Into the Light
Careful. Don’t rush it.
Connor’s gaze was fixed on his reflection in the mirror as he slowly moved the stick across his lips. The pink almost exactly matched his natural colour. Almost, but not quite. He didn’t want to attract attention to his mouth, but it had to fit the rest of him.
He took his time finishing his lips before blotting them and staring at himself in the mirror. It wasn’t the first time he saw himself wearing make-up of course. He’d been playing with eyeliner, mascara, blush, powder, lotions and lipsticks ever since he’d been fifteen years old. Half his life ago.
He’d gotten good at it too, if he said so himself. He’d studied instructional videos on YouTube and practiced until his hand was steady and he could achieve almost any design he desired. Tonight the kohl made his dark blue eyes smoulder. He’d gone easy with the eye shadow, limiting himself to creating a play of light and shadow above his eyes which emphasized the eyeliner and made his eyes the prominent feature in his face.
No, this wasn’t the first time he’d worn make-up. Nor was it the first time he pulled stockings up his shaven legs and squeezed himself into a tight dress. He’d done it all hundreds of time before but tonight his hands shook, making him clumsy, and his breath came too fast.
He checked the time. Ten more minutes. Nerves raged through him. Only ten minutes before he’d know. He stared at himself and the small goatee. Why was this so difficult for so many people? Why couldn’t they see what he saw; how well the make-up suited him, how beautiful it made him? Well, some could. He smiled at the large bouquet of flowers and recalled the words his lover, Hugo, had written. You can do this. I love you.
Time went by too fast and the moment of truth arrived too soon. Reluctantly Connor got to his feet and walked through the hallway and stopped when he reached his destination. He couldn’t remember why he’d thought this might be a good idea anymore. He should have flat out refused rather than put up feeble arguments Hugo had found all too easy to dismantle. In front of him Connor stared into what felt liked a dark abyss; behind him lay defeat if he decided to retreat. Both ways he faced the possibility of shame.
Connor didn’t acknowledge the man who’d said the words. He took a deep breath and placed one foot in front of each other until he stood in the middle of the dark platform. The music started, bright lights erupted in the ceiling, blinding him. Connor closed his eyes and opened his mouth.
I am what I am. I am my own special creation.
As he sang the words and heard applause erupt in front of him Connor knew Hugo had been right. He belonged here. He’d finally found his place in the world.
As always, other flashes based on the same photo can be found in the Monday FlashFics Facebook group.
Because it fits so nicely with the story I wrote, I’ve attached a link to a video of John Barrowman (I do adore him) singing the song mentioned in my flash for your enjoyment.