“It’s been that kind of day around here,” she says. “You’re lucky you showed up today.”
“What kind of a day?” I ask, staring at my beat-up Converse and thinking that I should wear a better pair of shoes the next time I show up to life.
“A day of confession. A day of epiphany. A day of relief.” She rubs lipstick on her lips, puckers and smiles broadly for an invisible camera.
“I should have dressed better for this. Worn make-up, brushed my hair.”
“But you did.” She presses a compact into my hand. “Look.”
Pinky-peach powder crumbles over my palm as I open the compact. The woman I see in the mirror is not me, but a woman I used to know. Face painted like a mask, yes. Long hair, freshly highlighted, yes. Wrinkles, no. But not me. She was someone I shed in order to grow.
“But you don’t shed yourself like skin.”
“Did I say that or did you?” I ask, or does she? The words have already evaporated.
“You can have this back.” The compact passes from my hand to hers.
“You’ll want it again soon. And I’ll keep it safe until then.”
Her high heels walk away. Click, clack, click, clack. A private conversation they’re having with the floor. And my beat-up Converse remain silent.