Word Portrait || The Swan Princess

She had elusive eyes, noticeably high cheekbones, and a soft laugh that somehow managed to be heard despite the presence of other more belligerent bodies. Every aspect of her physical being could be described by the word, ‘long’. It was as though the finer details that completed her whole had been elegantly stretched by a dream-like breeze; exuding the sense that in a previous life she might have been a swan.

She always wore her hair in a tight bun; allowing observers to notice the hollow in her neck deepen when she turned to face them. She had a quiet way about her and spoke in a manner that invited others to lean forward. It was therefore not uncommon in a room full of people to see the tide of interests veer towards her; the woman with a moon-like glow.

Her face was uncomfortably beautiful. The stark contrast of her dark brown hair with her milky complexion and creaseless skin made it hard to imagine it belonged to a woman of this world. Perhaps for this reason, being in her presence was reticent of a bonfire; face to face with a display of abstractions that compel you to think of something more profound, something that until then you had not known was burrowed deep inside of you.

To know her would be to accept that that was an impossible feat. For like the narcissist drawn to his reflection on a silvery lake, you could only ever see in her what you wanted to see of yourself. And this was a calculated skill she’d mastered over many years; for life had taught her early on that it was better to exist as an ideal than risk corrupting the image of another’s expectations. Indeed, like the bird that remains in its cage long after the door has been left ajar, she was eternally afraid.

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