The ice was melting, slowly revealing the bright orange and red mud underneath it. Spring was taunting her.

Two days earlier she stood at the cross lights on the main street, with the frost slowly working its way onto the flesh of her ears. The water from her breath blew into her nose, pulling her nostrils shut and freezing them together.

She pressed the little sensor on the side of the light three times, knowing it wouldn't make the light change any faster, but enjoying the security of knowing that it was actually pressed. The hand on the other side of the road began to flash. It blinked on and off continuously, teasing her. It was as though it would never stop, and she'd be stuck there in time, waiting to cross a road covered with gravel and ice and the tires of crawling cars.

The next day jokes were made that finally set her off. Of all the things to offend her, and of all the times. She hated him for this, but it wasn't his fault, he wouldn't have known.

She spent the rest of the time sighing and frowning as another girl pulled at her hair and burned her frost bitten ears. They asked her if she was alright. She's just tired. She lies a lot, because she's really not tired at all and she's certainly not alright.

She braced the cold to buy things that would slowly pull apart her insides. She thought about drinking most of it alone that night, but everyone looked at her oddly when she suggested it would be what she would do. So she left it.

She got dressed up, and walked into a dark room where people she didn't know covered her face in powders that were a few shades off from her skin colour.

She's too pale.

It's not pretty.
They pulled and pushed her in awkward poses, trying to hide all her flaws while leaning her over a table.
They took her picture 100 times.
Tonight she has to go back to pretending. She likes to pretend, because she's so tired of herself.
The ice melted, and revealed the leaves and the dirt and the plants.
Then the snow came in large masses and covered it all up and killed it again.

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