Ansley: The Best Kind of Love!
1st -1000 words
Ansley stood at the entrance of her front door and watched her well-meaning family drove away.
She loved them very much, but she was glad to be alone. It had taken way too long for them to leave. But she’d known that would be the case when she called them for help.
Ansley closed and locked her front door; the dazzling smile she’d had since she’d first signed the lease still pasted on her face.
She couldn’t help it, it had taken years of hard work and several migraine level headaches, but she’d finally made it. Ansley looked around the ground level of the building she now owned, and a sense of pride filled her chest.
Today was a dream finally realized. Ansley was now the proud owner and operator of Ansley’s Art Therapy Center. She’d spent the better part of her childhood confined to a wheelchair.
After years of battling childhood Scoliosis, her stepmother had helped design a series of surgeries to correct her spine. Ansley had spent the next few years recovering from the trauma to her body and rehabbing her back.
During that time, Ansley had completed several rounds of therapy, physical and mental, and art therapy had changed her life.
So when Ansley had started university, she’d known precisely what she wanted to do. Her single-minded purpose and drive had propelled her forward.
Now she had a master’s degree in psychology and a bachelor’s degree in art. As soon as she could, she’d applied for her license and found the perfect spot for her business.
The only problem was its location. Ansley had decided to open her practice in London, and her parents were not thrilled with the idea.
Objectively, she understood their concern. Everyone in her family, even her younger siblings, worried about her. A worrying family came with the territory when a person had a genetic disorder.
When Ansley had chosen London as the city she wanted to move to, everyone had tried to talk her out of it. While she’d understood their worry and endured the lectures from her uncles and aunties, she’d disregarded them.
Ansley needed a fresh start, and she would never get that back at home. Back in Scotland, she still felt like the sweet little girl in the wheelchair. Her feelings were nobody’s fault.
Everyone in her hometown treated her well. Thanks to her amazing family, Ansley had a terrific childhood. Thinking back on that time in her life made her miss her family.
Ansley sighed and shook her head. London is where she needed to be. She’d worked so hard to get to this point, and now it was her turn to change someone else’s life.
Ansley’s dedication to her cause had caused her to chose this location specifically. Her building was comprised of two stories. On the first story was a studio and office space, and on the second story was a cozy two-bedroom apartment.
This weekend, every member of her extended and immediate family came to London to help her set up her center. Thanks to all of their help, she would be able to open her center by the end of next week.
Most of her work hung on the wall. When she was younger, and used art therapy to heal from some inner scars she’d carried around since she was a child.
Ansley walked over to one of her earlier works and ran a finger across the dried paint’s raised edges. A sad memory surrounded the small black and white painting, which depicted a beach landscape. It was from a time when she’d told a boy she liked him and watched as a look of horror flashed across his face.
He’d told her quietly he wasn’t interested in her like that. His bright red cheeks and flustered body language had only added to the hurt in the pit of her stomach.
Jessie was one of the nicest boys in her school. It was one of the reasons she’d had such a massive crush on him. He’d fumbled through an apology, his eyes avoiding her altogether.
Later, she’d overheard one of the meaner girls in her class remarking on how embarrassed Jessie had been when he’d turned Ansley down because he didn’t want to hurt her feelings. After all, Ansley was crippled.
That had been one of the first times she’d genuinely felt hurt over her disease.
Her father had spent the better part of her childhood shielding her from remarks like that; if she’d told her father all of the other hurtful things that particular girl had said after that, he would have come to the school.
Everyone in Scotland knew Brodrick Campbell would move heaven or walk through hell for his kids. Because of that, Ansley had learned to internalize her pain.
Ansley chuckled; why was she thinking about all of that right now? Today wasn’t the time to reminisce. She had too much to do. She picked up one of the boxes marked kitchen and carried it upstairs to her apartment.
Ansley smiled when she looked around the apartment. Thanks to Gabby, her tiny living space looked beautiful and cozy.
Her stepmother was known for her style, and Ansley was thankful for it. Ansley was far from stylish. If she’d decorated her apartment, she would only have the bare minimum of furniture.
Now her place looked like something out of a fine living magazine. Ansley dropped her box on the kitchen floor and opened her fridge. It was stocked to the brim.
There was even an expensive bottle of champagne with a note taped to the front. This must have been what Gabby was doing upstairs while they’d put in the office furniture downstairs.
Ansley wiped her eyes. As much as she looked forward to her new life, she knew it would be hard without her family around. She often spent her lunch break eating with her mom and younger sister.
Those times would be hard for her. Ansley sighed and opened the note.
We love you, sweet girl, and we know you will do amazing things. Just remember you always have a home in Scotland, and we are only a phone call away. I’m sure we are going to annoy you with how much we check in with you. But know it’s all out of love. We love you, Ansley!!!
-Mom and Dad
Ansley carried the note over to a small shoebox she kept under her bed. She was sure she would need to read those words when her homesickness hit her hard.