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Shimmer Then Shatter
The girl in the red ball gown shimmers as she glides across the gold floor.
Her long, skinny fingers spread atop her partner’s shoulder like the legs of a spider.
He lowers his head and whispers in her ear.
Probably saying how beautiful she looks tonight.
She lifts her head up and smiles at him.
That beautiful smile that seems to light up the room.
But it’s not in her eyes.
He doesn’t seem to notice; he just keeps leading the waltz on the gold floor.
It’s a quick movement.
Almost like it never happened.
But I see it.
And I feel it.
Her dark eyes flicker to me.
And I see they’re panicked.
She isn’t smiling.
There’s worry in her lips.
Fear dims her face.
Anxiety stiffens her long, skinny fingers
Faint, thin lines dance along her wrist,
But she quickly turns so I almost don’t notice.
She whispers to her partner, and he walks her to a table
Where she sits elegantly with beautiful folded hands in her lap.
But she shivers.
Suddenly, I feel the cold coming off of her although she is well across the room.
It flies through the air like sheets hung outside to dry and splashes me like freezing waters.
I want it to stop.
I want to help her.
I want her to be warm again.
Slowly I stand, and my legs lead me through the sea of eyes from the other couples
Watching me as I walk to her
She’s hunched over in her chair now
Trying desperately to guard her bare arms from the cloud of coldness that surrounds them.
But no one notices.
When I am close enough, I reach out my arm and touch the soft, but frozen skin of her shoulder.
Her black eyes attack mine, and, for a second, I feel as hallow as she is.
But she disappears.
And so does the sea of eyes
And the gold floor.
And I think I do, too.
Because all that’s around me is
The red fabric of a ball gown
And pieces of glass from a shattered mirror
Where I see myself
Shimmering in the red ball gown.