One by one, fingers removed the teardrop earrings, their sparkle catching the light as she laid them on the marble top of the dressing table… hands slipped to the nape of her neck, unclasping the pearls warmed by the touch of her skin. Slowly the pins were pulled from the classic updo that had whispered just the right note of elegance and shimmering hair fell to her shoulders. She stood, allowing the simple black sheath to slip silently to the floor…the mask she had hidden behind for this evening now a lifeless shadow. All these touches to manufacture the façade that they … all of them … expected from her.
The armor abandoned, her eyes slowly lifted to the mirror.
No one was there.