February 11, 1862
Hope listened in wonder to the world outside.
Her mind still filled with the last remnants of her past. She wondered where this new profound endeavor will take her. Her preference was to listen in on the happenings in the flat. The daily occurrences consisted of complete silence, broken only when he comes home. The lady of the flat oftentimes hums a melody which Hope found to be rather melancholy. Her voice, as far as Hope was able to tell, sounded like chimes. When she spoke, they were words of such power, yet they were delivered in whisper. Hope was able to tell the force of such power since it is oftentimes followed by his yelling and slamming the flat’s door. And, the flat again became silent and the humming resumed. Hope was used to discontent between two people, but they were once mostly loud and filled with passionate anger. The discontent within this flat was far more powerful, it was the silence that screamed piercing all within it.
She was once in the middle of such torment. Her life before consisted of what many consider a profession that has been around for centuries. What she did was known in many different languages and spanned throughout the world. But to Hope, it was all she knew what to do. She was groomed to provide such service to men, and she grew to relish it. The price to pay may have been that her society looked down upon her occupation, but Hope believed that it could have been far worse. The life of a Courtesan is a far safer life than that of street urchin, Hope used to say.
Her Venice accepted what she did to survive. She was known as an artista, one who was essential to the very livelihood and culture of the Venetians. She was a beauty that competed with the culture. Her hair was the color of sunset where the reds and golds mingle before twilight. Her eyes blue as the sky that looks over the bridges and pathways of Venice.
Her Venice was filled with life and color. Her days were spent studying literature and art and all the politics—such things were only privy to the women of her profession. She wasn’t just merely a bodice to penetrate, but a bodice who can reveal knowledge as well as she can her breasts. Her nights were filled with endless conversations and things that would never have been revealed in books. The artists in her time only captured a minutia of such things in their work. What Hope did to them can never be replicated through colors, but can only be expressed from one human being through another.
Hope wondered how her Venice looked soon afterwards. She remembered her birthplace as a city that floated on water, and how the smell of the ocean air lingered in her hair and her pores. The need to grace her body with oils sapped from the most exotic flowers was pointless as the Venetian air overpowered any fragrance. She realized that she could barely remember how her streets looked like. Her kind was never quite allowed to walk the streets of Venice. The rule was that women like Hope only traveled by water through the means of a gondola, just as Venice floated on water. She does not remember much about the Gondolier who was loyal to her. Her last vision of him was of his body hanging halfway out of the gondola, a knife sticking out from his back and a trickle of blood dripping from his arm right down to his fingertips where it created a cesspool of vibrant red liquid on the pillow.
Hope heard the usual sounds in the flat. The daily screams of a kettle boiling and the humming that came from her. Hope heard the calmness of her breath, and Hope knew this meant that it will be a peaceful day. She was the woman that Hope would call Mama, but the man who screams calls her Lizzie.
Hope began to drift in her mother’s womb, a drift that floats without end.
She thought of all the things that she will do differently in her life this time around. What she planned to do and what she was meant to do.
As Hope began to lose her sense of self, she heard a voice in a distance, she knew his voice quite well. Before her soul left her fragile tiny body in her mother’s womb, she heard the man who would have been her father faintly yell Lizzie.