I stare at myself in the mirror.
I take a deep breath and remember going to the recruitement center. I remember the ancient and wizened man squinting half blind and suspiciously, at my vivid hair which was tucked haphazardly and peeking out of my father's old and motheaten cap. I remember him scribbling my name neatly in the book, suprisingly tidily for his hand was shaking like an earthquake was erupting beneath our feet. I remembered that I was shaking in such anxiety, it looked like it too. I remembered the wave of relief passing through me as I walked out of those oak doors, officially an Army recruit, dragging a pile of military clothing behind me in a burlap sack.
The clothes were beside me now. I gaze at them, and hold back tears. This is my only key to finding Edward, and to be with him. But would it mean death? Would it mean to kill someone? Could I really kill someone for Ed? I chew my lip as I realise.
I glance down at the scissors, gripped tightly in my hands. My skin looked even paler, if that was even possible, taut over the cold handles. I examine the sharp blade and the light blinds me, reflected in the mirror. I look again and with smooth precision, a quick slice over the blade. A lock of smooth, crimson hair tumbles down beside my feet. I snip, quicker and quicker, wilder and jagged until a ring of red lies around me, like blood.
Honestly, I always hated my hair. Who wanted to look like an wild thing? I always wanted to be one of those beautiful, graceful ladies I saw in the carriages. They were pulled by majestic horses, and had a line of suitors trailing after them. Then again, I didn't need any suitors, when I had Edward. But why couldn't I be more smooth, and glow like those ladies? They were always invited to tea parties, and had beautiful, glossy hair piled up in the simple pompoudor style. On me, the style looked like a child had done it, but on them It looked effortless and stunning. They were pale, but beautifully so. Miss Elizabeth and Miss Mary always protested I was beautiful, but I never believe them. I wasn't radiant, I hated myself. But as I watched my hair flutter to the floorboards, like feathers in the wind, I realised that even though I thought I hated it, I actually liked my hair. I liked how it hung past my waist, swinging wildly in the wind whenever I let it loose. I liked how it stood brightly against the dull brown of my clothes. I sighed sadly as I look at the locks of bright red against the brown, cold oak of the floor.
I bend down to gather up the hair, something tumbles out of my pocket. I frown and pick it up, and a sob builds up in my chest as I realised it was a withered flower. But its wasn't any flower. It was the one Edward gave me in the atores, where we first met. I feel the coarse of the crinkled petals beneath my fingers as I put it gently back in my pocket. I look back up at the mirror. A stranger looked back at me. It had the same face as me, but apart from that we looked nothing alike. The strangers hair hung jagged, and scruffy hanging just behind the ears. It lied flat, and limp on my head like a worn pillow. I could feel something over my eye, and I blow up, moving it. The stranger copies my movement, their hair whipping back behind their ear. The stranger is me, and I stare at myself, my eyes glaring into my own.