The chauffeur opens the door and I step out of the car. I am wearing a hijab again today and I feel like I am invisible. I walk down the corridor, three men pass me but not one of them looks up or notices me. I may as well be wallpaper. My toenails are a vibrant orange and my sandals green snakeskin. I can almost see the ridges of the snakes back as I look down. The sandals are a good five inches high and I walk slowly, I think elegantly, towards the imposing double doors of Suite 210.
My eyes are green and I am told it is a deep green much deeper than normal, whatever normal is. The large lash extensions shape my eyes which I know are the shape of giant almonds. I use a green liner, which I was told makes my eyes look brighter than the normal black or brown liners. I look my best for them having applied powder blusher and a gentle coral lipstick. The lip gloss adds a sparkle but no one can see this, only me and later possibly them.
They are waiting for me. They will decide about me. They could make or break me. They are the ones I must learn to trust and love. They will judge me.
The walk seems interminable. My left shoe is starting to hurt and my right one is pinching my little toe. The sandals were a good idea, I look taller, slimmer, more elegant; at least I do when I can manage to move one foot in front of the other.
As I walk down the corridor, I notice that between each door there are mirrors on the walls just above a small table which is home to a vase of vibrant pink lilies. There is a soft pungent smell which reminds me of my last holiday in Cyprus. That was the holiday before they entered my life. I wonder, if I had a chance now, would I go back to that time? A time before they controlled me.
I glance at my hands, they are pale like undercooked breadsticks but finished with orange fingernails. I know I am much better with a tan, but now that I never see the sun my skin is pale, almost grey. The orange nail varnish is garish, but my hands are well manicured which makes them look elegant particularly when I wear the large green garnet. Today I may lose this ring forever. I have grown accustomed to the colour, to the lustre and the power it brings me.