Red Dress (Hold On)

            The crash was as a dream. Surreal and impossible to recall. Like a word just past the tongue yet stuck on the lips. She only knew now. There had never been a before. Only the burden of her present day sadness. A weight made only more unbearable without closure. 

             It was a particularly beautiful night. The hot summer air had a brisk bite to it and the moon shone boldly. The nightlife was in full swing. The beep and buzz of cars, the chit and chatter of passing civilians. Everyone was so full of life. She sat on her wooden stool in front of her vanity. It was an old piece supposedly owned by a Hollywood actress. It had a big glossy mirror with bright bulbs lining the top edge. It was her favourite place to sit and think. The thinking on that night was a simple thought. 

             “Do I go out?” She wondered to herself silently. She was expected by several close colleagues and friends. Yet she had very little desire and even less fondness for getting ready at that moment. She stared into the vanity feeling vain and unfulfilled. Rising from the stool she traversed her bedrooms hardwood floor into the living area. It was a well decorated home. The living room having very modern style furniture with matching end pieces and throw pillows, with a rug that really tied the room together. In the back corner of the living area directly across from the bedroom door, was a bar. She approached it almost cautiously, and eyes the contents. Making up her mind fairly quickly she grabbed the bourbon and a rocks glass, pouring herself a healthy three fingers of the elixir. Taking a slow and steady sip from the glass she sat briefly on the love seat to her left. Her head swam, not from the liquor, and she caught her reflection in the full length mirror almost directly across from her next to the suites main door. She was very undressed at the moment, wearing only black lace underwear with matching bra. She had a lean and slender figure with slight but sexy curves. Her hair was naturally a delightful dark red with rolling waves, it was her favourite feature. Observing herself in the full length, she took instant dissatisfaction with the long scar that stretched up her right leg, it was thin and not as noticeable as it had once been. The scar began midway up her right calf and wound its way up over her knee then rested midway up her thigh, almost to her hip. It was a daily reminder of a time that no longer existed. A time she no longer remembered. She stood abruptly, without spilling her drink, and walked over to the main living room window. It looked out over the city, she was on the 7th floor of her building and had a great view. She saw the busy streets and the bright lights, could hear laughter and joy from the street below. Cringing, she straightened up and returned to the bedroom vanity. She sat her drink down in front of the mirror and began brushing her hair. 

            The telephone rang, taking her off guard she paused for a moment. Figuring it to be her friends she took a sip of her drink and slowly rose from the vanity. Knowing how the conversation would go she went over it in her head as she approached the ringing. Lifting the phone off the receiver she let a cheerier than she was “Hello” pass through her lips. “Hey, are you coming out?” We’re the first words she heard, barely having time for her greeting. Her friends insisted she join them, and after a brief and flimsy debate. She gave in and told them she was getting ready, and on her way. The final words stung her for almost no reason at all, yet she felt her heart sink as she placed the reliever back on the hook. Taking a moment to process, she went back to the vanity. One healthy sip from her drink later she resolved that her hair looked fine. Reaching for her lipstick she stared into her reflection for a passing moment, feeling a sincere lack of anything towards the eyes staring back. She picked out her brightest red stick and applied it slowly, almost with a passion. Dabbing it with a nearby napkin she took a carefully poised sip from her drink and admired her makeup with a distant but present despair. Now to get dressed, she approached her wardrobe in the corner of the room, across from her bed, and perused the contents. She wanted something sleek, something glamorous and tasteful. At the same time as she spied the candidate she could feel a cold wave wash over her. A Red Dress, it was her most elegant dress, and the only one she hated as much as she loved. It was a hate for almost no reason she could comprehend, just something she knew, as if there was something it was missing that prevented a more complete love. She carefully slipped it off its hanger and draped it against her body. It was so soft and welcoming, yet cold and lonely. Turning to the vanity she slowly and delicately pulled it on over her porcelain skin, past the scar on her leg, and over her under garments. It completed her look. She was beautiful, she felt beautiful. Something was missing though, as she stared into the vanity she imagined the complete picture and saw only her. Yet she knew that something was missing. Something she’d had before, and lost. She was incomplete. Beautiful, but broken in half. 

             Taking the final sip from the glass, she dabbed her lips again, checked them and then turned to the closet once more. This time in search of shoes, which she found quickly. She wore a pair of black heels, they added several inches and were still comfortable. Feeling accomplished and dreading what came next she turned to the phone once more. Reaching for the receiver her hand shook lightly, ignored it she picked up the phone and dialled a cab. Hanging up, she turned and left the bedroom. The night had yet to truly begin, although she truly felt it might not. Resolved to still attempt a decent time, she practiced smiling in front of the full length mirror in the living room. Feeling foolish that she needed practice at all, she quickly stopped and straightened herself up. Staring into the mirror she could feel the weight and burden, the pressure. A quite large amount of time had passed, but it felt as a dream. Every day surreal, and it really did feel almost impossible for her to remember what life was like. Really living, that is. She’d lost a great deal in a moment, and wondered how long it took to recover. One lone tear rolled down her cheek, she brushed it away and shook it off. Hearing her buzzer, she smiled into the mirror and knew it was time to go. The sadness had yet to wash away, but as he always told her: everything does eventually. As he did, and as she would. Stepping out her door, she knew, even just for a moment, that he was right, but God did she miss him. 

The End 

The sadness may never fully wash out 

Whether doused with water or wine 

The only true way to find that freedom 

Is within the hands of time 

Hold on

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