Facades were easier to maintain over distance.
Woman, didn’t you listen to the lyrics? I’m trying to say something here.Dora went very still, suddenly appreciating that Devlin wasn’t joking around.
That’s how I feel about you, Dora. About us. That old feeling is back. It’s like we’re getting a second chance.Honey, we’ve only just started dating. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.How long don’t matter. It’s like the song says. I saw you and got that old feeling.
Dev, wait, Dora stammered, sitting up and pulling the sheet around herself.What’s the matter, honey? Devlin asked, his smile falling. He moved to sit up, exposing his nakedness. Dora had to look away, still embarrassed at the sight. She’d never felt comfortable naked, not even as a young woman and never before Cal, who was, she could see in retrospect, a prude.
Devlin took the hand that clutched the sheet tight and pulled it away. As it slipped off she lurched to clutch it back, but he reached out to hold both of her hands in his. She blushed, flustered.
You’re not wearing your wedding ring, he said, looking down at the pale skin on her ring finger.Mamaw set the hairbrush on the vanity and reached for her makeup brush. She dabbed it in some pink powder, then gently applied a few strokes to Dora’s cheeks. Dora held her breath when Mamaw applied a hint of blue to her eyelids.
Just a light touch when you apply makeup, Mamaw instructed. You want to enhance your beauty, tastefully. Too much, and you look like a common floozy.Dora wasn’t sure what a floozy was, but she caught the gist of Mamaw’s meaning. When she saw her reflection in the mirror, Dora had felt so grown-up—even beautiful! In that moment, Dora loved no one in the world more than her grandmother.
Now, all these years later, Mamaw was once again setting her in front of these same triple mirrors. Dora slumped her shoulders and averted her gaze, still feeling like the gawky girl. Without looking at her reflection, Dora felt more the jester than the queen.Now, dear girl, drink this, Mamaw told her, handing her a glass.