My eyes are hollowing, surrounded by the shadows of time. I marvel at young women now; their sheen, their elastic grace. Their ignorance of what will come—what I once happily ignored.

I can ignore no more. Yet, in spite of that, he has invited me.

The very sound of my voice marking my unfaithfulness excited me.

So now I reclaim boudoir dreams. I fuss before the mirror’s uncharitable face. I reform myself with expensive potions, oils and age-old incantations. My drooping back straightens. My neck, so lined, extends. In the dwindling time before we meet I remove my robe and in its place I drape myself in silk as soft as my skin once was. A feeling, familiar like childhood, of shuddering anticipation, courses head to toe and back to head. Then sits half way like the emptiness of hunger. I clip a pair of simple earrings onto lobes not too misshapen. I take my chosen dress from its hanger. As I slip it on I imagine it slipping off. The doorbell rings. I wriggle into sling-back shoes then grab my handbag and keys. And phone. Before I reach the door I’ve tapped out a text message for Bill, because I know how much he values my assurances whenever we’re apart.

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