She told me girls wear makeup because they’re self-conscious. Eyes that couldn’t speak for themselves called for mascara and eye-liner. Small thin lips hired products to accentuate them. Most people were one way or the other, she said. I asked her why she never wore makeup. She said it didn’t do anything for her. I agreed. She didn’t need the assistance. That was six weeks ago. Five weeks ago she wielded the scissors I never thought she could lift and snipped the umbilical cord to my heart. She turned away while I fumbled to seal the gaping hole.
Maybe I was low on vitamin K, but that hole would not clot. Maybe it was because I was willing to take the needle and sew the cord back on. Maybe it was because I picked the scab every time the stream of blood slowed. After five weeks of bleeding I thought the tissue would reassemble and seal the wound. Perhaps a scab had formed and I didn’t realize it.
Now I am meeting her for Tuesday brunch. For the five brunches previous I sat here watching the empty space across the table. I would be so hungry and have no appetite. Today was no different. Maybe I was five pounds lighter with hands too shaky to pilot a fork, but my appetite had not changed. She wanted to be casual friends. Brunch was a good place to start, her text said. Any chance for the needle, I responded. Sitting down five minutes early, I waited for twenty-five minutes, watching my food go cold as I was unable to touch it. Bacon and eggs, a side of toast, a glass of milk; it was the formula for a healthy breakfast. I wanted to start the day on the right foot. Breakfast was what I wanted, something to sustain me. The plate being set down before me was filled with a Caesar salad. She was here for lunch. My eyes fell on the long dark lashes. She blinked and they waved at me.
I remember the soft brush of them on my cheek as I laid my head on the pillow beside her. The moonlight sparkled on their blonde tips while her blue eyes met with mine. She would smile and I would return it, pushing the delicate tresses behind her ear, gently brushing her cheek with my palm. “Goodnight,” she would whisper, closing her eyes and smiling as my lips pressed against her cheek. “Sweet dreams,” I would respond as I gazed at her eyelashes against the pillow. I would fade into sleep and she would meet me again in my dreams. I would open my eyes and she would still be there. I would smile like I did the night before and throughout the day. She would share every smile, every hand-squeeze, every kiss, every time.
But five weeks ago the passion was extinguished and I bled myself out in the dark. Now she sat before me, no smile on her lips and mascara on her lashes. I didn’t know what to say. The dark eyelashes stretched their long talons. I didn’t know if I had anything to left to bleed. But as her eyes did not return the smile they always had I realized she was not here to sew. Mascara brushed on my wound, and it stung.
Breakfast and lunch were best kept separate.