Whenever Eileen looked into Laney's crystal blue eyes, she felt like she was falling upwards into a clear sky of the same hue. If Eileen saw her smile, the clouds of emotion that filled her head were the same color as her white teeth. And whenever Laney let down her hair and the blonde strands glistened around her . . . It was as if sunrays burnt Eileen's cheeks. No matter whoever or whatever else was around Laney, Eileen's eyes would involuntarily default to focusing on Laney, because there was no one and nothing as lovely.

However, it wasn't these physical features alone that had Eileen so enamored. Quite the contrary—If Eileen hadn't discovered what an exquisite soul lived inside her body, Eileen would have been blind and deaf to how wonderful Laney was. It truly was Laney's personality, her perspectives, wit, and opinions, shining through her physical being that enchanted everything about her. Laney had created herself with her own choices, making her not just a work of art, but a master painter as well—one so talented that her presence demanded complete respect and undivided attention to what she had produced.

This inescapable, paralyzing attraction made functional activity impossible for Eileen. Whenever it flared up, she almost wished she had never been exposed to Laney's brilliance. Almost; because, even with the details of her systematic life collapsing around her, Eileen had never before felt so full of happiness. The vague disgust Eileen had towards the world completely vanished. This world couldn't be so horrid because Laney lived here . . . and she was nearly in the same place as Eileen . . .