Epiphany #21 Clothes


        She raised the dress over her head and pulled the smooth silk down over her form.  She smoothed it over her hips and saw the skirt flare gently around her mid calves. It was perfect.  She looked down and slipped on the block heeled pumps.  As her feet settled in and she straightened, she looked in the mirror.  She could see herself in three angles.  The fabric of the dress clung to her and she straightened the bow that hung on one side of the square cut neck.  She made a little spin and watched the dress flow out gently and slowly settle in flowing curves. 

            As she stopped her spin and looked in the mirror again, Mara thought about the night that she had planned.  She had finally been invited to a Hollywood party. She could hardly believe her luck.  She was actually starting to leave small town Ohio behind and concentrate on her career.  She was actually being billed as a starlet, which meant a fifty dollar pay increase in her packet every week.  Her pay envelopes every week were more money than her dad made in a month.  Who would have guessed that little mousy haired Mara from Dayton, Ohio would end up in Hollywood, actually costarring in movies.  She looked at the tag on the dress and saw that it was $25.  A few minutes later, back in her old dress, she was paying the clerk.  It was her first major purchase and she was exhilarated.

            Rudolph looked down at the bleached blonde girl in the pink dress and shoes.  She had been drinking all night and there were stains down the front of her dress from where she had gotten sloppy from the champagne. She had followed him around like a love sick puppy dog all night and finally, in frustration, he had pushed her away from him.  She had toppled backward on her heels and tripped over one of the little stone cherubs that were stationed all around the pool.  What stupid things, he thought.  The blonde had been prettier in the evening, but now she lay before him with blood pooling around her head and her skull exposed from a gaping cut.  It was his first murder of a starlet and he was excited.

            Sara silently took the brown paper bag from the funeral director. She knew that it contained the pink dress and shoes that her sister had been wearing the night she was killed.  She stared at the bag on her lap and felt the sadness threatening to engulf her again.  She didn’t know how she was going to live without her sister.  They had come into the world only seconds apart after sharing the same womb for nine months.  Her sisters move had caused their first separation ever.  She looked inside the bag and saw the soft mauve dress inside. She felt the weight of the shoes through the bottom of the bag.  She felt separated.

Christine walked down the street with purpose.  She had just gotten paid.  She looked up to see the familiar outline of purple neon around the window of Heathers, her favourite vintage stop.  She saw a gorgeous soft mauve dress on the dress form that Heather used as a display.  She put her hand on the doorknob and took a deep breath before walking in.  The little shop was no bigger than her bedroom had been growing up and it was stuffed with items from the past.  Christine looked around and marveled at the items that were beckoning her to step backwards in time for just a minute.

            “Hi, Christine,” she heard from somewhere behind the giant round rack that dominated the right side of the room.  She saw a peacock feather poke up first and then slowly, a midnight blue hat appeared followed quickly by Heather.  She was a stout woman that had bob cut auburn hair.  She walked toward Christine with her arms outstretched ready for a hug.  “It seems like forever since I saw you.  “You’re not cheating on me with another vintage store are you?” 

            Christine looked at her with mouth agape. “Heather, you know better.  Our relationship is special.  I would never cheat on you.”  She accepted the other woman’s hug and looked at her closely.

            “Well, look at you Ms. Stylish with your little blonde spit curls and your spectator shoes.  I told you those shoes would be spectacular.”  Christine grinned as she looked down at the brown and white shoes that Heather had found at an estate auction last summer. 

            “I couldn’t do it without you, Heather.  I would love see the dress in the window.”

            “Isn’t it great?”  Christine nodded as her friend hurried to the window and whisked the slick fabric over the top of the dress dummy.  She picked the shoes up on her way out of the space and turned.  “You’ll never believe me when I tell you about it.  Go…”  Heather motioned her back toward the dressing room at the back of the room.  Christine wound her way through the racks and shelves that all smelled of history and time.  She stepped behind the curtain that hung from an ovular fixture.  Heather handed her the dress and the shoes then grabbed the heavy brocade drape, jerking it around the curtain rod, concealing Christine behind it.

            “Wait until you hear.  I got it at an estate sale in Hollywood.  It belonged to a starlet.”  Christine raised the dress over her head and pulled the smooth silk down over her form.  She smoothed it over her hips and saw the skirt flare gently around her mid calves. It was perfect.  She looked down and slipped on the block heeled pumps.  As her feet settled in and she straightened, she looked in the mirror.  She could see herself in three angles.  The fabric of the dress clung to her and she straightened the bow that hung on one side of the square cut neck.  She made a little spin and watched the dress slow out gently and slowly settle in flowing curves.  She was exhilarated.

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