Originally published on The Well Written Woman:
It was the light that woke him, peeking through the curtains and obstinately bright, warming his cheek and winking over his eyelashes. Finally, he acquiesced. Turning over silently in the bed, he found the place next to him cold, only the soft duvet left behind. Opening his eyes, he learnt then that he would thank that overzealous star for waking him so early. He’d never been able to catch her at it, this private pre-morning ritual, and, even now, he remained still so as not to startle the current picture from its frame.
She sat on the upholstered stool of a vintage vanity table, the mirror an oval sheen of silver before her. Luckily, he was just out of its view so he could watch her unimpeded and unnoticed. The sheet from the bed was draped around her form, pooling at her hips and leaving her back bare. Her hair was drawn over her shoulder, coiled from its evening braid, and there was a soft, even sound whispering throughout the room as she drew a brush through the tendrils slowly. But it was her naked back that drew his gaze, perusal, and admiration. Her neck was an elegant pillar, sloping down into graceful shoulders. Her shoulder blade flexed with strength as if she would sprout wings and take flight into the early morning. As she moved, he could see the muscles undulate beneath soft skin, and would openly regard the cunning arc and bowl of her spine, the s-curve of her waist as it arched into the heart of her hips.
It was a picture he wanted to photograph, to paint, to sketch, to do whatever was necessary to preserve a beauty that she never observed in herself, in that side of her that forever followed her. But he knew – knew – that nothing would ever be able to fully capture the sight before him at this moment. It was a fluke that he was even awake to spy such wonder so he just laid there and watched, burning the image and its magnificence into his mind. It was this image that he would call up at the most arbitrary of times, the image that would forever remind him, even on the darkest days, that there is untold beauty in this world that passes by, unbeknownst to most, every single day.
She turned her head and spied him watching. This moment’s spell was broken and another woven in the next when she smiled.