She sat down dejectedly in front of the mirror with her sketch pad turned to a blank sheet, the pencil dangling from her fingers. What had life become?
Swallowing back the lump in her throat and clenching her eyes shut to will he tears back into them, she picked up the pencil, holding it just above the blank expanse. Composing herself she began to sketch. Her pencil dragged on the clear paper leaving a grey trail behind as her eyes moved to and fro between the mirror and the paper, sketching herself. She did not have to worry about expressions; she pretty much wore a single expression now. She watched her own reflection and her hands as they held the pencil that scrawled on the paper, bringing to life there a pair of hollow eyes.
After an hour of the tenuous job, she was done. The sketch had a hint of a forced smile; an awkward curl of one corner of the mouth. The person in the sketch was so familiar yet a complete stranger. She gazed at it for a while, altering her observation again between the sketch and her own reflection while her mind wandered off into a completely different alcove. After a while she picked up the abandoned pencil again and began to shade.
She shaded half of the face into the darkness of the gray lead. She then looked once again at the sketch, this time in satisfaction, at the dark and bright side of the sketch, the truth of the human face.