Evelyn whipped her long auburn hair into a quick messy braid before sweeping it into a tight bun. Out of the way, and least likely to get paint in it. She smiled as she looked in the worn vanity mirror. It was December thirty-first and ten o’clock at night. Evelyn pulled on her paint splattered overalls over her multicolored paint shirt. She made sure to have bare feet, her toes painted in rainbow colors just for this moment. Making sure all her sleeves were rolled up, she double checked her clothing. Everything in order. Everything including her nails painted in homage to Roy. G. Biv.

               She padded into her painting room at around ten thirty, and started to set up her blank canvas on her easel. She needed to prep the canvas before she painted. Taking her favored brush with the red handle, she started the strange ritual. Everything was color coded. She always started with red and ended with purple. Dragging the red handled brush into the white paint she coated the canvas and let it alone. Evelyn then placed the red handled brush into a cleaning solution and washed her hands of any white paint. Needing to let the canvas alone for an hour, Evelyn went to her kitchen. Her red colored wine glass was clean and waiting. Pulling the sparkling wine out of the fridge, she popped the cork and poured herself a glass. Taking a sip, she reflected on the past year. Walking over to her wall opposite of the kitchen entry way, she looked at the last year’s painting. The wall was covered in different rainbows all painted to reflect her hopes and promises for the next year. One rainbow had each promise written in a color in the arc to make the rainbow, another had the promises written as raindrops of color from the rainbow itself. Evelyn thought about what she was going to paint this year.

“Promises, hope, and a new year.” Evelyn thought to herself as she drained the wine from her glass. Looking at the time, the grandfather clock she inherited from her beloved great-grandmother; the one with whom she shared her artistic flare; read a quarter to eleven o’clock. Placing her empty red wine glass on the counter, she grabbed her orange tinted one and poured herself a new glass. Evelyn headed into her painting room, and grabbed her orange handled brush and dipped it into the black paint. Outlining her design, she listened to her upstairs neighbors New Years party going wild. She had turned down a few invitations to various parties, her work friends and casual acquaintances not understanding her strange ritual or reasons for a quiet new years eve. This wasn’t a new tradition, just something she and her great-grandmother Eileen, had started when she was young. Doing something new to bring out the old and start fresh. After she was pleased with the design, she placed the brush into the cleaning solution and went to turn on her music. She didn’t mind the noise from upstairs but it just wasn’t her taste of music. The bass was obviously placed on a high setting as it rattled the windows of her apartment.

After settling for an Enya cd and swaying to its familiar melodies, she picked up the yellow handled detail brush and started to work on the first arc of red. Her next arc was orange using the green handled brush. The arc of yellow was rhythmically placed with a blue handled and green with the purple brush. Taking a moment to pause, she finished cleaning the red handled brush and painted the blue arc. She cleaned the orange handled brush and painted the final purple arc. Placing the dirty brush back into the cleaning solution, she took a sip of her wine and mused for a moment. Taking the yellow brush, dipped it into the black paint, she painted each wish for the new year on the different arcs and clouds of the rainbow. Grinning as the painting finished, she looked at the small digital clock read five minutes to midnight.

“Perfect timing as usual.” Evelyn thought, setting down her wine and turning off the cd. Upstairs had gotten quieter as the countdown grew near. Finishing off her glass of wine, she quickly headed for the kitchen and grabbed her yellow tinted glass and the champagne she’d bought just for the stroke of midnight. Making sure to twist off the cork instead of popping it, she didn’t want a mess, she poured it into the glass. Noticing the paint on her hands, she washed them then drying them on the fluffy towel hanging from her oven door handle. The grandfather clock ticked nearer to a minute to midnight. Smiling to herself, Evelyn took her glass of champagne and headed into the living room. The seconds ticked down towards twelve. She could hear the party upstairs work into a crazed frenzy. Shouts, glasses clinking, and cheers were rising above the beat of the music from the speakers.

“Thirty…twenty-nine…twenty-eight…twenty-seven…” Evelyn started to count down in time with upstairs. So far everything has been perfect in her usual ritual. Sitting in her window seat, she looked out into the dark clear winter’s night.

“Fifteen…fourteen…thirteen…twelve…” Evelyn continued to count down, memories of the previous year floating in her mind along with some of the promises of the next year. Like the big trip to Ireland to see where her roots came from. She’d heard stories of the Emerald Isle and it called to her. Her great-grandmother would often tell her stories as she painted. Evelyn wished she was here to share the ritual but alas she passed five years ago.

“Ten...nine…eight…seven…six…five…four…” Evelyn carefully lifted the champagne to her lips. Excitement was bubbling up inside her threatning to over spill.

“Three..two…one.” Evelyn cheered by herself taking a big drink of champagne, a new year. A fresh slate.

“Athbhliain Shona!” Evelyn said. “To the new year!” It was going to be a rainbow of opportunities and adventures.

December 31, 2019 00:43

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