She is pale, her face drawn, the pouches under her eyes slyly revealing her age. Her greying hair barely falls across her shoulders – they are growing wild in areas she has not been able to comb. She reaches up with her brush and tugs at the knots, painful though they might be.
It is pouring outside, and no one will call upon her. But then, in sunny weather too, this corner of hers is forgotten.
Thunder explodes outside, and her windows rattle. Surprised, she pushes back her chair and rises to the window. Tugging at the curtains, she peers outside. Unable to make out the world in the dark, she does what she did as a child. Standing between the curtains and the window, she cups her eyes and thrusts her face against the window.
Chaos reigns outdoors. Black raindrops fall, invisible, onto the lonely road that leads to her house. As she watches, orphaned branches skitter and scatter, and the trees that still stand swing wildly to the tune of the gale.
There is not a soul in sight.
There is a calm in her soul, as half-lost dreams dance in her eyes. She was once young too, and there was a man – a man like no other….Gazing up, she tries to read the sky – but there are no answers in its murky depths.
Lightning cracks its whip across the clouds, and for a split second, it captures her, as she had been – wide-eyed, soft, and joyful.
She sighs and collects herself. Quickly checking the bolt on the window, she returns to her seat at the mirror.
The bulbs overhead flicker and dim. Did she forget to pay the bill this time? She blows air through her mouth. She will have to check tomorrow. As the lights go out, she finally concedes defeat, and dumping the brush, climbs into bed.
Slowly, sleep takes over – and then she is free.
Free and in love.