There is a house in New Orleans They call The Rising Sun It's been the ruin of many a poor girl And God , I know , I'm one.
At the entrance, Huge lace black iron gates stand open. The gates are always open. Imperious and towering they sweep up to the heavens as a herald. Enchanted. Standing, silhouetted against the sky. Surrounding them, a high stone wall, almost impermeable by man, taller than I'd even seen a man stand. A red brick guard to the house that lies ahead. A wide long path, frequented by many a car and motorbike which had eroded much what had once remained here.
Through a large old oak double door, a large rectangular table. Mahogany. Arranged a top it, a mass of glasses, empty bottles and playing cards. Many chairs were scattered around it. Some upturned. Upon the wooden back of one chair that remained erect, a dark blue blazer draped like a cape with black patches that my mother had sewn over the elbows where I'd ripped it and a scuff upon the square breast pocket where I'd attempted to unpick the stitches which had once held a badge in place. That was long gone. I'd left it on my seat on the train here. Swearing id never go back. I didn't think I'd ever think of that world again. On the chair beside it, a cuff link in the shape of a cube with six little red and black embossed indents arranged perfectly. A dice. His favourite thing, other than me, his doll as he said. It must've fallen off the sleeve of his cream pressed shirt last night while he played. Or maybe when he'd picked me up to take me up the red carpeted stairs. Picking it up, I placed it in the pocket of the blue jeans my mother had sewn.
The stairs themselves were carpeted in red embroidered with golden thread; swirls and twists forming abstract flowers. Sitting on the penultimate step a pair of inky black stilettos with a ribbon tied in a bow sewn onto the back of the heel of each. They belonged to Daniela-Gracie. Though she just called herself Grace after she'd arrived here in Willow Brook because she thought it was sexier or prettier or something. Anyway, she wouldn't be out of bed for hours. Not after last night and the music and games and dancing. And she'd certainly still be in bed if Alex was still there. I remember the day I met Grace and she'd told me about Alex and that she'd lived in a town only 30 miles away from where I had lived before I'd come to the House of the Rising Sun. We're i'd been from. I'd been to Grace's town as a little girl. I went with my mother and my baby sister. She cried all the way on the train. God I wonder how she is. I wonder how school's going for her, she must've started a couple of weeks ago. I wonder how mother is.
A few steps above her shoes sat my old bag, what was it doing there? Someone must have moved it. The last time I'd seen that was when I'd put it on top of the old oak wardrobe in his room after I'd unpacked your stuff: my old white night dress mother had made, some socks and underwear, my only pair of high heels, an old pair for shorts for the summer sun, my little make up kit, a couple of t shirts, the school skirt, shirt and tie I'd taken off at the train station and a few dresses I though i could wear to look pretty; one in pastel floral shades with a belt I'd added, one rather tight in a tone of black and a red one that was long and flowing with lace around the bodice. He'd told me I didn't need to pack at all because he'd have everything I needed at The House. But I brought clothes just in case.
I sat down on the step. Something was in my back pocket. Of course, his cuff link. The first time I saw this was when I met him at the New Orleans train station on that sunny day. Brightness pierced the sky, I was ready for a new life of possibly and freedom with my lover. I had no idea he even played cards back then. He'd never mentioned it when we met after school all those times. But when I arrived here, Parker with the leather jacket told me he'd played since he was 15. My age. Since he'd been taught how to drink and smoke when he felt like it amongst other things. Strange to think.
I closed my eyes for a second.
Sleepy. Looking out of the large window lattice it was obvious why. It was dawn. The sun was rising over the house as it always seemed to. Starting behind the hills nearby and picking it self up off the floor and lifting into the sky just above this place. The sky was a glow with orange and yellow and dark blue that remained of the night before. I always wake up earlier than the others. I like the watch the sun rise. I always have. Some things never change I guess. I closed my eyes once more and tried to think of everything and of nothing. One thought remained: There is a house in New Orleans They call The Rising Sun It's been the ruin of many a poor girl And God , I know , I'm one.