New York. July 1995.
There he was: strong, handsome, and one of the most popular boys in the city. Gloria sighed and looked at him. He stood right beside her, holding her hand and he looked back at her. His smile looked amazing in the sunlight. She had never been so in love with someone. She kissed his lips and he held her tightly.
His name was Jayce. His half-long brown hair and clear green eyes made every girl swoon, and the muscles that made his body could make any girl in a range of 20 feet around him simply faint. He was one of the few boys who made his own money. He had a small fortune and was extremely good with his hands. He made dolls for a living. Not normal dolls, but real quality mannequins, as big as any normal Human and completely poseable. His specialty was female dolls. He would ask the ladies to come to his house and make the dolls to their exact likeness: hair, clothes, skin colour, even the eyes were so real that they looked alive. He sold those dolls to his clients, artists who couldn't afford their own models, or musea. Yes, he was well known, and Gloria held his hand. She felt like the luckiest woman alive.
“My dearest, beloved, Gloria.” Jayce said as he held both her hands and looked her in her blue-green eyes. “I want to ask you something. Not now, this evening. In Central Park.” Glorias heart made a backflip. What was he going to ask her? Not to marry her, surely he couldn't. They were little older than 20 years.
“What is it you want me to do, my beloved?” Gloria asked with a slightly shaking voice.
“I want you to dress up nicely. I want to give you something. Tonight there will be fireworks and I have something romantic planned.” He wiped a strand of blonde hair out of her face and looked her deep in her eyes. She was surely the most beautiful creature he had ever come across. Her hair was perfectly coloured, and so healthy and shiny. Her skin was smoother than a peach and just pale enough to make it look like she was shining off light when she was out in the sun. She was beautiful, and he was in love with her. “I love you so much,” he said with a slight sigh.
“Will you still love me when I'm no longer young and beautiful?” Gloria asked. She knew he loved only that which was beautiful, which was a huge compliment to her, but also made her insecure for the future. Beauty fades with time, after all.
“Of course I will,” he said, smiling brightly. “It is not only your body that shines with the power of the sun.” Gloria smiled and nodded. He truly did love her.
That evening in Central Park, where they said they would meet, Gloria was waiting for Jayce. She wore her most beautiful dress. A long black dress with a split in the back that ran from her feet up to her knees. Her pearl necklace and black hairband matched perfectly, and the subtle difference in blackness from her waistband made the dress reflect a bit of light so it looked like the shone a bit when she wore it.
It was late and she was getting cold. She looked on her watch. 9:44 P.M., it said. She looked up and sighed; it couldn't be that he forgot. It was almost time for the fireworks. She started to worry; maybe she was in the wrong place, and he was waiting for her somewhere else. But she shrugged it off quickly. They had been very clear on the location. This was the spot.
“Where are you, my love? I am waiting for you,” she said to herself. She wrapped her arms around herself and sighed again.
Gloria heard a rustle in the bushes, and, from behind, someone suddenly grabbed her and put a cloth over her mouth. She felt a stinging scent in her nose as she tried to fight the hand off, but her attacker held her tight by her waist. She didn't have a chance to escape.
She felt her body go numb. A heavy feeling overfell her, and she was now completely at the mercy of the hands that held her. The cold feeling of steel was on her throat. Suddenly, she had the inability to even utter the slightest of sounds, and a warm, iron tasting liquid filled her mouth. It was blood. He had slit her throat, but just enough to keep her alive. She closed her eyes, waiting for the fatal blow. But it didn't come. Instead, she felt something else, like someone dragging her attacker away or the attacker suddenly loosing balance and falling over. She got turned and met the gaze of her dearest beloved. He had come to save her!
“Do not worry my dear.” Jayce said. “It's alright.” He smiled at her, and Gloria felt her heart flutter. It was a strange flutter, nothing like she had ever felt before. It felt kind of painful actually. Her vision was going dark and blurry. She could just see that Jayce held something red in his hands. She felt herself slipping away slowly as if she were drowning. “Now you will never grow old and I will always be able to love you. My dear, dear, Gloria.” She faintly heard before slipping away completely.
A few days later, there was an exhibition. It was a beautiful exhibition made out of life-size dolls in different positions and sceneries. They almost looked real. They were made by the increasingly more popular Jayce Morou. His most prized doll was one of a young woman with shoulderlong blonde hair and green-blue eyes and a pearl necklace to match her dress. He held her hand at the exhibition and smiled when people looked at her. A young visitor named Mia walked by and came up to him. She looked closely at the doll and her eyes grew wide when she saw her chest moving up and down.
Aaahhh!!" Mia exclaimed. "Is she real?"
Jayce smiled and shook his head. "No," he said. "This is simply my most prized possession. I worked hard on her. I wanted to make her so real that I could make her breathe, and so lifelike to the point where I made it even seem like her heart is beating. That was quite my biggest challenge. Here, feel for yourself." He took Mia's hand and placed it on the dolls chest. It was true, Mia could feel a heartbeat. She looked back at the doll, straight into her eyes. Those were so well made, way better than the other dolls. It was as if they really stared at you, or more like, far away in some sort of dreamworld. She smiled at Jayce. "She is truly magnificent and so pretty. Who was your model for this?"
Jayce grinned. "My ex. And to be honest, she was the best model I ever had. There was just something about the way she let me use her body for the doll." He looked at Mia's face. "You know, you are very pretty, yourself."
She walked through the paths. The sound of her feet speeding over the ground was always pleasant to the young jogger. She suddenly heard someone crying. She stopped to look. It came from behind the bushes. Had someone fallen or gotten lost? There she was: a young girl in a black dress with shoulder-long blonde hair. It waved as if the girl were under water. It was almost entrancing.
“Hey, are you ok?” The jogger asked. Maybe the girl was hurt; she could at least lend her help.The girl turned around and looked at the jogger. A black hairband was pulled over her eyes and from under it blood dripped out as tears. Her dress was stained with mud and torn in various places, almost as if someone had tried to bury her but then changed plans and drowned her instead. From the place where her heart should be was a gaping hole, the wound still fresh and wet, and the reflection of the city lights made it look like diamonds were scattered through the hole. Her hands were stained red and some of her red tears dripped on the ground. From her mouth the same substance slowly dripped, most of it dried up already.
“Is that you, my love?” She said with a soundless voice. She stood up and speeded to the runner, arms stretched out and a broad smile on her face. She had been waiting too long for this moment. “You came for me!”