• The large French doors were closed to the world outside, the thin curtains showing the navy color the sky had been dyed. Because this was so, the night seemed to dampen the mood in her room, making him seem suddenly drowsy. Light was being provided by a cluster of candles, but the room was still dim. His eyes slowly adjusted so that he could see her sitting at her vanity, brushing her golden curls with an ivory brush. She wasn’t aware of his presence; he could see in the vanity mirror that her eyes were closed, her lids painted a soft pink. Beyond her childish face he could see his tiny shape lingering by the door, white fist clenched around the doorknob.
    Then, her eyes opened, two perfect green orbs. Her eyes fell on him, and her lips, which had been painted scarlet, pulled back into a smile. Her cheeks flushed at the sight of him in her room, and she began to speak, her scarlet lips moving slowly against her words as if she was speaking to a recording.
    “How nice of you to come.” Her voice was soft, tiny, like her. Even though her face had been painted like a grown woman’s, the rest of her body said that she was not even a young girl. Her pastel nightgown—a few sizes too big— hung loosely around her frame and made puddles of fabric on the floor behind her. Her feet barely touched the carpet as she was sitting on the vanity seat. She continued to brush her curls, although he knew that all the knots had been brushed out already.
    Slowly, he walked forward until he was close enough to touch her. He wrapped his arms around her shoulders like he was protecting her from an unseen danger. She rested one hand on his arms. With the other, she dropped the brush and began dressing her hair with the pins and clips sitting on the vanity desk.
    “I love you. Of course I would come see you,” he whispered, smiling. Running his hand through the back of her hair, he felt how the texture so resembled silk. She giggled, both at this and his comment. Her laughter was like a chiming of bells that made his face flush.
    “It’s a love story,” she said, satisfied with her hair. She had tied her hair in a half ponytail with pink bows. On both sides of her head were two large pink ribbons each with their own golden bell. She took the brush up again and began brushing her bangs so they drifted over her eyes. “You can be Romeo, and I’ll be Juliet.” He smiled at the notion of running away together, having only each other. That would be a wonderful life, he thought. But there was something about Romeo and Juliet’s story, something that he couldn’t help thinking he didn’t want to remember.
    “Either way,” she said, standing up, making his hands drift back to his side. She turned to face him and continued, “we both end up dead in the end.” A sadistic smile crept across her colored lips that he realized, now, were the same color of blood. “You go first, Romeo.”