Before Now

I saw it in her lines, in the soft fall of her pale hair, in the curls that hung just the right way accentuating her eyes and nose. It was there in the soft rosy tint highlighting her cheeks and lips. Those lips and their penchant for turning down, a slight frown marring an otherwise perfect face.

It was always there, in the way her delicate fingers danced over the keys of a piano, holding the bow to a violin, or caressing skin she had no right to be touching – to rouse feelings no one human should be able to inflict on another.

In the gentle flutter of her eyelashes and that coy way she wound everyone around those same delicate fingers, tugging with deceptively strong hands to tighten the noose once she bound you to her. Pulling you closer and closer until you wanted to suffocate, or give into her every whim.

I always did and I gave up my world for her, for one look of approval from that otherwise icy expression. For just one sign that I melted her exterior, found her inner warmth. But even though I glimpsed it, there was never any permanence. Just fleeting temptation of what she never let anyone truly experience.

Controlling, but in a way no one saw until they were under her spell. Like magic, but real, and just as deadly. Sakura in name, and in nature, fleeting and yet consistent. Beautiful and tasty, hurt by the winter she could never overcome.

By the winter she would always imitate in the hopes that no one realized her true self. Empty and lifeless, like snow clinging to the branch before the spring light sends it plummeting to be devoured by the hungry ground around it.

The snow has melted and the frown is gone from her lips. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen her truly at peace with herself.  Dressed in lace and satin, she’s made up like a porcelain doll.

I lean down to kiss her cold, dead lips, my knuckles white as I grip the sides of the casket. If only she could have shown us this beauty before now.