Pink light flooded in from the streets of San Francisco below and the smell of toast and oranges filled the air. Traffic zipped along outside and somewhere in the building someone vacuumed. The twenty by twenty space was warmed by a small space heater wall unit, but it wasn’t cold enough to leave it on right now. The city’s summer was here, for what it was worth and it wasn’t as cold as it had been back in January.
The woman ran her fingers through her hair shaking it loose and free. It had been up all day and it felt good to release it to roam wild – free from the pins and ridiculous little pink hat she was forced to wear.
She reached into a bag on the bed and removed the purchase she managed to sneak away after the days lunch rush to buy. She smiled wide as she laid it out on the bed, smoothed it out and picked up the scissors she had placed next to the bag.
She carefully removed the tags from and cocked her head to the side as she noticed again just how beautiful it was. She loved it and was glad that she had chosen to add this to her collection. It was exactly what she wanted. The color was perfect. The blue shimmered in the half-light of the small, studio apartment and brought a small smile to her face.
She ran her hand over the fabric and sighed. So soft and fine. She lifted the dress and turned to face the mirror. She had to have it on again. The dishes from dinner could wait. She slipped her uniform off and tossed it aside. It landed on a chair by the window and the name tag clacked against the pane. It read Quiche Lorraine – an homage to the B-52’s song that still confused her sixty year old boss at the diner.
Her curvy frame and pale skin caught her eye in the mirror on the back of the front door. She took a moment to stare blankly at her reflection, then snatched the dress up carefully and stepped into it. She treated the dress as if it were made from the webs of spiders and as if it could tear at the slightest wrong tug.
Once on, she ran her hand down the side and zipped it with equal parts of care and excitement. She drew in a breath and turned back towards the mirror.
There she was. Pale skin set off by the sky blue of the dress. Her sandy blonde hair fell down around her shoulders. Every big, beautiful curve accentuated wondrously by the cut and cling of the dress. She beamed – so very happy.
The studio was silent and cool. Outside, fog drifted along like ghosts. It found it’s way into her little home through small cracks and spaces in the warped window frame.
She glanced at the clock. She had to wake up and be back at the diner in eight hours. She supposed she could make it out to some bar or club to show off her dress if she pushed herself. Slink around like a modern day Veronica Lake? But, the idea made her shiver. She told herself it was far too cold and too late for such folly.
Her hands slid over her tummy and around on her hips. Her reflection smiled to her and the hum of the mini-fridge a few feet away made her sleepy.
This was a fine purchase. One day, she’d go somewhere and show it off. This and some of the other purchases she’d made in the past two years since she’d been here in this amazing city. The Gucci handbag she got for a steal downtown at Christmas. The shoes. The low cut jeans and baby t-shirt she got when she was feeling particularly naughty last summer in the Haight.
She swung her head around and looked at the clock in the kitchenette. Yes, it was indeed far too late to go anywhere. By the time she got there, she’d have to come right back home.
She slid out of her slippers and set the alarm on her cell phone and placed it on the table by the small, single bed. She straightened up and smiled at herself as she slunk towards the mirror. She paused in front of it and rested a hand on her hip. “Oh Baby…” she growled as she reached up and slid the bolt on the door. She giggled and turned after winking at herself and made her way to the bed again.
She sat on the bed’s edge, smoothed the dress out on her hips, then cranked her legs up and under the covers. When she had her next day off, she’d wear this dress...somewhere. She bet the bag would look great with it.
She smiled, pulled the covers up and reached over and flicked off the light.
She loved her new dress.