“Absinthe Bourgeois” (ca. 1900) - France, The Morgue Brothers An advertisement for Absinthe Bourgeois, which uses elements from Charles Maire’s “Pernod Fils” ad and the poster ad for “Le Chat Noir” by Theophile Steinlen
Artist Ekua Holmes, who designed our poster, “May We Forever Stand,” uses news clippings, photographs and vibrant color to energize her art. “I work primarily in collage, rescuing what has been lost, forgotten or discarded. I then construct new images, pieced together like a down-home quilt, that resonate with a message that is personal and universal.”
Holmes used the word “eternal” to describe the feeling of the museum. In the poster, a curvilinear pathway shows the not-so-perfect road her ancestors had to follow. Silhouetted profiles symbolize both man and woman facing the future. Atop is a crown echoing the museum’s corona. Other parts of the collage highlight aspects of the museum, including its bronze exterior, its historical documents and its music collection. Photos within the collage are from the museum collection as well as The Washington Post’s archives. The quotes are on the walls of the museum.
“WHAT? HEY? CLAIRE??? ARE YOU OKAY?…. ANSWER ME!” I yelled in my phone.
Shit. Shit. Shit.
Damian. He was in front of her house, waiting and texting her. He is a really bad ass. Normally I didn’t care about Claire’s Ex but Damian was a speciall one. Drugs. Cigarettes and bad stuff. I’ll never know why she was even with him. She said he was standing there… tensed fists and rage in his eyes, yelling some damn shit at her. She was hiding inside her house, peering out of the window, frightened. She broke up with him a while ago … but I guess he didn’t like it…
I frantically ran out of the kitchen, past my room and out of the front door. My feet were running as fast as they could. Damian had to be inside. He scared the crap out of her.
With short trembling puffs I reached her house. The door was wide open. Her whole house was full of darkness. Why weren’t her parents home today?! Oh yeah right… they were in Glasgow for few weeks to visit the family. Claire hated it to visit them so they left her home alone.
Oh Claire… just because you are my best friend …
I quickly reached the door sneaking inside… I didn’t know what I was thinking… I just knew that I needed to help her.
Now I know…. that my plan was just some dump, stupid shit…
Someone roughly grabbed my forearms drawing me towards Claire’s living room. I was screaming and struggling against the tall man behind me. I was sure it had to be Damian. And he did not dissapoint me.
“Hey beauty,,, wanna come and join your pretty best friend?” He spoke like I was a little child.
“What did you do to her?” I shouted angrily.
He chuckled before he turned on the lights. Claire was sitting on the floor across the room. Her hands were tied up in a scarf which I was sure it was hers.
“See? She’s still alive.” He said like it wasn’t a big deal.
“You son of a bitch!” I yelled, yanking my arms away from him and running to Claire who was sobbing and tears were streaming down her beautiful face.
“Gra-a-ac-e” She stammered. What had he done to her?
“Shhh. It’s okay… Claire I’m here.” I said like we were alone. But we weren’t. Damian grabbed my hand, drawing me away from her. He slammed me against the wall, pinning my wrists next to each side of my body. Then he came closer.
“You will shut your fucking mouth. You little slut. Did you understand?” His voice was creepy slight.
“No! What did you fuckin-”
I was cut off by his hand, sharply slapping across my face.
“Did you understand?” He repeated more angrily.
“Y-yes.” I whimpered.
He pulled away… leaving me alone. Now Claire had his full attention.
“Mhh? You broke up with me?” He whispered in a snooty way. It made her even more cry. I was still shocked but I risked probably my life and made my way towards him, pulling him to the side and howering over Claire to protect her.
“You fucking slut.” He yelled with a deep voice, slapping me again. But this time I fell to the ground, hiding my face behind my hands. The pain was almost killing me. My face was burning and I could feel the redness as tears were leaving my eyes.
“BACK OFF!” I heard someone shouting.
I couldn’t move anything, so I was just laying there motionless. Then I heard a dull noise …suddenly somebody was falling on the ground, next to me.
Please … stop… stop this right now…. - I pleaded as everything went black
I woke up in somebody’s arms. They were strong and toned. I couldn’t move anything so I kept my eyes closed. My head was snuggled in somebody’s warm and cozy chest. I could only smell the whiff of a male perfume. Probably Armani? Or something expensive like that.
I opened my eyes, quickly looking up to see his face.
THANK GOD! It was Niall.
He noticed me and tightened his grip around me.
“Hey…” He smiled.
“Hi.?” I said worried.
“Slept well?” He asked grinning.
“Yes….” I wondered why. “…what happened?”
“You were at your friend Claire’s house and there was a guy… I beat the shit out of him… if I’ll see him again…”
“Where’s Claire?” I asked but still couldn’t move anything. I don’t know if it was because of the ‘Meet & Greet’ with Damian or because of Niall’s tight grip around me.
“She’s on her way to the hospital…” He said, looking up.
Now I realized that we were driving… we were sitting on the backseats of a car. Or should I say… that I was lying in Niall’s arms?
“Where are we going?” I asked curious.
“Home. I want to be sure that you are safe tonight.” He said a little bit nervous.
Home? Wasn’t he on tour? I snuggled into his chest, closing my eyes and listening to his heart beating, while we drove 'home’. I didn’t even figure out what it was … between me and Niall. Just a friendship? Or maybe more than that?! The only thing I knew at the moment was that his chest was pretty comfortable as I drifted off to sleep.
She was sleeping peacefully on my lap. Her face buried in my white t-shirt. What was actually going on? I mean… our ‘date’ was interrupted by the call and she just ran out of her house, down the street. Like she was crazy?! Thank god I followed her. Who knows… what could have happened to her after I knew why she ran away from me. No one ever did that before….
This guy… why was he so livid?
Claire was sitting there… on the ground, like he was about to beat the crap out of her. Soon as Grace will be awake I had to ask her. I knew something was wrong as she walked outta the room without an excuse. But for now I had to admit that I really enjoyed her where she was. In my arms.
Kinda insane…. but I liked her. I really liked her.
The dreams. Our chats and our 'unfinished date’… wonderfu-.
“20!” The driver told me and woke me out of my daydreams.
“Thanks.” I paid the money and opened my door, carefully lifting her out of the car and up the stairs to my flat.
She murmured in her sleep what made me chuckle. Soon as we were inside I laid her down on my bed, pulling up the covers to her chin and looked at her for few more seconds… she was so beautiful…. like always … when I saw her sleeping… you know what I’m talking about but in 'reality’ she was even more beautiful than in my dreams. I left her alone and headed to the kitchen, gingerly closing the door behind me so I did not wake her up.
Maybe she will be hungry when she was awake? Like I was. I was so damn hungry.
That’s when I stood infront of my fridge.
I had an headache. Damn it. Now I was awake. I slowly opened my eyes, the light was blinding me. After about a minute I could see where I was. But wait?! WHERE WAS I ?
I looked around. Everything looked really expensive but still like a normal little apartment. Pretty nice bedroom though.
I tried to remember last night.
I was defending Claire and Niall was defending me. Thank god, thank Niall… I could’ve been dead. I owed him something. He was in trouble because of me. I’m just so stupid… I ruined our date…
I stood up walking to one of the two doors. I opened it and found the bathroom. Yes I was right. I really needed to go to the toilet…
After I washed my face at the sink I dabbed the wet away with a white, soft towel. Suddenly I stared at my reflection in the mirror infront of me. I saw a girl, the brown hair was falling down on her shoulders and her eyes were sparkling dark. She looked really fresh and kinda proud. It was me… I smirked at myself then I walked happy out of the room and tried to find Niall.
It had to be his apartment, I remembered my head snuggled against his chest… suddenly I blushed at this thought. How embarrassing. I was really afraid to stand infront of him now but anyways I had to find him and thank him for what he did to Damian this little prick. I have to say that I didn’t even know what he had done to him. But Damian left and Claire is in an hospital right now. So I guess it worked. I hoped Claire is alright though.
I walked down a large hall and stopped infront of one door I appreaciated it was the living room, maybe I could find him there? My heart was thumping wild against my chest I could almost hear it in my throat.
My shaky hands reached for the knob, carefully pulling it open. I peered through the cap, to see Niall in the kitchen which was conected with the living room. He was cooking something.
With small steps I approached the couch, not leaving my eyes off of him. He really knew what he was doing, looking like a professional chef.
Maybe it wasn’t a good idea to stare at him because I ran into something which felt like hard wood. A table. The coffetable. Shit. It was hurting really, REALLY bad.
Of course he suddenly turned around.
“Grace!” With that he ran towards me, pulling me down on the couch, taking care of my hurting shin.
“Are you okay?” He asked.
“Yes… it feels already better.” I said and he smiled.
“Are you sure?” I nodded.
“I made some pancakes because I was so hungry and I thought you probably too!”
“Aww I love pancakes-” I really do. “- thank you Niall… and by the way… thank you so much eh … for … beating the shit out of Damian.”
“It’s just… eh I didn’t even beat the shit out of him. I would yeah … if he will get close to you again… but he just left us alone as he saw me standing there… ”
Damian? He left us alone just because he saw Niall? Okay that amused me. But I forgot that Niall’s famous. I would probably do the same if I was in a situation like he was.
“Really? Ehm still thank you… I could be…dead.” I whispered the last part.
“Stop! Don’t say that! Never, ever again.” He looked kinda scared.
“How long was I asleep?” I asked confused why it was already early in the morning…and I kind of tried to change the topic.
“About an hour and the whole trip to my apartment so I guess like about ten.”
My eyes grow wide. WHAT? How long were we driving? I blushed again at the thought Niall looked at me while I was laying in his arms. Maybe he stared at me for the whole trip?!
“How long did we drive? Weren’t you sleeping?” I asked worried.
“A long time…No… I … I just eh looked outta the window.”
Oh he really thought I’d believe that? Nope and yes he was really watching me. Jesus. Could it be any worse?
“Can I ask you something?”
Oh my gosh. What did he want? He was now carefully rubbing and stroking my swolen red leg with his thumb. There will be a bruise tomorrow though.
“Who is this guy?”
Shit. I had to tell him about Claire and Damian. I knew Claire would probably kill me but he rescued her and my life. I took a deep breath…
“Ok… his name is Damian, Claire broke up with him and I guess he didn’t like it…. cause normally he was the one who left the girls alone. Drugs. Fights and alcohol were a main part of his life… and last night she called me, that he’s standing in front of her house, yelling at her and throwing things… by the way… I’m so sorry I left you alone…”
“Grace… it’s okay. That doesn’t sound good. Why did she even 'loved’ him then?” He asked and I realized that he was kinda like me.
“I don’t know. I asked her the same… I never liked him and I’ll never understand why she even laid her eyes on him..-”
Wait… I stopped… what was that? I smelled something.
Yes it was defenately smoke. But I didn’t think that Niall smoked.
I sniffed. “Do you smell that ?”
Niall looked at me with a frown. It remembered me at the concert where he was looking with the exactly same expression at me.