The woman in the mirror is frowning, brow creased and biting her bottom lip. A quarter-turn to the left, then to the right, appraising with a critical eye. I look up and meet my own eyes, counter the expression of anxious self-doubt with a wry roll. Let my tummy relax from its tense, defensive, held-in stance. Allow the truth to seep in and expand before me. I may never regain the smooth flat planes of my teenage shape. A sigh.


She steps into view and-

oh, hel-lo gorgeous

-for she is, truly.

Often a source of displeasure, tonight her appearance sparks joy across my synapses. Luminous, carefully made-up dark eyes peer anxiously before widening with delighted recognition.

she sees