• In the course of several seconds my life had changed dramatically. Once predictable and obedient, my life turned impulsive and theatrical. The small disions I used to make; like where I would go and when, had turned intricate. My life was a lie to those around me.
    I was born in a village just outside Whales, to a wealthy family who were one of the lower lord families in the village. As a child, I had one friend; William, who I loved dearly. I was taught to love him; continuously being told I would soon have to love him more then any man. I was nine when my family and William’s family came together. William and I were told to sit together as a painter from the east painted us. My mother said it would be a present from my family to his, on our wedding day. I was crushed, yet I didn’t realize how much I despised the thought of an arranged marriage until I was fifteen. I had run into the streets one afternoon when a traveling carriage show from the north had come down into Whales. There was a dancer who seduced men and woman, actors who made the children laugh, and musicians. I remember first seeing him; his cropped black hair and tan skin made it obvious he wasn’t from here at all. As he played his guitar he watched me in the crowd. I refused to blush or even try to notice him. Yet I found myself sneaking from my home to his couch, where I would spend the night and leave early morning.
    Yet, one very late morning I have realized we both allowed ourselves to sleep in. I shook John awake, touching the naked skin of his back.
    “Not now Hailey, we’ll do it again later, I’ll even let you on top.” My face lit up and I smacked his back.
    “John! Sex is not what I want right now you animal!” I stopped realizing I probable said something he’d want to hear. John turned over and looked with dark eyes that I knew I couldn’t allow myself to get lost in. He ran musician fingers threw my straight locks of untied hair. His finger’s then trailed onto my shoulder, and like a spider, he crawled his fingers down my arm. He wanted to take my hand so I tossed my hair to cover the side of my face, as though I didn’t care if he did or not. I spied on him looking at my body. Of all the men that I’ve had look at me, I couldn’t remember any ever looking at me like he did. It was as though he was looking at me, and not just my body. Now his eyes where on my eyes, his traveling look had stopped and he just stared. But it wasn’t a mindless stare; I think he was more of looking into my head. Was I supposed to blush? Was that what he wanted to see?
    “Don’t cover your face, I can’t see your eyes. You do have beautiful eyes.” He almost sounded serious.
    I didn’t want to blush, but I think I did. Especially when he placed my hair behind my ear and ran the tips of his fingers down the side of my cheek.
    “I’m not lying, Hailey. Their amazing. Why would you ever say they where gray? They’re everything but.” I just huffed at him and sat up instead of leaning over.
    “Why are you still in bed? Haven’t you slept enough? I wanted to hear you play again- play for me John.” I stood up and he followed my movement by sitting up, I gave him his wooden instrument to play. It sat on him as though it was made to match his body. I wanted for him to tune the strings, plugging and stroking the wires until they began to sing for him. In the time I spent listening to him play, I forgot that I was meant to be home; that my fiancé was climbing the stairs towards my room expecting to see me in front of my mirror.
    “John I think my time’s come short.” I spat out my words quickly afraid he wouldn’t care. Yet he didn’t seem to, caressing the guitar’s stomach and holding the small neck. I breathed in a sharp breath and got up very slowly, never allowing myself to see him, just his guitar.
    “Huh-? Oh, yeah, don’t worry Hailey.”
    Don’t worry, what would I have to worry about anyway? Only being caught with a peasant player who associated himself with brown haired woman whose skin was so tightly wrapped around their cheeks that she forever looked so old yet so young. I cringed at the memories of that woman being in this very bed with him just days before.
    “John I’m leaving.”
    “Oh, stay…”
    “No.” I crossed my arms and he looked up at me still playing with those damn strings. I had never been rejected attention from a man before, and this wasn’t going to be the first time. I had a man waiting home for me, he would be sitting with his eyes on a empty chair waiting until my father was done calling me name threw the house.
    John placed his instrument to the side of him on the bed and reached over to grab my arms and pull me beside him on the bed. The sky was getting dark and it would continue to get dark until I awoke again next to him as he slept sound.
    “John…” I tapped his shoulder and he grounded then turned on his back. I got up and put back on my clothes before I retreated into the dark and returned home.
    I was looking at my reflection in my mother’s old mirror. As a child I never saw my face alone, it was always accompanied with my mother as she did her make up and hair, or with my brothers as a maid girl brushed it. But now that I was older, and the mirror was my own, I was looking at a lonely reflection of myself. I also noticed that the mirror had gotten smaller, or maybe I had gotten bigger. My hair was now thick enough to allow unnatural curls to cover the back of my head [and a cut of scarlet velvet to twist around my head, in a braid, which fell over my shoulder]. My oval face had two blue metal eyes erupting from a black olive, and my lips where thin but full. And my body was known for it’s small but curved frame. I guess I had been blessed with beauty, but I was never certain, and life was full of men who never made you feel certain about anything. Two larger, colder hands then my own touched the side of my cheeks, coming from under my hair as though from a ghost.
    “Hailey where have you been? Your father was worried- I was worried! I thought something happened to you!” I sighed and watched as he continued to yell at my reflection, yet I know now that he was looking at me, but he couldn’t see me. Not like John did.
    It couldn’t have been a month when my father moved the wedding forward by several weeks, saying I was much too disobedient. It was only a matter of day’s until I was to be married to a man I was already cheating on.
    “I leave tomorrow. “ I watched John as he continued to pack. His room was so bare. I must have looked desperately unsure and worried, because he gave me a look just like it. He could see that under my rode I had the start of what would soon be my wedding dress. I stood there before him waiting for what he would say.
    “You can… come with me…” He looked away as though he was scared of what I would say. My heart skipped a beat, and I smiled. Of course…
    “Maybe John… Maybe…”