There is misfortune and unhappiness everywhere. That was never denied, at least not to ourselves. It was others who we denied it to. Our sisters, our parents, our lovers, society. We were the perfect family in a perfect society on a prefect, idyllic island. The girls in our family went off to fancy boarding schools and rode beribboned ponies and caked their faces with masks of makeup. They spoke fluent French and married wonderful men and had beautiful children and were happy. The women of our society had long since learned to hide behind lipstick and fancy dresses and cultured accents. It was easier that way. We learned to reach for the big things, because we knew it was the so-called 'simple' ones that were impossible. We were perfect, because to be less than that was to be unhappy. And we could not be unhappy, could we? How, with everything we wanted at our fingertips, could we ever yearn for anything else, ever feel sadness it the marrow of our bones, ever cry anything except diamond tears, put on for show? We were the grand-homme, we were flawless. We were the top notch of society. The poor, black-skinned, ignorant, filthy peasants were allowed to be unhappy. They, at least, has good reason. We didn't. We were happy. Everything was fine.

I was five, a little pig-tailed girl with flashing grey eyes and creamy skin and a pink dress who was couldn't understand why mommy and daddy acted so different at the public events we attended. I was a seven year old who wasn't allowed to cry. I was a ten year old who learned how to hide behind makeup because who you really were wasn't good enough. I was the girl with the perfectly maintained beauty and the perfect family and the perfect fiancé who everybody looked up to and admired. I was a twelve year old who knew that nothing is perfect, the thirteen year old who realized that it was easier to rely on things, not people, because they were less likely to desert you. A jeweled comb cannot judge, and I lived in a world of judgment and class and rank. I was the fifteen year old belle of the ball with a long dress and coppery skin, on the arm of a handsome statue. I was a sixteen year old who still couldn't understand, but played her part anyway, flashed her lofty smile and tossed her perfect hair; the most beautiful girl in the room. I knew my way around society, and I learned, in time, not to think to deeply. I was a seventeen year old girl who thought she knew everything, who thought she knew who she was and where she stood and what she would be.

She was wrong.