Christine Havernois sat in her darkened dressing room with only the vanity lights on. She looked down at the riffle-raff before her: perfume bottles, make-up applicators, blush, powder, eyelash curlers. They were the token pieces of her world. Symbols of what she loved more than anything she had ever loved before: Performance.
Standing on the stage. Fear tearing holes in her intestines. Heart pounding. Sweat percolating on her brow. Then, she would step into the spotlight and the fear would fly away. She would sparkle and shine. She was beautiful, but performing made her feel beautiful.
It was everything to her. So, she gave it her all every single time.
And they loved her for it.
Loved her with applause. Standing ovations. Bundles of roses. Mad, crazy proposals.
She raised her head and gazed at her reflection. There was nothing but darkness behind her.
“I made a mistake.” Her voice was warm and rich and hypnotic. It was a voice that could steal your heart and snap it in two. “I invited him in. He was small and barely significant. He was no threat to me. Until tonight. No one saw me tonight. I put my soul out there for all to see. And they saw only him. They loved only him. I could see it in their eyes. I could hear it in their applause. I no longer exist in their eyes. Now it is only him.”
She picked up her soft make-up brush and inhaled its familiar scent. But it failed to soothe her injured pride.
“I will try again tomorrow. Then…If they don’t love me then…” She set the brush back on the desk. “I don’t know what I will do.”