Lipstick like the Mediterranean

Her entire summer had been spent deliberating on the perfect colour of lipstick. Surveying the Boots selection, she felt like Christopher Columbus, confident that there was a perfect shade to send her on the route to beauty. Each new colour would be placed next to her hazel eyes, while she contemplated the ways they complimented her translucent skin. It was a long process, yet there was nothing tedious about it. Her nose was turned up, her eyes deep-set, overall giving the impression of an anthropomorphic piglet. Her neck was like liquid, dripping over her shirt collar. Makeup was her one true saviour and this new makeup was as beautiful and blue as the ocean she had seen in Greece with her parents. The zenith of her finds.

Her mum’s reaction ignited an uncontrollable fury. ‘That’s too blue! You look like you’ve just been defrosted!’

A collage of her mother’s fashion mistakes was displayed in the gallery of her mind. She erased these cerebral sketches from her psyche as she simultaneously attempted to erase any idea in her mother’s brain that she was capable of handing out fashion advice. She was as harsh and cutting as a rusty razor, and the nasty slashes left a more permanent scar than any physical damage could. Her ideas of style were anachronistic. Perhaps she was once beautiful and knowing, but she had long since faded into forgotten memories where the old and ugly resided.

After her mother’s cruel comments, she showed her lipstick to Gary. He was as fat and unattractive as she was, but also effeminate enough to convince her he understood fashion. ‘Oh, my god. Yes! That is gorgeous!’

Summer ended and her confidence had been inflated. She was careful only to confer with those she knew would expand her already bursting ego. She swaggered towards her classroom, glancing smugly at the hideous trolls who lurked at each corner. She was a princess in a fairy tale, a shining star through the miniature universe of a high school.

However, when she entered her classroom, she was as unnoticed as an unneeded buoy amongst the sea of beautiful and popular people. But an observant captain sailed towards. It was Alex Hepburn, the best-looking boy in the class. From those perfectly curved lips came a seductive lilt: ‘Lucy, that lipstick…’

‘Yes?’ her voice tremored, as she gazed into his eyes. They were as blue and hypnotic as her lips.

‘It makes you look like a fucking corpse. Especially seeing as you’re so bloody pasty!’
Alice Jenkins’ perked at the sound of humiliation. ‘Yea, you’re right! God, she does look like a dead body.’

The entire fleet of twenty-two teenagers turned to face her. Their laughter was like an explosion and it was as unbearable as torture itself. She stared down at the graffiti, pretending to read. But in her mind, she was wishing she had listened to her mum, thinking that maybe the old ways weren’t so bad.

-James Hunter

[18/02/17: Anachronistic, Zenith, ‘Blue Lips’-Regina Spektor]

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