She didn’t blink. She didn’t want to miss a possible twitch that could betray her composed demeanour, making her secrets naked, despite her dressing them up with reassurances of how ‘everything will be okay’. The earrings that were threaded through her ears were too heavy. They dragged at her lobes, fighting against giving into gravity that beckoned them further ground-bound. Temi had coated each one of her thin lashes with a gentle sweep of glistening mascara, making them appear heavy, thick and voluminous, despite being lightweight and seemingly non-substantial.
The diamonds did a good job of concealing her neck and did far more than shine -they struck a note that matched the thud in her chest. She could see them bounce a little against her bronzed cleavage, along with its jilted rise and fall. She heard the song as the £10,000 drop necklace tapped its slow rhythm, each chisel-perfected gem mourning for the lives lost for it to be acquired. She too could have cried if her eyes had not been rubbed dry the night before, with an abundance of tissues that could have made even the most flat-chested woman look busty.
In another lifetime, in another light, she would have looked angelic, for that is why the colourless colour was donned on such a day, although she knew very well why there was a demonic tinge to the entire affair – the fan-fare; the ceremony; the lie. The sweaty palms, muffled prayers, shuffling feet as the deceit trailed behind her past the eyes of hundreds of so-called well-wishers and the averted glances as they knew, yet hoped no one knew they knew too.
Her gaze flickered to the door handle, as she watched through the mirror as it was twisted – once, twice and the third followed by a a little force. It was her mother. She was the only person in the family would could not push her bedroom door open the first time.
Smile. Try not to say too much, just say that you’ve got butterflies; of course you’ll be okay; no, you don’t need Gaviscon; once you get outside you’ll feel much better; no, you don’t want Auntie Felicia to get in the car with you; yes, Uncle David would do just fine; yes, you would’ve loved for Daddy to be here too; no, you’re not going to cry. And after all the questions are answered, Debbie, smile.
© The Londoner, June 2011