She was late meeting me. I had known she would be. I'd decided a long time ago that she was worth the wait. She finally arrived in a flutter of excuses, amidst a flurry of apologies. Her skin was flushed as we made our way to a table in the back of the bar area so we could have a few drinks and talk...and I loved the way the lights back there cast a ruby glow over her face, drawing attention to the fact that not a feature was out of place.

"I'm struggling these days. I don't know how all those dragging days and long nights snuck up on me." She said. "The last few years feel wasted on survival...just existing. It's not the same as actually living, you know?" She's looking up at me. She has these eyes...huge dark eyes. The kind of eyes that seem to look into you rather than at you. The kind of eyes that seem to co-sign every word that comes out of her mouth. The kind of eyes that demand a response.

So I nod and say, "Yeah." Not because I totally understand what she's talking about...but because I want to...or maybe because I want her to keep looking at me that way. She's searching my face for reassurance...for validation.

She has always been such a contradiction. Vacillating between complete confidence and total instability. The state of her life presenting itself in her posture. Unable to feign carelessness, she wears her weary across her perfect face.

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