After my haircut, I have soft fur at the back of my neck. I can feel his fingers rustling through it, his thumb caressing the fuzzy hollow at the base of my skull. I see him tilting my face upwards to his, see my face pale and oval, see the dark fringe point to my underwater green eyes. I see myself from outside and inside and I look pretty.
It isn't real, he isn't here, but he is talking as if that might happen next week, or maybe the week after, although I know my hair will grow and grow straggly before that is real. I will look in the mirror and the sheeny chocolate colour from the hairdressers will grow dull, and my eyes will not fade but lose the light of belief in my attractiveness.
He tells me he has to go now, his dinner is burning in his kitchen, their kitchen, and though his mind was only just full of me I fade out to a ghost for him then. He does compartmentalise so, although he is drinking vodka at the family table.
He will catch me later, he says. I know not to trust too literally in that, I have fallen here before and he stepped away. With my pretty haircut I will not notice the grazed knees, not until after.