La Vie En Rose

For as long as I’ve known her, she always adorned those shimmering, rose spectacles. Even in the roughest of times, her smile shone like a fresh, baroque pearl from its oyster. Her eyes, forever filled with a dreamy, far-away look with hope for the future and no regrets of the past. Personally, I never quite understood where she mustered the strength. Whether it be failing a test, losing a game, or getting rejected by her crush of the week, she always seemed to keep fighting. One would think that, after spending enough time with her, these behaviors would spill over and I too could see a world basked in a rose hue; that was never the case, however. I tried to follow her footsteps and make her my personal Elpis. Holding her cornucopia with a beaming smile, or the Northern star in my darkest nights. ‘If I could understand where it comes from, maybe I could truly be happy,’ I thought, all whilst trying to summon a hopeful smile from the depths of my heart.

Years passed and my resolve grew weak. Hers? Quite the opposite. Those pink-tinted shades never left her delicate face and she kept on dealing with what life handed to her. Abusive professors, meaningless flings, parties, future stress; all of it seemed to fall delicately off of her shoulders as she kept her poise. Eventually, after college, we did have to part ways…even so, I still thought about her as I went about my meager office tasks. How is she? Does she still act the same? Is she making someone else happy? How does she deal with life now? She shouldn’t still be plaguing my thoughts, but in my darkest hour, the thought of her manages to creep in from the corner of my mind. Her shimmering eyes, her soft smile, and those beautiful glasses….she was truly an enigma.

My position at the company never really changed. My desktop, my cubicle, and some photographs. Even so, I always caught myself staring at the one with a pinkish glow. The two of us, arms wrapped around each other and beaming smiles. Of course, her smile was genuine. For once, so was mine. My Elpis felt kind that day as her happiness and optimism washed over me in those five minutes, allowing that moment to be eternalized. How kind of her.

Eventually, our company had one of those stereotypical lake retreats for “team bonding.” While I wasn’t the most excited, it was still an excuse to take my mind off of my cubicle and even off of her…and that it did. The moment I stepped off of the bus, a wave of bliss washed over me. Bunches of ivy and emerald waved and groaned gracefully as the breeze caressed them. The water of the lake glistened and delicately washed against the shore, its blue hues mixing with the Earth in perfect harmony. ‘Is this how she always felt?’ I hummed to myself. As I looked around however, my personal Nirvana shattered. A figure was sitting upon the dock, its feet kicking and playing with the water while humming to itself. I couldn’t help but walk closer and closer as my heart tightened. My pace quickened and, eventually, my heart stopped; there they were, her rose goggles. Her smile had softened with age, but it had the same vigor and vitality that was easily recognizable. Once she heard me approaching, her head slowly turned to meet my gaze. 

“Oh my gosh, it’s you! Hasn’t it been a while,” she chirped. I only walked closer.

“How have you been? We need to catch up,” she giggled. We were nose-to-nose now.

“I’ve missed y-”


Her glasses laid softly within my shaking hands as the bubbles arising from the lake ceased. With no hesitation, I delicately placed them upon my face. Tears streamed down my face as I struggled to muster a smile quite like hers. My shaking hands, caressing the sides of my cheeks like she used to do. All I managed was a broken giggle.