Published on May 14th, 2011 | by Yellow Magpie27
Ann’s Story: Chapter One The Sequinned Dress
Today we begin our new Saturday serial. Ann’s story will follow the life of Ann who is on a personal journey. We hope you enjoy the journey and come back each week to follow this uplifting story.
And there it was, standing out in playful contrast to the grey surroundings, scarlet-red, sparkling through the window, winking, teasing.
Ann stood gaping at the stunning creation, taking in every nuance of its design. Spaghetti straps, plunging neckline and best of all, sequined. It positively roared passion, romance and seduction. She sighed as she looked longingly at one of the beads as it glinted in the sunlight.
‘It’s gorgeous’, she breathed to herself. ‘It’s more than gorgeous, it’s perfect.’ How could a dress evoke such powerful feelings of longing, promise and adventure? Ann wondered to herself.
Thrilling thoughts of fun and romance surged through Ann’s tired and thin body. Juicy thoughts of where a shimmering dress like that could take her. Sensual feelings, buried way down deep in a place she had long forgotten.
Then a daring thought came ‘Go inside and try it on.’
‘Go inside and try it on,’ the voice gently teased.
Anne resisted, ‘No I can’t.’
‘Why can’t you?’, the voice encouraged.
‘Because. It’s not me.’ Anne’s resistance was starting to melt.
‘Who says it’s not you?’ All the while the voice was getting stronger, more convincing. It was starting to win the battle now.
‘Where would I wear it?’ An unsure Anne muttered.
‘Well, you won’t wear it anywhere if you don’t try it on to see if it even fits.’ The voice had become insistent now, manic almost, ‘Go inside and try it on, damn it.’ the voice screamed with authority.
‘But I don’t go into places like that, it is too expensive, I look a mess.’ Then as if to re-enforce her negative thoughts, Ann caught a glimpse of herself in the shop window and confirmed what she already knew, she looked like something the cat dragged in, wafer thin, in a navy tracksuit which hung on her like a bag of rags, she looked anything but chic.
But once more the dress was pulling her away from herself with its warm, sassy, and promising allure. Ann could hear herself laughing in it, imagine herself dancing in it, swaying her hips in it; and could feel herself being kissed in it.
Before she knew it she had pushed open the door. Her scruffy runners, sank into the plush carpet, as she sauntered around trying desperately to look inconspicuous. A hot sweat began to form on her forehead and her face was burning. She fingered some of the extravagantly priced clothes, and tried her best to look as if she was used to shopping in such fashionable stores.
‘Why the hell didn’t I put something decent on,’ she scolded herself. She had an overwhelming urge to bolt out the door. ‘I have to get out of here before someone sees me,’ she thought.
‘Can I help you, Madam?’ A startled, Ann swung around to see an impossibly well groomed assistant viewing her up and down. Ann shrank under the woman’s icy gaze, her own dreadful, unkempt appearance magnified a thousand times in her mind.
Ann thought she detected a smirk passing over the assistant’s burgundy stained lips. She froze, but was still aware of sounds spilling from her mouth, and before she could yank them back in, she heard herself say ‘yes I would like to try on the red sequined dress in the window please,’ dropping out from between her parched lips.
Certainly Madam, it’s a size 10, will that fit you?
‘Oh, yes’ Ann replied, doing her best to sound confident, but not really sure she was succeeding. The assistant whose name Michelle was printed on a gold badge pinned to her green jacket, kicked off her stiletto leopard print shoes, and stepped lightly into the window.
‘Please don’t go to any trouble,’ Ann wanted to say, but then realized how stupid that would sound, the dress was there to be bought after all and she had asked to try it on. ‘What do I think I am doing? Why am I trying on a dress that I can’t afford to buy?’, she pondered.
Before long Michelle was back, the mannequin in the window was naked now, nothing on but a white knickers, Ann stared at it.
‘Now Madam, she pointed. with long fingers tipped with French manicured nails, in the direction of a row of weighty brocaded curtained cubicles, ‘You can try it on over there.’ She handed Ann the dress, it felt cold against her skin, the sequins making it heavy.
At last alone behind the curtains, Ann pulled off her nightmare fashion statement, vowing that once she got home she would never be caught dead wearing it again. She tried to avoid her reflection in the mirror, remembering the earlier glimpse of herself in the shop window, but she was unable to do so.
She stood there in all her glory, hairy legs, blue knickers, with a hole beginning to form in the seam, and, the pièce de résistance, a ratty padded bra that was going lumpy because there was nothing much to fill the cups.
‘God what a sight you are’ she whispered to herself in disgust.
‘Would you like any help madam?’ It was the syrupy-voiced Michelle, ‘Eh no…thank you I am fine’ answered Ann, relived that the not-a-hair-out-of-place Michelle was the other side of the curtain.
Ann unzipped the glistening garment, and allowed it to fall over her thin body, then struggling, but finally succeeding, she pulled up the zip, and stood in shock at the reflection before her, hardly recognising that it was her.
The dress fit perfectly, ‘wow, wow wow,’ Ann gasped, as she stood transfixed at the mirror. The dress gave her a figure, she didn’t know she had, her butt looked firm and curved, and she actually looked like she had a bust. She did a little wiggle, and twirled around in front of her reflection,
‘I actually have a figure, to die for, hello’. She wanted to clap and run out onto the street to show everyone. ‘Oh My God, what I wouldn’t do to own this dress. I have to buy it, I just have to…’ Suddenly all the magic disappeared when Ann caught her face and undyed hair in the mirror. Her heart, that just a moment ago had been jumping for joy, suddenly sank.
The face that stared back at her was tired, pale, and drawn with years of disappointment etched in lines around her mouth and eyes. It was a face that announced to the world that her life had not had the love, adventure or fulfilment that it had longed for and needed so desperately.
Hot tears formed a suffocating lump in her throat, and then sprang unwelcomed into her eyes, she tried to keep them at bay, but they were having none of it, as they spilled over onto her cheeks.
‘Is everything alright Madam?’ it was the sugary Michelle again.
Ann quickly wiped the tears from her cheeks, and tried to compose herself, ‘Yes everything is fine, thank you.’ She blew her nose, and slowly unzipped the stunning piece, then dragged back on her own horrible but comfortable drapery. Feeling so foolish, she pulled back the curtain and returned the brief glimpse of another world to Michelle, spluttering something about it not fitting after all. She almost ran out of the shop.
More of Ann’s adventure to follow next Saturday. Follow part two Ann’s Story Chapter 2 ‘The Glamorous Neighbour’