It was late. She was standing in the doorway of the corner shop, getting no more than a few steps in before she felt the desire to pause. The automatic doors were triggered each time she shifted her weight. She gazed with faux-absence at all the papers and magazines, performing the routine pantomime of wondering what Melania trumps legs might have to do with gun control, all the while wondering what type of regime she might employ to recreate their slim shape.

It was irresistible, insatiable, that ambitious drive to make her body a spokes person for success.

She paused. He eye was held by a wide picture of seven women standing in white dresses standing gaily in a row like bed sheets hung on a washing line. She read the headline.

Solo brides putting the I in to aisle

She bought the paper and hurried out of the shop. It suddenly seemed so obvious. Who could love her best? Who knew her best? Who else could appreciate the shaving, shaping, the sculpture that went in to the finished product. The ceremony was arranged within a week, the dress brought within a day. People could hardly say she was rushing the commitment.

‘Do you promise to love thyself? Cherish thyself? Honor thyself?’

‘I do’ (she really did)

The honeymoon was everything you could hope for. Breakfast in bed (not burnt), flowers (her favorites, for once), bottles of champagne (recycled carefully after use). Each time she passed the mirror she was struck by the elegant curve of her shoulders, the simple beauty of the nub of her nose. The newfound power to validate and equally new honor of being validated were intoxicating.

How lucky I am to have found you she thought.

Then she found a hair in the bed.

Long, wiry, unfamiliar. Grey, a strangers surely?

After that she began looking at herself differently in the mirror. A seed of doubt began to spread its insidious roots, discoloring her reflection. It appealed her to think of her body so dishonorable, so disobedient.

You’re not the person I thought you were.

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