Lillian looked in the mirror above her vanity and, for the first time in years, wondered how she would appear to a stranger. How might a handsome man find her – plain? Worn, even? She stood in profile, then stepped closer to the mirror, and frowned at the tiny lines around her eyes and mouth.
She browsed through her closet, and on impulse pulled out her blue silk dress with the tiny white polka dots and white collar and cuffs – her special occasion dress. She tilted her head, trying to remember when she had last worn it. A wedding, two years ago – or was it three?
She held up the dress against her and glanced at her reflection, thinking she might as well get some use out of it. It would be nice to feel attractive again – not that she was looking for anyone, far from it. But in that moment, she decided that she wanted prettiness back in her life – and just like that, a tiny door opened up inside her, and a thin thread of connection was cast out into the world.
She slid the dress over her slip, and sat at the vanity to fasten her stockings. Then she clipped on her pearl earrings, applied some lipstick, and looked at herself in the mirror again, satisfied that she looked just a little bit new and different. This was to be a fresh beginning, after all.
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