Chapter 34 - It's Mia

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I look at myself in the mirror and realize that my right eyelash isn't as straight as the other. There's a tweezer in my hand, but I don't know how to angle it. Above my lid or below it? I don't want to ruin my brown eyeshadow now, not when there's only a half hour to spare. Perhaps the falsies are to be saved for another day, and a couple more coats of mascara will do the trick. At least that way I can cover up my mistake.

"Mia, have you seen my cufflinks?"

Richard's behind me. He looks priceless, as he always does. His suit, a classic black; a crisp, white button-down beneath it. There's also a bowtie around the collar that he's fixing while he scans the top shelf of his wardrobe. His back is turned to mine; we're not facing each other. I can only see his reflection, his tall stance almost too high for the frame of the vanity. It's like he had another growth spurt, though I know that's just how regal he appears. Important, newsworthy.

"Which ones?" I ask him, tending to my makeup accordingly.

"The ones you gave me for my birthday." He gives up on the closet and opens a drawer at knee-level. He rummages through it, and I can't see what's inside. I also don't remember what he keeps in there. I usually do with the kitchen cabinets, the baskets under the bathroom sink, but right now, it just sounds like a pile of junk to me. I should probably clean it out tomorrow, if I find the time.

"Check the drawer where you keep your sunglasses," I say.

I actually don't know where they are. I know that I gave them to him in a plain white box—I didn't want to pay extra for a fancy velvet one at the time; I was twenty, or twenty-one, broke—and they're two tone. Black stones on stainless steel gold. I even went to one of those luxury department stores in the city to buy them. Now I'm hoping they aren't lost.

"Found them!" Richard stands behind me, securing the accessories onto his cuff. He doesn't look at me, but continues talking. "Have you chosen a dress yet?"

I realize that I'm still in my baby blue bathrobe and slippers. He must be ready to go, almost, and I know that he doesn't like to wait. Maybe giving him a tiny task will keep him busy for a second. A second is all I really need for lipstick—how I wish it were that simple.

I choose my favorite: a pinkish nude, matte. I pop the cap open and turn it counterclockwise. "How 'bout you choose one for me?"

That's when he looks up, raising an eyebrow at me. There's disbelief written on his face. "Are you sure?" he asks. He takes a step back and grabs the coat he rested on the small island in the middle of the room. He slips it on, his gaze still on me through our reflection.

I nod at him, he smirks, and he quickly exits the walk-in closet. Surely he went straight to the bed, where I had laid out my options.

At this point, I don't care about my makeup anymore. I think I look fine, though my eyebrows look a little uneven. What do they say? They're sisters, not twins. I'll take whoever's word for it.

Richard returns with a midnight blue gown that falls from a wooden hanger. It's sleeveless with straps that are around two inches wide. There's a square neckline, and the skirt ends in a trumpet. He carries it like silk, with two hands, like it's made from clouds that threaten to disappear with the touch of a hair. He presents it forward.

"I like this one."

I stand up and begin to untie my robe. "Okay. Help me put it on?"

"Of course."

He waits for me like a butler, but in a way that's obvious; it's too obvious that his eyes are wandering, to my face, down to my feet, then back. I can't tell if he's being impatient or playful.

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