She wore an atmosphere about her like a cloak, as if she lived in a bubble of general good will. She bounced through her life wishing everyone a good day with a smile held up at the corners by sincerity. The grin parted her lips parted in such a(more) grin that it seemed she was ready to laugh joyfully in an instant. When she spoke to you, her eyes would shimmer with the hope that maybe, just maybe, your life was filled with beauty and going well.
Years later I learned that she lived in a broken home with an abusive father. I never would have guessed. All I ever remembered was the sunshine radiating out of her to pour over everyone else. (less)
She wore a smear of red lipstick, red like love, and when she kissed him it smudged all over his lips and got on his chin. When he said goodbye, it smudged on the back of his hand, too.
When she wore it with her red dress, they said(more) she was being bold and sexy. She blew them a kiss and played her part.
When she wore it with jeans and a t shirt she found many men and a few women who wanted her to smear it across their lips as well. She did as she pleased; many were happy with her choices. Many more were not.
She wore it in picture after picture, her mother remarking on how bold and unladylike it looked. Her father winked at her and told her was red was for the ladies of his generation. She smirked and told both of them that it was for her.
She wiped it off on a paper towel: trails of red across perforated paper, red like pain, red like blood. Red like warmth and fire and healing. A stamp of her pressed lips. When her eyes returned to her mirror, they reflected her fatigue.