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Standing in front of a floor length mirror, Julia looked herself over. Everything was in its place: heels, skirt, the hoop earrings she’d been wanting for so long, recently acquired. She looked... well, wonderful. But not the top. The top had to go. But she wasn’t disappointed. The best part about having to change clothes was getting to come back and look at herself all over again. She enjoyed this moment every time. One sweeping glance that satisfied something deep inside, with everything lovingly arranged over her body.
Nobody ever told Julia she was obsessed with looks. It occurred to her, sure, but it made little difference. Who else was there to notice her? She lived in her own private world. There was the telephone to fight back loneliness, only there was no one to call. She never had visitors. And she rarely - if ever - ventured into the world beyond her sanctuary. She had her clothes. A private closet, full of beautiful things, providing some consolation that helped her overlook the lonely hours. She could still be beautiful, all alone. The people beyond this secret life might judge her differently if they knew the truth, but that was the magnificence of isolation. No one ever bothered to disturb the dreams of people they didn't know existed.
Julia liked the red blouse better, short sleeved with square-cut neck. There was a bit of cleavage to show, which delighted her. Cleavage was for men to appreciate, but there were no men to see hers. This made Julia sad for some reason, despite that she didn’t even enjoy the attentions of men. Chords of unhappiness resonated in her like a mournful ballad, which she was in no mood to listen to, so she swept them aside.
What Julia really wanted was just... friends. Same-age women she could relate to and just be with, to be counted in a group and learn from them. They might help her adjust, help her fulfill the struggling dreams she nurtured, or maybe even introduce her to the world outside. Unfortunately, no woman even knew who she was.
Not her fault, though.
End, pt. I