Standing in front of the bathroom mirror, she stared down at her feet, her bare toes digging into the softness of the chenille carpet as though she were trying to brace herself for what came next. Slowly, she raised her eyes to meet her reflection, and her self esteem shattered once again and fell in pieces around her.
She exhaled the breath she had been tensely holding, and fought to ward off the inevitable tears. Hopeless, she sighed to her mirrored twin. Utterly hopeless, and she picked herself apart flaw by flaw. Ears that seemed to be too big for her head. A nose that did not fit her face. The gap between her front teeth.
Why on earth had she agreed to go to the Christmas dance at the Canteen? Was the war effort really relying on her attendance? She doubted very much that she would be boosting the morale of any soldier or sailor. She was, after all, anything but inspiring.
The blue rayon dress, seldom worn. Red lipstick, the wrong shade for her coloring. A rhinestone comb. It was the best she could do.
A freshly minted soldier, wearing his newly issued uniform, tapped her on the shoulder.
He led her to the dance floor, her mind puzzling over his choice. Her. Putting an arm about her waist, he whispered into her right ear.
Hey Doll. Did anyone ever tell you that you have the most beautiful hair?
There, in the dark, in his arms, she felt like Veronica Lake.