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anne rosemary lloyd
You were born with a partner. Someone by your side from minute one. You were thankful for this partner. She was important to you. Your darling sister, Athena.
You’re best friend.
When you were young, you cried when you weren’t sleeping next to her. Athena needed to remain close to you, for your sake more than hers. Even as you grew, you needed to remain close to her.
Each day, the two of you played together. You would take turns on who got to be the princess or the mom. For the most part, you two got along remarkably well. In your young naive mind, nothing was going to separate the two of you. You would be with your sister for forever.
So, when your parents told you that you weren’t going to be in the same kindergarten class when you want to school you were heartbroken. You cried and clung to Athena. Your tiny hands gripped her shirt and wouldn’t let go. You thought that if you cried enough and held on tight enough it would make them change their mind so you could remain in the same classroom. But, it didn’t.
For the first time, you were…
Dance quickly became another important part of your life. You were focused on it, as much as a five year old could be focused on it. Dancing around the house was your past time. You wanted Athena to judge you.
But, you moved on from that.
You were more eager to practice your dancing than being judged for it. You encouraged Athena to dance with you and for a time she did. Together, you would twirl around the living room smiling and laughing.
As you got older, you got more serious about dance. You were on a competition team and worked countless hours to make sure you could place at the competitions. Athena was beside you, but she never had the love for dance that you did. You stayed in and Athena would cheer you on from the sideline. And that was enough for you. To know that she was there and was cheering you on.
Eventually, she was eager to see your costumes. You would happily show them off to her. Wearing them, holding them up, anything to please your darling sister. Slowly, she dived deeper into fashion while you focused on your dance. The two of you supported one another and worked hard to be the successful individual your parents wanted you to be.
You didn’t want to disappoint them.
It wasn’t an option to disappoint them.
Competition season was fun. You loved it, but it was also stressful. Balancing dance and school was not your strong suit. You weren’t sure how you kept your grades up or you weren’t kicked off the dance team. It was common for one of the other dancers to keep an extra costume that would fit you because you were known to bring the wrong ones.
Or forgot them completely.
Getting your makeup done took far too long. Someone had to constantly be there to keep you on task otherwise you would get caught up in imaging the dance routine or playing your solo out in your head and all the mistakes that you had made.
But somehow, when you danced you were focused.
On the way home, when you were doing your best to work on your homework you weren’t. It wasn’t uncommon for you to turn in work with an unfinished sentence because something on the road caught your attention or you heard someone whispering about something and wanted to know what they were talking about. Eventually, you relied on Athena to make sure your work was actually completed and you’d go over hers in return.
Though, Athena was always more helpful with her tips.
Athena kept your grounded. She kept you focused (as much as she could). Athena was there for you as she always had been.
Going to company parties with your mother was something you were familiar with. You and Athena would help dress each other up in your new dresses and make sure that your makeup was perfect. Getting ready together might have been your favorite part.
But, you did get to hear good gossip.
Really good gossip.
You heard the dirtiest secrets from everyone. You found out who was cheating on who (and with whom) and you knew who was getting in trouble with the law. You knew it all and having that information was the reason you were eager to go to these events. You would share these secrets with your sister, but she never found them as interesting as you did. In fact, she encouraged you to stop. It was none of your business.
From there, you strived to listen to her words, but it was easier said than done.
The events were still the main way you got the dirtiest details of the people you knew. Eventually, you meant him.
Triton Waters was older than you, but he was a gentleman and you quickly found yourself crushing on him. You found yourself struggling to figure out how to flirt with him.
But, your sister didn’t.
Before you knew it, Athena and Triton were together.
The events suddenly weren’t as much fun anymore.
Suddenly, you couldn’t go anymore.
Years went by and Athena and Triton stayed together. It took a while, but it became easier for you to face. You started going to events again and would go out with them. The crush you had on Triton never faded, but you managed to deal with it. You wanted your sister to be happy and supporting her was the best way to do that.
Then came the engagement.
Once again, it threw you for a loop. Deep down, you knew that it was coming, but you had chosen to ignore it. Now, you couldn’t ignore it.
As Maid of Honor, you helped Athena with whatever she needed. You helped planned out her bachelorette party and worked on craft after craft to make sure that the wedding was perfectly decorated.
Working on the wedding had brought you to the conclusion that you too needed to make something of yourself. San Diego was not giving you the chances that you were wanting no matter how hard you worked. Athena had all these plans for after the wedding and you wanted that too. So, you were going to move to LA.
You saw your sister walk down aisle and dance the night away. She went off on her honeymoon and you headed to LA with the promise that you would write her as soon as you got there so she would come back to a letter.
You thought you had been alone before, but now you really understood what that word meant.
You were alone.
LA was difficult. You would go to audition after audition to get rejection after rejection. It was disheartening. You eventually found a waitress job that was willing to work with you when you had an audition. But even with that job, money was quickly running out.
You had roommates, but that didn’t seem to be helping you save anything. Trying to find decent food that would actually give you energy was difficult.
And you were quickly running out of ideas.
It seemed like it was just in time that you finally got a positive response. You had your first professional job. You were going to be a dancer in a music video. It wasn’t anything huge, but it was enough to reinvigorate your hopes and help you survive for at least another month.
The video wasn’t anything glamorous. You felt certain that it was a nightmare, but you kept pushing hard and giving your best with each take. Future employers were going to see this and they needed to know how hard you were willing to work and the talent that you had. This was going to be the start of something great!
Unfortunately, after the video, the well seemed to run dry once again. It was competitive and despite your hard work and countless hours of practice when you weren’t working something still wasn’t clicking. You tried different things to try and impress the casting directors, but that still didn’t work.
You would talk to your sister about how difficult it was, in letters and on the phone. She encouraged you and that encouragement helped push you through. But, that only helped your mental state.
Not your bank account.
So, when she gave you the news that she was pregnant, you decided now was as good as time as any to tuck your tail between your legs and come home.
Even if you were a failure.
Back in San Diego, you quickly tried to pick yourself up and move on. You once again auditioned for ballets and were happy with any part you got. At least it was something else to put on your resume in hopes that you would be able to land bigger jobs in the future. Now, the disappointments were easier to handle. You were back with your sister and now you had a little niece to dote on.
Attina was a doll in your eyes. You would dance around as you held her to try and entertain her and her toothless smile would make your day. You weren’t excited to have your own, but you were going to have to wait. You wanted to be stable before you had your own (and you wanted a partner), so for now your niece would do.
Eventually, you found yourself choreographing at your old dance studio. It wasn’t ideal, but at least you were still in the dancing world.
But, it quickly turned out not to be a disappointment.
You found a new love in choreographing. There was a bigger creative streak in your body than you realized and you became eager to let it out. Each dance was a challenge for you. Finding the music, you would practice in front of a mirror to try and piece together a dance before teaching it to the kids. You were there to help them. You encouraged them to keep pushing and some of them did, some of them didn’t. But, when you weren’t with a competitive team that was expected.
But, you longed to be with a competitive team.
And eventually, you got it.
You pushed those kids hard. You weren’t afraid to call them out if you thought they were being lazy, but then you tried to soften the blow and ask how they felt and encourage them to prove you wrong.
Competitions took a while to get used to on the other side of things. For a few competitions, your team didn’t do as well as you would have liked. You pushed yourself harder wanting that win and you pushed them harder, encouraging them not to give up and to keep pushing. You wanted them to use the drive of losing as a way to push them to that top spot.
Eventually, your team came home with a win.
And then another.
Finally, you were no longer a failure. You were no longer a disappointment. You had made something other yourself.
You continued to choreograph and were happy with what you were doing. You now had another little niece to spoil and you enjoyed spoiling her just as much as you did Attina. But, you weren’t going to get the chance to spoil her as much as you did Attina.
At least not in person.
You had the chance to travel overseas and choreograph there. France was thousands of miles away and the plane trip was far too long, but you didn’t see how you could really turn down a chance like that. You weren’t sure how you were going to handle being that far away from your sister, but you had made due when you were in LA, France wouldn’t be that much different.
As you left, you tried to stay strong, but it was difficult not knowing when you would get to see Athena, your parents or your nieces again. You had to keep telling yourself that this was a chance you couldn’t pass up. You needed to stick with it.
It took a while before you adjusted to your new life in France and even longer before you and Athena figured out how to get around the time difference and actually communicate. You would happily tell her about your new job and she would tell you stories about your nieces and what they had done. You would smile and speak to them even if they didn’t say anything back.
Eventually, you had something else to talk about. You had fallen in love. He swept you off your feet before you knew what happened. It started out with Leon helping you with your French and somehow those feelings snuck in catching you off guard. Athena had something new to talk about too. She was pregnant again.
Months later you had a new niece, Arista, that you were dying to meet.
And you had a reason to go back home.
There was a ring on an important finger.
It was important for Athena to be at your wedding and Leon understood that, so you two agreed to have two small weddings, one for his family and one for yours.
Back in the San Diego, you hugged your sister tightly before finally gathering your sense to introduce her to Leon. You were thrilled when they seemed to hit it off. You weren’t sure what you were going to do if they didn’t.
Though it really didn’t matter as you two were already married.
Once the wedding was over, you had to head back to France and this time it wasn’t as easy to say goodbye. You wanted to share your life more than you had been. The distance was getting to you and even with Leon to help support you it was still difficult. You needed your sister. And phone calls weren’t nearly enough.
Three more nieces were born before you and Athena had an email where you could communicate more easily. You even got to see pictures of all your nieces. It wasn’t the same as seeing them in person, but it was better than just hearing about them. You were counting your blessings that you were getting this chance.
You still didn’t have children of your own, but you would send her pictures of you and Leon on one of your nights out or a few of your dancers you had told her about who had really grown because, in reality, they were your children.
You had finally decided you were stable enough to try and have a child of your own. Leon agreed and was willing to try. You two tried.
After nearly a year of trying, you two went to a specialist for help to try and solve the problem. The news wasn’t good. Leon wasn’t fertile.
The two of you grieved for the children you were never going to have. Athena grieved with you, knowing just how much you wanted this. But, at least you had another niece. Now you just needed to go see them all.
When you and Leon healed, discussions about adopting became more and more common. The two of you looked into it, but something always seemed to come up where you didn’t follow through.
Slowly, it seemed like you had both given up on your dream.
You had felt old the whole day. There was something wrong and you couldn’t put your finger on what the problem was. Everyone here in France was doing well and you were waiting to hear back from everyone in San Diego. The longer you waited the more you began to worry.
And you had good reason to be.
The call left you devastated. Leon held you and comforted you as you tried to wrap your mind around the fact that your sister was gone. Athena, your older (by five minutes), talented, intelligent, beautiful sister was gone. A hit and run accident forever changed your life.
You flew back to San Diego for the funeral. You finally got to see your nieces in person and saw how much they grew. You finally got to meet Andrina, Adella, Alana, and Ariel thought not in the way that you wanted to. Even in your despair, you did your best to offer your support to all of them and Triton.
You stayed for as long as you could, but you had to go back to France. You thought you would grieve better there. Maybe you could support them from across the pond.
You heard about Skype from some of the people you worked with. You were excited to try it out and wanted to tell Athena about it so your two could test it out and actually see each other when you talked.
But, then you had that sickening realization that she was gone and you couldn’t.
Days like those made the healing process long and hard. You still couldn’t believe that she was gone. Even knowing that the driver was now sitting in jail didn’t help. It didn’t bring Athena back.
Leon did what he could to help you. He would hold you as you cried. He would take you out to dinner and to activities to try and distract you from thinking about your lost sister.
You did your best to keep in contact with your nieces and check in to see how Triton was doing, but you were struggling to reply consistently. Usually, you could pick yourself up and keep moving forward. To be successful you always had to keep moving forward, but this time you were struggling more than you ever had.
You once again felt like a failure.
Years passed and you pulled yourself together. Your choreographer was finally doing better. Your relationship with Leon began to pick back up and improve. Life was finally getting better.
Then the worst happened.
Leon had a heart attack.
You watched as he clutched his chest and slowly collapse to the floor. Reaching for the phone, you quickly dialed 112 and willed the emergency responders to answer quickly. You spoke in poor French as you tried to explain what was happening. They understood your poor panicky French and told you they were sending someone to help. You hung up and focused on Leon, running your fingers through his hair to try and keep him calm. You asked him to stay with you and reminded him just how much you loved him.
But, no matter how much you pleaded with him it wasn’t enough. Leon died in your arms. The EMTs did what they could to save him, but they had arrived too late. They couldn’t do anything.
Now you truly were alone.
Once again, you have to pick yourself and start over. You stayed in France for a while longer, thinking that would be best for you. You continued to work hard and grow your name, but something changed. France was no longer the home it used to be.
You wrapped things up and decided to head back to San Diego. There were a few choreography jobs that you were going to interview for when you got there. You were determined to get at least one of them and you hoped that an apartment would surface soon so you didn’t have to crash at your parents house for very long. There were a few apartments that could work, but once again you wanted to see them first.
Being back in San Diego for good was odd. It had been so long since you have been here for an extended stay that you weren’t sure what to do with yourself. You had a head choreography job at Stepping Stones Dance Company where your niece danced. After all these years, you hoped to get to know her better along with all your other nieces.
After being in San Diego for a while, you were just glad to be home.
athena titon from the little mermaid
birthday: september 28, 1961
face claim: sandra bullock
Anne's app was a whirlwind! I like her strength, and determination and her ability to make the best of a shitty situation. I felt for her when her twin sister started to date the man she'd been crushing hard on, but was happy to see she let the two of them be and embraced her nieces when they came around. I'm also so glad she found happiness and a direction in life! The way she and Leon weathered through the infertility and were close and in love after something that can often tear apart marriages was wonderful to read about. I'm so sad that she lost him, but it's going to be really interesting to see her back in San Diego and around her nieces! She's such a great character and I can't wait to see what you do with her, Erin! Don't forget your claims!