08 April 2010
Magpie Tales #9...A Little Piece of Hope
I picked up the lipstick. It was unused and the marbled exterior looked like a lighter. She'd smoked, but it wasn't that had got her in the end.
Brown wasn't her colour, she was a red kind of girl. Statements and standing out, that was her mantra. Feathers and red, and white white skin, like ivory but not as cold and morbid. Furs too, she was a furs person. Real fur, ermine and fox, bushy and expensive.
And convertibles. She loved them. She had a little car - a Volkswagen? It was blue anyways, sky blue. The seats were torn but she had flower covers for them.
She would cruise down the road, roof down and cigarette loose in her hand, red lips pursed and pale skin gleaming. She stopped at a petrol station just to look at herself in the mirror in the toilet, cause the car didn't have one. It wasn't really a vain thing, more making sure she still existed.
I opened the lipstick. It smelled funny, a bit like leather and cigarettes. It smelled musty too, and dry. Wow, it really was brown.
She never was a brown person, but now that I looked at it, I could sort of see why she kept it. It looked like leather, the interior of the car that fit the life she dreamed of. A little piece of hope in a small package, to look at whenever she felt down.
She killed herself.
No easy way to say it, I don't think she would have wanted a big fuss. She just drove her little blue car off the edge of a cliff. They said it was an accident, that her brakes might have failed. After all, the car was old. They didn't fail, she just didn't use them.
She told me she had been saving to leave her job and husband, both dead-end. She even told me where the money was. I couldn't follow her, I was working.
Then I went and collected the money, and, just as she wanted, didn't spend a cent of it on her funeral.
I bought a car, new and shiny and leather. And I got feathers and wrapped them around the mirror, so she could she herself real nice. And a real fur seat cover for the passenger seat, cause that's where she sits. And a white napkin, with a kiss on it, red lipstick, just like she used to wear.
I drove the car to the edge of the cliff where she died. I released the brake and let it roll forward.
And then I braked. I spun around and sped out of there. Up the coast to a new life, with her little piece of hope in my pocket, her brown lipstick.