“Aren’t they beautiful?” she whispered.

I hesitated. In the silvery moonlight, the breeze blowing gently through her hair, she was a black and white photograph. Surreal. And she was indeed beautiful.

“I love it up here on the roof. It’s so quiet. So peaceful. And it’s nice to have somewhere to escape.”

The sound of glass smashing on the kitchen tiles broke the silence.

“Oops, there goes the flower vase…” she smirked sarcastically, taking another swig from the bottle.

Her voice sounded hollow. Distant. As though she wasn’t really there.

The front door slammed as her father left, and her mother’s sobs rose up into the cool night air.

Maria winced as she drew the razor gently across her hip bone again, parallel to the previous cut, and several more shiny crimson beads rose up in a delicate line on her pale skin.

“Simply beautiful…”