“I can’t even lift my hand anymore to put mascara on my left eye,” she told me, her voice crackling under the weight of endless days. I wondered what it must be like, to be once beautiful, and then to know how broken one has become, a fractured-ivory shell, hollowed by the whisper-echoes of hope’s baby-breath promises, the little remaining of a person shrinking against its thin, grayed walls, bridesmaid bouquets, once cradled in spring-sunshine’s golden naivety, held in silent memory– but then I realized that I already knew, that we all do;  I’d wanted to tell her that I loved her, and that love is not pity, that love is not blind, that love is without condition, and that all is forgiven.

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