Hand Picked

Until today, I wasn’t privy to her preference in lipstick. 

(The label on the slim gold tube says Helena Rubinstein.)

Until today, I didn’t know about her.

I found her lipstick as I rifled through the contents of a small, elegantly beaded evening bag, wedged carelessly behind a deer-motif needlepoint pillow resting against the left arm of his overstuffed horsehair sofa.  The bag wasn’t mine.  And neither was the pair of violet-blue silk knickers, wadded up behind the pillow as well.

Sporting Pink.  An odd name for red lipstick. Unsporting Pink would have been more fitting.  I am a big believer in fair play.

What’s your poison? he likes to ask when I’m over for cocktails. I perch demurely on the edge of the sofa, the deer pillow at my elbow.  He begins mixing a dry martini-two olives-even before I answer.  It would appear that he has me all figured out. 

Of course an incorrect assumption.

He doesn’t know it yet, but he’s going to be sending her a bouquet of flowers. Aconites, to be precise, with blooms the same violet-blue as her knickers.  She’ll be delighted, naturally, burying her face among the glossy green leaves and deeply hued blossoms to inhale their scent-and find the aroma to be utterly heart-stopping.


What’s your poison?

I wonder if he’s ever asked her that.


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