the way in

I can feel the fat melting off of my waist. My silhouette gets slimmer and slimmer each day. I run to the scales obsessively, ten, twenty times a day. More and more as the date of the party approaches. My dress hangs on the door of my wardrobe, the silver silk shimmering luxuriously in the light. Cerise catches me with it sometimes, the fabric slippery in my hands, the smell of violets in the air. I would give anything to fit this dress. The silver trim is divine, the exquisite detail deliciously stitched. I know what I will look like on the night. I have imagined the scene thousands of times, in that in between space at night, when I’m not quite dreaming yet, but anything is possible.

The door to the banquet opens, cold air blasting into the room. Everyone turns at the onslaught, fleetingly annoyed, but as their eyes adjust one by one their faces change. They are mesmerized, enraptured. I appear in the wide doorway, a vision in white, glowing, like the snow that billows in behind me. I smile, bewitchingly at the men, apologetically, pityingly, at the women, whose faces are like puce. Mrs. Roberts will turn to whisper scathingly to her husband, but will recoil, humiliated, when she finds he is no longer there. The women from the tennis club will not even have the presence of mind to twitter amongst each other, their faces stunned, bright red mouths hanging open, dumbfounded.

And the men. Their eyes are wide, their mouths open like the women’s, although with an emotion quite different. They do not even recognize me. They have never seen me before, not really. Just passed over their money, waited for their receipts. I am that dowdy woman from the bank, not anyone real, not a woman worth looking at. It is amazing how just this night will be enough to tip the balance, to change the way I look in their eyes forever. A diet, some lipstick and new hair. Not to mention the hours and hours of preparation that went into it. But it doesn’t matter. This is my ticket in. In less that a week I will be immersed in their society, finally one of them.

 

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