It's evening and Beautiful Girl found her mascara running. Faster, faster, faster till a blur was all she could see. A sappy love song played on the radio. There was a love story on TV tonight, one of the American Film Institute Favourites, the blurb said. Her pekingese, Sweetheart was sleeping peacefully on the couch. A novel titled An endless love lay face down and the strain that ran down its back made it ache. Page 42. It had been lying there all week and dust settled comfortably like complacence around it. There were heart-shaped cushions piled on the sofa. Upstairs, heart shaped pillows rested below a giant pink heart counterpane. In her drawer, panties sprinkled with red hearts cosied up to devilishly pretty lace and satin. On her neat kitchen counter sat two coffee mugs who sat in companionable silence next to each other. When placed just right, they made two halves of a heart a whole. One of them hadn't been used in quite a while. It sat there alone and incomplete, diluting her coffee with guilt. Making it taste metallic and bitter. On the wall, hung a heart-shaped clock and heart shaped magnets dotted the fridge in a weird, tizzy lovefest. Oh there was love everywhere but in her heart. And try as she did, she simply couldn't find it. Under the cushions, under the pillows, on the dresser, in his boxer shorts, between the folds of her skin, in her mailbox, in her garbage, in the photo frames, in the cupboards, in the kitchen sink. There just wasn't any love to be found. Not even vestiges. It was all just very empty.
It's evening. And Beautiful Girl blotted out her running mascara. She painted her pretty mouth and wore her tightest skirt. She widened her eyes, and coated her lashes in lush, midnight black. Her reflection smiled back her. Worries forgot their lines and it felt so good not to hear their opinions for once. Love was not to be found. Love was not going to arrive. Not tonight. And even if it did, it knew where the house keys were. Inside the hollow, by the jasmine bush. Love could let itself in. Tonight would be a night for dancing. Her mascara opened up her eyes to the world. In all respects.