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Lucy Gilmartin smiled as stepped back in her new bedroom. The large mahogany dressing table taken out of storage by her dad last week, was finally installed in her new house. It just fitted in against the wall at the end of the bed.
She had worked bloody hard to get to her position in sales to afford to buy on her own the house, with a little help from her Mum and Dad with the deposit. As such with the financial help there was also some assistance with furniture for the house. There were things that her Dad emotionally just could not throw out when he cleared his parents’ house after his mum had died. A truck load of brown furniture and memories had been stored in a self-storage container for almost twenty years.
Along with the antique dressing table there was, matching chest of draws, along with an old pine Welsh dresser which was currently downstairs currently in the middle of the dining room, with a folded over matching dining room table, and of course one of these very items was the full wall length dressing table, which she was currently looking at. It was rather overbearing and imposing in grandeur for her small, and fairly modern house, it could easily be said that it was almost too big, but Lucy did not want to disappoint her dad, seeing as they had given so much money to help with the deposit towards the house, so she eagerly agreed, without first looking at them, that they would come with her.
So now she stood looking at the three stately large movable mahogany backed, brass lined mirrors and tens of small draws with weathered matching brass handles. It looked heavy and after carrying it up the stairs, she could confirm is it was extremely heavy. Lucy puffed her red cheeks out and ran her hands through her long strawberry blonde hair, another trait that had followed on from her granny Gilmartin, and peeled the white fluffy hairband off her arm and put the hair up in a high ponytail. She was proud of her long hair, even if it was ginger and all the bullying she got, she had survived school eventually; but she enjoyed it when it swished and tickled her lower back when she walked.
Lucy leaned forward and with a satisfactory click, she turned on the cheap little yellow lamp she had got a charity shop last week and glanced and studied the large mirror closely there was some foxings in the corner where the backing had disintegrated, she smiled her white teeth in the mirror as her ‘strawberry and cream’ complexion on her still young looking face smiled back.
With that she shrugged her shoulders, turned, took a deep breath for confidence, tugged at her jeans and headed down the stairs to start rearranging the living room, which currently consisted of four full cardboard boxes and her large favourite large tatty cushion from her days at university.
Much later that evening after spending a great deal of time swearing at the thermostat, she acknowledges that it was her dad in her, as she should have listened to him in the first place about how to work the boiler, she eventually headed to bed, she sprinted up the dark stairs, after swearing at the switch, one of things on her list was a new lightbulb for the fitting at the top.
She flicked on the lamp again and sat down on the almost ghastly red rose flower-patterned matching stool and she again looked at herself in the mirror, her face was red and puffy from spending all evening head down, bum up, cleaning cupboards, and then emptying boxes of cutlery, pans, vases and a mountain of tea towels into the now spotlessly clean cupboards. Her mum and dad were again coming over tomorrow to help again move some more things around. She looked down between her legs and pulled out the supermarket carrier bag with all her toiletries that she had emptied from her rented flat and pulled out the face wipes.
Lucy studied her face again as she wiped the sweat and tears off her face, she instantly stopped and was taken aback by the triptych of her face reflecting back in the three mirrors, her face was lit from the uncovered energy saving bulb hanging from the ceiling above her head and the lamp beside her face but when she wiped her the mirror was ahead of her in time, it predicted where she was going with the cloth, her reflection was ahead of her actions, she was wiping her nose, whilst her reflection had moved on to her neck, just before she did. It was as if her mirror knew what she was going to do. It spooked her. She had purposely not drunk anything alcoholic; Lucy shook her head and watched the reflection on three sides as carried on wiping. It sent a shiver down her spine, and then looking around realising bursa escort she had not got a bin to dump the dirty face wipes in, she did a quick double glance at the mirror and got up and carried the carrier bag to the bathroom to do her teeth.
Lucy woke up early, it had again been a startled night of new house noises, every windowpane creak and water pipe groan was amplified around in her brain, being in the house on her own made things even more nerve wracking. The strange trick the mirror had done had played on her brain all night as well. She just could not wait to get up.
Lucy almost jumped out of bed, as she felt a magnetism to the dressing table, Lucy instantly pulled the stool out from the wooden cutaway in the middle and sat down she studied the mirror, and her face went in and out nothing strange happened, it acted as if it was a normal mirror.
As the morning sun brightly shone through the thin cheap curtains as if it were midday, the plain white walls looked almost magnolia in colour with the yellow light, Lucy brought her hands together and clicked her knuckles, and out of curiosity started to open the drawers. She had believed that they were empty, at least that is what her dad had told her as she had cleverly and correctly suggested taking them out before he had helped her carry it up the stairs yesterday. They had at least taken the mirror part off, as neither of them wanted twenty-one years bad luck.
Lucy tugged at the top left-hand drawer, she had to wiggle it, and it slowly opened, she shook her head, she tucked her hair behind her ear and looked in, there were still a load of old antique brushes, a comb, and a matching old perfume bottle, all with lovely plated silver handles and tops. Lucy chuckled and cursed under her breath it would have made the whole thing lighter if they had removed the tat from the draws. She opened the draw below and smiled it was clean old glass ashtray that she could remember as a child seeing that her granny using it. She picked it up and instinctively sniffed it, she could remember the old smell of cigarettes hanging around her granny’s old house, everyone used to bitterly complain about it.
She could remember the arguments between her mum and dad when granny was coming over to visit. It meant that Granny and her Dad had to have to take frequent walks around their small garden. In winter there much consternation about hats and scarfs before spending five minutes in the garden. As a young child she found it hilarious, and as granny got older the walks got shorter and shorter until an old dining room chair was strategically put in the far corner of the back porch prior to her arrival, after that she didn’t come around much.
Lucy flicked her eyes up at the mirror before pushing the ashtray across the table with the tips of her nails as if it was from a Ouija board, as on the old wooden dressing tabletop, there was an old circular stain in the varnish which fitted the shape of the ashtray perfectly. Lucy giggled to herself as she lined up the marks, it was clearly showing how long it must have been there. She winced, as she determined that she must get the top sanded and polished off, another job for the list.
She looked to her right and pulled open the lowest left-hand draw, there was again a load of old make up. Why her dad wanted to leave all this in the drawers for years was beyond her. With a bit of grunt from the effort, she opened the top right-hand draw to find wrapped in an old white handkerchief a weighted gold plated lighter, she sighed and shook her head again. ‘What am I going to do with this?’ she asked herself as she examined it. The lighter was heavy in the hand, as she looked closely it was engraved neatly Henry Gilmartin 1917, she paused and chewed the inside of her mouth, that was her great grandfathers’ name.
She coughed as the dust plumed out of the middle draw as she ran her hands through the other draw to find it empty, except for an 1980’s Sunday Times Magazine pages which had been used to line the draw she pulled out the sheet to study it, on one side was a day in life of some unknown celebrity from the 80’s full size advert for Silk Cut cigarettes, Lucy smiled at the dark mysterious purple swirls on the page pondering how silly they were to let people advertise cigarettes. As she had no time for the celebrity she didn’t know, Lucy pushed the paper back into place and straightened them up and looked up at herself in the mirror and sighed as by digging in the drawers the mirror was now covered in dust. She pulled open the other couple of drawers, each full of dust with a copy of the Sunday çanakkale escort paper magazine, each with a different cigarette advert, Benson and Hedges with its yellow décor, Marlboro, and its red detailing. She concluded her grandma liked cigarette adverts.
As the room suddenly dimmed as a cloud crossed the sun outside Lucy looked down on the floor and nodded at her t-shirt from yesterday, she picked it off the floor and wiped the layer of dust off the mirror, only to be shocked at her face in the reflection, she had to have a second look, as her Reflection now had a long white cylinder between her lips, Lucy she looked to the closed drawers and then squinted back to the mirror, the orange filter between her pink lips matching the small freckles on her nose. Lucy shook her head and both her and Reflection leaned forward as she tried to study what she was looking at. She put her hand to her mouth and ran her finger across her lips, as was blinding obvious to her that there wasn’t a cigarette there, she could see that with her own eyes as she looked cross eyed down at her nose, but as her hand went to her mouth the reflection used the gold lighter from the table to light the cigarette. Lucy shrieked out loud as she panicked and very quickly wiped the mirror with the t shirt again, and finally let her breath out as her reflection was back to normal, she realised she had been holding it, and as she sniffed the air, she thought as she looked behind her that she could smell the faint remnants of cigarette smoke in the room and stared with panic at the heavy glass ashtray.
Lucy got up still shaking her head and crouched down to her suitcase filled with her still unpacked clothes in and dug to the bottom and got her large fluffy yellow towel out and then with her naked frame headed to the shower.
Lucy hummed to herself as she poured the hot water in to the mugs and then gently stirred the contents scared as if she was going to break the fragile cups, before squeezing the teabags on the side and then gently carrying each one out separately and dumping them unceremoniously in the sink, before picking up and splashing the milk in the top. She flicked her now dry long hair over her shoulder and then picked up two of the teacups and matching saucers and placed them in front her parents. They were practically shot glassed for hot fluid, compared to the large tea and coffee mugs she needed and was used to.
“Thank you, mum, dad for helping me unpack and put away!”
The portly greying Graham Gilmartin smiled at his daughter. “It was the least we could do for you, other than cutting the grass at home, I didn’t have much planned, and the grass can wait until next week!”
“Graham, it will be sunny on Tuesday; you can do it then Graham.” Wendy stated as a matter of fact “Thank you for the tea Luce!” She smiled and brought the blue dainty 1970’s flower print teacup to her mouth “We should take you to John Lewis and you can get some real mugs!” she shook her head and slurped.
Lucy glanced at her dad and then back to her mum “Maybe next weekend mum?” she replied again glancing at her dad who had kept them all in storage for all these years and then brought the cup to her lips and noisily slurped a sip.
“I told you Wend that they are okay for her to get started with!” Graham responded defensively.
Wendy rolled her eyes as she had heard that before “So how was your first few nights in the house been?” she asked.
Lucy smiled at both parents “Oh not too bad, going to have to learn all the noises, which pipe groans with what tap, and which window rattles in the wind, it will be all good fun, the gusting wind blowing the letter box was interesting at three thirty!”
“So, you had a good night then Luce?” Wendy raised a recently died brown eyebrow which matched her recently styled hair.
“Yeah, I did.”
“Goody, we popped into town on the way in, as to get a replacement for that bulb at the top of the stairs you mentioned on the phone, we both thought you’d trip over in the night!” Wendy butted in.
Lucy chuckled “I was fine! But thank you.
“I will get up there and put it in shortly!” Graham nodded as he stroked his short moustache.
“Oh, thank you Dad, and I actually have rather random question for you, how much did Granny smoke?” Lucy asked before picking up and gulping her tea.
Wendy instantly turned to her husband “Grey, I told you we should have cleaned and polished all the furniture before delivering; it must all absolutely reek of the god dam smoke!” She snapped glaring at her husband and then sniffed the air.
“Hmmm, çankırı escort it’s been away from the smoke for years, I am sure it’s just musty Wend.”
“Dad, how much did she smoke?” Lucy asked holding the mug to her lips.
He signed “Luce, I am sad to say a lot, she never got over dad dying with that surprise heart attack, and then her brother Ollie died a few months later.”
“Oh!” Lucy said and then nervously bit her bottom lips and put the cup down on the saucer.
“Yeah, she was never far away from her trusted pack of Silk Cuts, no…that was Uncle Ollie what where they now …what did she call them…B this furniture isn’t going to move itself.” Declaring tea break over in her rather straightforward way.
Lucy gulped the last of her drink and noisily put the cup down and then corrected the position in the saucer, “Yes mum!” she saluted with a grin and stood up to attention.
It was early on Monday morning, the dim light of sunrise had started to show through the curtains and Lucy sat in front of the mirror in just her strappy pyjama top brushing her long hair, she had to get up earlier to remove ‘bedhead’ and then do her makeup. As she worked in sales, looking her best, whilst seen as sexist, was in her head still vitally important.
Lucy kept studying and checking the mirror, nothing untoward was happening, every stroke of the silver handle as it brushed down her long hair matched her own arm. She could not get her head around it. Lucy put her now silky-smooth brushed hair up in her customary high ponytail and removed the clumps of hair from the brush and for convenience dumped it in the empty ashtray, and then delved into her carrier bag, she pulled out her foundation cream and started to work it into her pale face, she closed her eyes as she massaged her whole face including her eyelids.
She opened her eyes and again studied the mirror, she played with the mirror and shook her head and poked her tongue out at it, nothing.
Lucy glanced down at the bag and brought out the primer and applied it to her face and slowly massaged it into her skin, she again kept checking. Nothing.
She pulled out her long makeup brush and twiddled it between her fingers, whilst watching the mirror with one eye as she dug out her concealer and with the brush, she got to work under the weekend bags under her eyes, as she was busy focusing on her eyes, she suddenly coughed as she rocked back on the stool, she gulped as clocked her reflection suddenly had a cigarette burning brightly dangled in the corner of her mouth.
Lucy again placed her fingers to her lips to double check that there was nothing there, as she did her reflection did the same put the fingers around cigarette in a large V and clamped them together and then removed it from her lips and even to Lucy the cloud of smoke was sexily almost teasingly exhaled from her actual lips. She sat there staring at the mirror mouth aghast, as a gentle stream of smoke rising towards the ceiling from the cigarette between her Reflections fingers in the mirror in front of her, Lucy sniffed the air, and looked around there was no smoke in the room, she shook her head in confusion and the reflection copied.
Lucy pulled out her powder and brush and touched her lips, as she did the reflection dangled the cigarette in the corner of her lips. As she applied her powder, the reflection, reflected every move. With the cigarette still dangled in the corner of her mouth, smoke rhythmically breath for breath with Lucy drifted out her reflected nose as she got to work with her eyes, she leaned forward to apply her favourite light blue eye liner, once finished she again touched her lips, her reflection’s cheeks collapsed inwards and the face relaxed as the tip of the cigarette burnt bright orange as the lungs of her reflection pulled on the cigarette, and as her hands rested on the table her image in the mirror both of them tilted their heads slightly as the mirror image exhaled a cone of light grey smoke out of her mouth and up and away.
She glanced behind her at the alarm clock on the bedside table grimaced, it was taking much longer this morning as she was sitting there watching something like herself smoke.
Lucy rummaged in the bag one handed keeping one hand on the desk, for no reason other than her reflection had a burning cigarette between her fingers until she found the black mascara. She had an urge to touch her lips again with her spare hand and the reflection placed the nearly finished cigarette back between her lips.
With the mascara applied she shuffled back on the stool and looked her reflection either side to ensure her eyes looked good as she turned her head, she couldn’t see her eyes, as the thick smoke rising from the cigarette, she touched her lips, and the reflection removed the cigarette. They smiled at each other Lucy then repeated looking closely at her makeup.
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