Another Gorgeous Dies
The girl was Gorgeous, from the tall arch of her lovely red eyebrows to the hand-painted diamond pattern across her toenails. She is so pretty and pale, with Irish red hair in loose curls. She should have worn red. Maybe a little bit of lip liner. I liked the look of her mascara running black rivulets down her cheeks. It made her look disheveled in a romantic kind of way.
The girl’s face was mostly intact. It had a calm expression, as though the End was a relief (it probably was). Blood dabbled her neck in a cosmetically pleasing way. Her collarbones protruded, forming little pockets where the blood collected against her neck. But then, as my eyes drifted a little lower, she was wearing a faded, carved up t-shirt from some sports team, ruining the effect. The t-shirt was soaked in blood; it seemed to be the only thing holding her torso together. At least she had a good pair of pumps close by. They were high stilettos, polka-dotted with pink over orange; I’d die for those pumps.
She really should have worn red.
I relayed the scene to Willa over my cell phone, watching as the police stood around the girl. They looked disinterested; there was no question as to this one’s cause of end. Not with the black-rimmed “G” tattoo on the inside of her wrist. The same “G” that was inked on the inside of mine.
“Lackluster,” I mourned. “Crazy Gorgeous only got one Leaving, and she wasted it.”
Willa made a half-hearted sound on the other side of the phone.
“Are you at another Leaving site, Willa?” I asked, my feathers ruffled at her lack of attention. “Who is it?”
“No one we know; she was a retro Gorgeous. Too old school for our girls. All poodle skirts and curlers. A most Gorgeous death though.” She outlined the details in a bored tone that suggested Willa thought she could do better. We’d see; Willa would get her shot soon enough. “I really like this forest green dress with the pink accents; I might be able to swipe that.” Willa sounded as though she were walking now, her breath heavily in the phone. “Just got a text, there’s 30 year old Gorgeous that just jumped off of the Ridel Bridge. Want to meet me there for coffee and critique?”
“30!” I was shocked. Gorgeous never lived that long. “I would love to, but I have a meeting downtown with my agent at one.” I clicked my tongue, looking down at the crystal watch around my wrist. “Which I’m going to be late for as it is. Tonight?”
“Yeah. Later, Harps.” The phone clicked in my ear. I took one last look at the Irish Gorgeous, broken and bleeding in the middle of the alleyway before turning away, heading east toward the subway.
Brick buildings rose on either side of the alley, their dark windows like eyes watching over the proceedings. Ugh, what a thought. Why did I have to dress up the world around me like a Gorgeous? Just use plain words, Harper.
I had to push my way through the gathered crowd. A few gawkers and reports were there, but most of the people were pretty girls with coffee cups. Most looked shocked, a few disgusted. I pushed past the faces, barely registering any of them. Of all the heavily made-up girls, none were familiar. I got a few stares and sneers my way; I ignored them all, sweeping past all of the gawkers. I tried not to look any of them in the face.
Towards the back of the crowd, there was a young girl, her hand pressed over her mouth. She was pretty in a fresh-faced sort of way which made her stand out, her natural look catching my gaze. I spent most of my twenty-five years on this planet partying with some of the most sought after and beautiful Gorgeous this world had ever seen. But this girl was
I had ever seen
Her skin was achingly clear and pure. Her eyes glittered like sapphires under the sparkling lights of the jewelry counter at Tiffany’s. She wore simple, light-colored clothing, denim and cotton. A wardrobe that made her face all the more exquisite. Tears shone at the corners of her black lashes, spilling over her deep chocolate cheeks. She was pretty-crying, something few Gorgeous ever mastered. It was best to avoid the crying in public all together. Save it for when the doors were closed and the world locked outside. Words in thick rhythms and tantalizing rhyme filled the inside of my skull at the sight of her, and I had to force them down again.
The natural look. It was a bold move. And she was pulling it off like a master.
I couldn’t seem to stop staring at her. The pretty thing had her eyes locked on the body of the Irish Gorgeous, crying like she actually missed her. The Gorgeous was better off. I wanted to tell the pretty girl that, but I knew there would be no consoling her. The living could be so selfish.
The girl’s eyes flicked to mine for a split second, back to the Gorgeous on the ground, then back again to me. It was like her gaze was drawn to me. I flushed. Gravity seemed to lock our gazes together for a moment. Her blue eyes widened, her unpolished fingernails dropping from her mouth, revealing perfect lips. I knew those would be perfect, too. Her mouth was red and shaped like a rose petal, soft and full… I stopped that thought right in its tracks. I should leave. Leave the pretty thing that made lines of poems swim inside of me.
She stared long enough that I started to get weirded out, so I broke eye contact, hurrying toward the subway without looking back.I really hoped she wouldn’t follow me.