By Susan Condon
No partner. No kids. And the Christmas party only hours away.
The antique dressing table, rescued from my grandmother’s house, beckons. As an only child, I spent much of my childhood in the guest bedroom where it lived. Over the years, it has come to know all of my secrets.
I run my fingers along the redwood admiring the shiny brass trimmings. The oval mirror, set centre-stage, tilts backwards and forwards while the smaller ovals each side allow a full reflection. Sitting, I fit the ornate key into the lock and turn, removing the pots and potions from the drawers to begin my transformation.
Tonight is a special night.
Using a light hand, I blend and contour until my face is flawless. Over the years, I’ve learned that less is more; a little black kohl to accentuate my blue eyes, a touch of mascara to lengthen my already long lashes and a brush of tawny blusher. I line my lips and expertly apply nude lipstick, pressing my lips on a tissue before reapplying to ensure a perfect pout.
The soft bristles of the silver handled brush run through my hair ensuring the honey blonde tendrils gleam under the light. Turning my head from side-to-side, I watch it swish, then settle along my shoulders, skirting the sweetheart collar of my black dress.
Admiring my painted toenails—cobalt blue, according to the bottle—I slip my feet into beautiful silver stiletto sandals. I’d spent hours sourcing them online, especially for tonight. After a couple of attempts, I feed the straps through tiny buckles and stand. I twirl, admiring my reflection when, from the corner of my eye, I see the bedroom door slowly open.
My son, his small face a mask of confusion, appears.
Heaven turns to hell.
“Daddy!” he says.