Time in Willow Creek: 12 months, 3 weeks, 4 days
Juliana was bored. Not even painting held her interests for long. The library was like a tomb. Quiet. Cold. Still. The same people were there day in and day out doing the same things over and over and over. It was so mundane. Going out was out of the question lest she run into Kevin. She banished herself to the house when she wasn’t at the library. She felt dead inside and couldn’t understand how Harold and Hillary could live like that day after day.
One day, she watching Hillary put her face on and expressed an interest in learning how to do her own makeup. She wasn’t necessarily interested in wearing it daily like Hillary did, but she wanted to know how to put herself together for times when she did want to gussy herself up. Of course, Hillary interpreted the request much differently than intended and was excited to share that rite of passage with her. She grabbed her hand and dragged her to the master bedroom. Juliana had never been in there before. It was so spacious and neat. Definitely the most luxurious bedroom she had ever seen.
“This is mama’s vanity table. She taught me how to put on makeup here too.”
“It’s nice.” She liked how big the mirror was and how close she could get to it. It had two drawers and two built-in storage boxes filled with tubes of lipsticks in various shades of pink and red, circular tins of eye shadows and rouges, and sharpened eye liner pencils all organized in neat rows.
Hillary opened one of the drawers and pulled out a pencil. “You should always start with your eyes. That’s where the attention should be drawn. There’s different techniques for large and small eyes, but the basics is to just line them…like this.” She demonstrated on herself. “Just trace right across the edge. And then, when you get to the end, maybe you wanna do a short stroke, or a long one, just to be fancy or to widen your eyes. Try it!” She handed her the pencil.
“Ok, good! Now, do you like this look, or you want to go for more like eye shadow?”
“I like this for now.”
“Ok. Next would be blush. It gives your cheeks a nice rosey color. Rosey cheeks look healthy and add dimension to your face. Just take the brush and make sweeping strokes up your cheek bone like this. Start at the apple–that’s the full part.”
“You call it apple?” Juliana giggled while she followed the instructions.
“I guess they called it that because your cheeks are full like an apple? I dunno. My cheeks are fuller than yours, so I actually make a circular motion on mine before I sweep up. You don’t wanna use too much or you’ll look like a clown.”
“This is good?”
“Yep! Now, if we’re done we need to even out your tone. Lips are always last.” She pulled out the translucent finishing power from the drawer and sat it in front of Juliana. “This’ll give you a nice matte finish.”
“Matte. M-A-T-T-E. I think it’s like French or something. It’s so you don’t look shiny.”
“Ohhhh, mate. I know.”
“Mah-tay? So you guys say it how it’s spelled, huh. Now, don’t go packing this on,” she said as Juliana was about to do just that.
She coughed, and Hillary laughed.
“That’s what I was trying to say! You would have gotten powder all over your beautiful dress and hair just now! I like to wear a shirt over whatever I’m wearing to prevent that and keep my hair back while I’m doing this.”
When Juliana was done coughing, she looked up at Hillary who was laughing at her.
“You look like a ghost!” They both tried to brush off as much as they could from her face, hair, shirt, and the vanity too. “You see how you look more even now?”
“Now for the icing on the cake!” She opened the lipstick drawer. “Now…you have to be careful with your lips. Choosing the right color and opacity can make or break your look! The reason why you do it last is to balance out the rest of your face. Typically you want to have really awesome eyes or really awesome lips–not both. That’s just doing too much.”
Juliana seemed to be following.
“Your eyes are pretty subtle right now, so you could go bold with red if you were like going on a date or something. Or, for everyday you could choose something more subtle like pink.”
Hillary motioned for her to pick a tube and put it on. She already knew this step as she was accustomed to wearing lipgloss.
“You look great! Why do you look mad?”
“I think the powder is in my lungs.”
They both laughed.
“Well, you know what not to do next time then!”
Hillary moved to sit on the ottoman, and Juliana joined her.
“Oh… What in the world was that?” She clutched her stomach.
“Something wrong?” Juliana had been through five pregnancies with her mother. That fragile time always made her nervous.
“No. I just never felt that before. Or…maybe I have…” Suddenly, she remembered something she read on a baby site she had joined and counted up the months on her fingers and converted them to weeks. She gasped when she realized what that feeling was. “It’s the baby! It moved! Finally! My little late bloomer decided to join me in the second trimester! Maybe I’ll stop being so sick and tired now.”
“What does it feel like?”
“It’s hard to explain. Kinda like butterflies…but also like a bag full of snakes!”
Juliana’s face scrunched up while Hillary laughed.
“Later on it’ll start feeling like real kicks and whatever else they do in there.”
Juliana admired her while she rubbed her womb. In a way, she was glad Hillary was able to experience motherhood even though the circumstances were not ideal. But at the same time, she was glad that she chose a different path in life. It wasn’t that she never wanted to experience motherhood, but like Hillary, she didn’t want to experience it before she was ready. That put a new thought in her mind. She had already broken the mold her family created for her by choosing not to marry until she was ready. Why couldn’t she continue doing her own thing and continue her friendship with Kevin?