Shannara paused briefly before the mirror to give herself one last quick primp. She flicked her hair a little in front, giving it more bounce. The Vegetal bio colour that she had used had given her mane a warm honey tone. She quickly glossed her lips and pinched her cheeks to give it a bit of colour, all the while wishing that her cheekbones were a little higher, her eyes a little bigger, her tummy a little flatter and her hips a little slimmer.
“You look like Rose from the Titanic”, her roommate had said, her expression so sincere that she could have been in Hollywood. Probably just her way of politely pointing out how fat she had become fat.
“I wish! Maybe if the entire Hunger Games prep team had worked on me overtime.” Shannara had retorted.
As she walked into the restaurant, she was having second thoughts. Dating was crappy. She did not relish telling people about herself only to have them eventually decide that she wasn’t what they were looking for; if she had to hear “It’s not you, it’s me” one more time she was going to either explode or puke.
There was an empty table closer to the fireplace, and she chose to sit there; a strategic decision taken hoping that while the flickering flames would highlight her hair and skin tone well, the shadows would conceal some of her bulges.
With the nail of her thumb in her mouth she scanned the restaurant, biting down harder than she had intended and swallowing the fragment.
Then through the crowds came a guy in formal shoes and a crisp linen shirt. For once his face matched the profile picture. He stopped, smoothening any errant crease off his well pressed shirt, dialed a number on his cell, and looked around, peering from above his spectacles. He was a nerdy data analyst, a number cruncher who considered mathematics a hobby and read books people had probably never heard of. He had to be the one, he just had to be.
The instrumental version of Every Time it Rains by Ace of Base began to play. Zoning in on Shannara’s ring tone, he walked towards her. The flames were dancing all over him, making streaks of red run over his copper mane. His face was shadowed so his eyes appeared as a forest green unlike their amazing faded green. He looked up at her, a shy smile on his face and in a bass baritone said “You look way more beautiful than your profile picture. I hope you won’t think I’m not in your league!”