Yet again she is visiting the cinema alone. By now she is in her early fifties, never had a date, never been kissed, or had a man look longingly at her. By now she had become accustomed to this way of life, accepted her lonely existence and was making the best of it. But it had not always been like that.
At one time she had been quite a pretty little girl, but by the time she reached her mid-teens most of that had vanished, rather than turning into a colourful butterfly, she had morphed into a dull, dun coloured moth, that no one even noticed. She was distraught. From the age of about six or seven she and Andy, the proverbial boy next door, had been the best of friends. Now he was sixteen and had turned into the best-looking boy in her class. But he no longer paid her any attention, rather he had eyes only for June, as beautiful and desirable as Andy was handsome and sought after. No matter the efforts Jenny made, she might as well have been invisible. By contrast June was the centre of all attention. Every girl in the school envied and tried to copy her. There was not a boy in the school who did not long to have her on his arm. But all her beauty was on the surface. Dig just an inch or so beneath the layers of make-up and the glorious oriel of blond hair, she was anything but the angel she appeared to be. She was like the female spider that bites off her mate’s head after they have mated. The one apparent exception to this was Andy. It was not that she especially liked him, but just to spite every other girl in the class, made it clear he was private property. Being the simple, straight-forward lad that he was, he believed she truly liked him, perhaps even loved him a little. Jenny, who had known June since they were little girls, knew better. From early on she had seen how selfish and unkind June could be, and this had only become worse year by year. Jenny knew that sooner or later June would lose interest in her latest victim and cast him aside, just as she did a worn piece of clothing, with as little thought or concern, then focus on her next target and in time do the same to him. Jenny tried to warn him, but he was deaf to her pleas and warnings. Then in time he learnt the hard way, just how right Jenny had been, wishing he had paid heed to her. For a time, much to her delight, he paid her almost all the attention she could have desired. But only for a too limited period of time, till Mildred came into view. She was dazzling, creamy skin, glossy raven hair, penetrating black eyes, voluptuous figure and long, shapely legs; he could not take his eyes off. Jenny had served her purpose. She had helped him over his bitter disappointment about June, so he was now able to move on.
This was to be the pattern of her life for the next forty years, till she was now a middle-aged woman, wearing sensible comfortable clothes. Her hair had gone grey in her late thirties, she wore the cheapest, least flattering spectacles. By the time she reached her fifties she was all but invisible. And what no-one was able to see was that below the surface that she was by far the most beautiful woman in the city. It was all below the skin and time will not be able to wither it.