The Signs of Autumn
“You’re definitely an Autumn,” the makeup artist told me as she roughly brushed a brown color on my eyelids.
“Well, Autumn IS my name.”
“That is just too funny!” she gushed, “It’s a really pretty name.”
“Is it?” I thought to myself. Fall is the season where the skies darken, a chill sets in, and plants start to die. More depressing than pretty. But I wouldn’t say any of this to the makeup artist. She was preparing all the bridesmaids for my friend Paige’s wedding and you’re supposed to be cheerful for weddings.
When our faces and hair were ready, all the women walked down a long hallway to where the groomsmen were. Two of the other bridesmades were discussing the men in the wedding party. I’m a quiet person and for some reason people seem to think that also means I don’t listen. In reality, it means I listen more.
“I’m totally going to hook up with the best man,” the maid of honor whispered loudly to another bridesmaid.
“That’s so cliche!”
“He’s smoking hot! I’ll do that cliche.”
“No offense, but you barely know him. Isn’t that a bit slutty?”
“I’m not slutty... I’m sexually social!”
We got to our walking partners and linked arms. Who we walked with was based off of height and we were the shortest pair. I don’t care about height with guys like some girls do. My partner was probably 5′7 and I thought he was very attractive. As we walked down the isle, I struggled in my heels, and clung tightly to his arm keep myself steady.
Paige looked breathtaking with her long blonde hair in curls. Nobody would ever think she looked like an Autumn. She radiated sunshine like a summer day. She cried gently as she gave her vows and even her tears seemed happy. I’d never understood the concept of happy tears. If I cried it always meant I was sad.
Following the ceremony, the wedding party went outside to take photos. Everybody kept commenting on how lovely the colorful leaves were, but I couldn’t wait for the shoot to end. The flashing lights and moving around for different poses exhausted me. Eventually it ended and we were all told we could go back in for the reception.
Craving a few moments of quiet and solitude, I decided to take a short walk in the woods nearby. It was calming, especially since I knew the reception was about to be loud and crowded. Several times I was about to turn back, but decided to venture a bit farther.
Then I stumbled and everything went dark. I had slipped on some falled leaves, hit my head, and loss consciousness.
I’m not sure how long it was before somebody shook me back to reality. I sat up very slowly with my pounding head.
“Are you ok?” the girl who had shaken me asked.
“I’m Autumn,” I responded groggily.
“Do you believe in signs, Autumn?” she asked me as she brushed some hair behind her ears.
Her ears were pointy and I stared at them. She noticed and covered them up quickly. Now I was scanning her in search of something. The girl was pale and petite with little hands and feet. She reminded me of something.
"You look like a fairy."
Impossibly, her skin became paler and she didn't move a muscle. She started muttering something barely audible.
"You must have been one of us."
"You have to help us! Autumn is almost over and then it'll be too late!"
She was louder now, almost frantic. Before I could respond, we both heard the swish of people walking through leaves and calling my name. The girl I had been talking to rushed away. Starting to feel dizzy again, I lied back down. I vaguely recognized the men who approached as Paige's cousins.
"Her head is covered in blood," one said to the other seriously.
For the first time, I touched my head and noticed it had indeed bled. It seemed to have stopped though. They each took an arm and started walking me to the hotel the reception was at. As they discussed calling an ambulance, I thought to myself that these linked arms reminded me of walking down the aisle as a bridesmade. The guy I walked with had also been pretty pale and petite. Did he have pointy ears too?