The cigarette smoke lingered in the air just at the height of her eyes. Her dress had come undone at the shoulders. Her hair was still perfect. Her lips were slightly ajar. The masquerade was abandoned, the fog had lifted, the façade crumbled to show a human being: frail, vulnerable, sincere. She barely reacted to the flash when I took the picture. Her eyes were too busy forming tears. She was at once the only presence in this room as well as reliving all the pain and suffering from her past. I framed her in that space, but that face, that raw emotion, transcends time.

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