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Grace sat on the bar stool contemplating her misery. Life was at rock bottom, could things get any worse than this? New Years eve, here she was, down and alone, isolated in her own misery. A half drunk, mediocre bottle of red wine her only friend and solace.

The club was brightly festooned with streamers and helium balloons gently kissed the ceiling, their ribbon tails within jumping grasp of the revellers. Pulsating with upbeat dance music the venue oozed festive cheer and a feel good factor. Grace hated it.

Droplets of self pity and self loathing cascaded from her bloodshot eyes like the first few delicate drops of rain before a flood. She had never felt so isolated from the rest of the world, as though a barrier of her own misery had wrapped itself around her, smothering and suffocating her until she no longer struggled to release herself from its grasp.

Not being able to contain the flood of tears that welled up inside her, Grace rigidly jerked up from her stool and with one fleeting look at a couple romantically entwined on the dance floor, darted from the room, crashing through the doors of the club onto the dimly lit, litter-strewn street outside. Graces mind wandered as she reminisced upon her own memories, some happy and wonderful which she would never forget, the others… fights, lies, betrayal and misery, the latter she tried to push to the back of her mind to a small, darkened room, with a padlocked door of which she would never open. The harder she tried the harder it became. Grace was fighting a losing battle against an unbeatable foe, a war in herself.

The rush of the cool-night air hit her like a severe north wind and streamed through her long, blond hair, pushing it from her face and drying her unrelenting tears. She shut her eyes and just stood there, letting the fierce wind whip round her, entering her body and invading her senses, she was reluctant to let the moment pass. Grace suddenly opened her eyes, as if for the first time seeing clearly. She had a wild look about her and a smile played upon her lips as she straightened her previously slouched form, threw back her shoulders as if stretching her butterfly wings and inhaled her own potential.

The sudden rush of air seem to affect her like a drug, filling her with such confidence and daring that a whole new person began to emerge from within her like a butterfly breaking free from its chrysalis prison.

The harsh wind, which seemed to have invigorated Grace, departed as suddenly as it came, leaving nothing but a slight, echoing breeze. The pungent aroma of inner-city life and heavy stench of cigarette smoke hung in the air once more, but Grace was oblivious. Her senses were so alive, so acute and refined, her eyes so bright and alert and bursting with such an intense blue that they almost seemed to shimmer. Her ears so finely-tuned that they picked up the slightest whisper of sound, the smallest shadow of motion. Her sense of touch so enlightened that her skin seemed to tingle and her sense of taste so delicate she almost tasted the air. Grace was euphoric; yet she disguised it so well, like a carnivorous plant seemingly innocent yet potentially lethal.

Feeling unstoppable, with almost a swagger she turned on her heels and strode confidently towards the entrance of the club, from which she had departed, downhearted and defeated. Grace smiled as she heard the familiar rhythmic beat of her favourite song. It was perhaps a sign, an omen, and a way forward from her self-imprisonment. Without hesitating Grace laid a single, tingling hand upon the heavy oak doors, pushed them open with ease and marched back into the club.

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