Any onlooker would have thought she had been brutally kicked in the face by some member of the Russian Mafia, but I knew better. She's recently picked up painting, with an enthusiasm I find quite endearing to behold. I only say recent because of how her hand ever so lightly trembles when she's about to dab the brush along her canvas and the way she practices in front of her mirror to tie her hair elegantly around a pencil thin brush with paint smearing. Last night, she fell asleep while working on a self portrait and while usually she feels the need to wash her face at the basin when she wakes up in the morning, today my lovely decided to go out for a walk. She did not take notice of their eyes following her like ravenous wolves and she walked in an even pace, never slowing down, never picking up; her bosom rising and falling to meet the cold wind of the winter morning. She didn't venture further from her street. Our street. And then she stopped suddenly, her heels digging into the pavement, but the rest of her body wasn't paying attention, so she tumbled around a bit before she could manage to completely come to a halt. Not elegant, no. But she melts my heart, she does. And she had only stopped her unnatural morning walk because she had caught her reflection on the bakery window. Face marked in blacks, blues and triumphant purples, her favorite color palette if I discern correctly, she really did look badly bruised. And to my rapturous delight and to the street walking frails' surprise, she burst out in peals of laughter that just descended onto the street like runaway music. I had never heard her before, and while I captured every note of her mirth onto my memory, she walked back into her apartment still giggling to herself, clutching her dress with both hands, her sandals slapping the ground in merry tandem and I just had to sit down and catch my breath, or I would have fallen and broken my head for want of oxygen. Good things are to come this way, I know.