It occurs to me she isn't the sort of girl men find attractive. She has a soft waist, narrow hips, thin and shapeless legs, breasts smaller than palmfuls, and a face defined by sharp bones. Her eyes are black, uncomfortably big, and rimmed with the lashes that red-haired babies are born with. Her hair is so blonde it disappears in the light, and she told me once that she's never shaved because everything fades into soft platinum. Her voice is deep, unnaturally so, and people call her the vampire, seeing as she's unearthly pale-

But it was her contrasts that caught me. The irises soaked in ink against parchment skin and blue veins, the map of red lines on her eyelids. She presses her arm against mine, and I look the color of crushed olives. My last boyfriend told me I didn't tan enough, and I wonder what he'd say about her.

We lie on the floor in my room, listening to music she brought, and I tap my fingers to the sultry electronic beat. She stands and sways with all the grace of a kitten, giggling. Her toes look like cave creatures, those eyeless things they pluck from sunless rivers. I think she was born in a place with no sun, and when she looks at me, I wonder at her ugliness-

Because I have never witnessed anything more beautiful than when she says, "Lydia, come dance."