams down hard into the water. Something very hard and very sharp hits me head, making pain erupt in my head as I sink into the misty beryl. Little serpentine coils of crimson drift above me, and I feel my back being dragged along the sharp rocks of the bottom, opening up large cuts. There is water in my ears and in my eyes and in my mouth and I can't breath, but it wouldn't matter even if I could because my world is fading, fading, fading into liquid darkness as my eyes drift close and tense, fighting limbs become limp and as heavy as lead. The last thing I feel are arms that are not strong or warm enough to be his dragging me out and a burst of cold on my face before the inkiness consumes me and I sink into unconsciousness.
The days following were filled with red stained bandages and pale faces and cold, cold hands. Nights were filled with pain, and she often murmured his name in the few hours of restless sleep that she did achieve. Luke. They don't think she was ever fully conscious, but there were a few times when her eyes drifted open and they managed to get food and water into her before they shut again. She had taken a very hard hit to the head and lost a lot of blood, but she was alive. After three days, Clea completely awoke. The healer was by her side in seconds. "Clea? Clea, it's me, Dr. Johnson?" Clea had nodded, and he had quickly continues. "Clea, what's the last thing you can remember?"
And Clea had promptly burst into tears.
It took several weeks to realize that something was wrong with Clea's mind. She could remember everything before the accident with absolute clarity, but not anything after. She would go to do something and then forget her purpose. Her parents rushed her back the healer, who only needed to ask her a few questions before telling her parents- their daughter had Anterograde Amnesia. She would probably never be the same again.
The next few weeks were filled with desperate attempts to fix what could not be fixed. Men and women who asked too many questions, different medicines, different therapies. Pale faces, growling stomachs, nights without dinner when little Gracie wailed in hunger. Long days spent laying in bed wondering what happened, what's changed? Those days changed Clea. They closed her, shut her down, and threw her to a faraway place where few could find her. A future that had once looked so bright became dark and scary. Clea did not want to enter it alone.
She searched for him, she really did. But he must have been a grade above her, for he was not in any of her classes. About a year after the accident, she finally got an answer. Luke Marling had run away from home, abandoning his family. No one knew what happened to him. He was presumed dead.
To this day, Clea remains quiet and closed. People know not to ask about the scars, for questions are only met with a sad, almost longing gaze. Her glass work continues to be the best in the district, but people doubt her abilities to own the shop- sure, she makes money now, but what happens when the glass shop shuts down? When her parents have retired, and she has no one to take care of her? What then?
And a song
Once upon a December.
The song is Once Upon a December, from Anastasia.
To learn more about Clea's condition, please read this.