The old woman breathed deeply, trying to calm herself. Her other hand began to shake as she removed it from her apron pocket, the long hat pin held firmly between her fingers. The doll’s head lay there in her hand. It did not move. She looked for a good spot on the doll’s face to insert the pin.
The doll’s eyes opened. She looked deeply into those crystal blue orbs. “So you are awake. I was wondering how long it would take you to ‘see’ me.”
The eyelashes fluttered. The eyes remained half opened. The old woman looked at the dirt that was crusted under the lids and pushed the lashes together.
“Don’t move,” she whispered.
Carefully, she used the tip of the hat pin to scrape the encrusted filth from under the edge of the lid of the right eye. Her hand slightly shaking, the old woman steadied her hand by holding her wrist close to her body. The eye fluttered. “Don’t move, I said,” she repeated softly. The crud was thick with years of neglect and stuck to the tip. The old woman wiped it on her apron and steadied her hand again. A tear appeared to form in the corner of the doll’s eye.
The old woman brushed away the tear that was forming in her own eye. “There, there, Ginger. It’ll be alright.” A shiver crept up the old woman’s neck. Gooseflesh appeared on her arms. She held the pin tightly between her thumb and forefinger knowing the slightest slip could cause great damage, more than she was prepared to accept. A tear ran down the doll’s blushed cheek and under her ratted hair. The old woman continued to scrape years of old crud away from under the lip and from between the lashes. The eyes fluttered every so slightly. The old woman lifted the doll’s head a bit to keep her eyes open. The doll’s arm moved. The old woman jumped, almost dropping the porcelain doll. Her fingers gripped the doll’s neck a little firmer.
“Oops…Careful there, old girl.”
Miss Ginger appeared to smile.
The old woman moved closer to the fireplace with the doll nestled firmly in the crook of her arm. The chair scraped the floor leaving marks. The old woman did not notice. She was too engrossed in the doll’s face. The lips looked soft with a red translucent lipstick touching the peaks and valleys of the crescent shape. Cocking her head to the side, she marveled how kind the years have been to the doll. Her own face ad lips showed crows feet, bags, and circles under her eyes ad around her mouth. The years were showing, and she envied the doll.
“How beautiful…,” she whispered under her breathe. “So beautiful.”
Her raspy voice broke through the silence of the room. The doll looked back a the old woman as though she understood what she had said.
The old woman inserted the hat pin under the other eyelid and gently removed the crusty grim that was caked between the long black lashes. The crystal blue orbs reflected the glow of the fire licking the sticks of wood piles in the grate. SNAP! POP! The wood expanded and exploded as heat dried and consumed the logs that warmed the parlor, making the old woman look away from the doll for a brief moment. A spark landed on the carpet in from of the fireplace, and old woman crushed it under her foot, leaving a smudge where a glowing ember had been,
“Okay, old girl. We are almost done.” The old woman continued to scrape and pierce through the years and revealed lush lashes over crystal blue yes within a cream-colored porcelain socket. She was pleased with herself. No damage was evident. Not from dirt. Not from her prodding.
Miss Ginger turned her head to reveal her soul.
The old woman looked deep into the doll’s eyes. The doll looked back. The old woman cocked her head to one side and moved closer to the fireplace. The doll turned her head. The fire danced in her eyes. The old woman smiled. So did the doll. It was starting all over again.