She wanted to be the kind of woman who left chaos in her wake. Lying in her bed at night, the broken spring burying itself into the small of her back unless she wound herself round it like a question mark, she counted all the ways in which that would never happen.
One. She was short and stocky – more likely to be solid and dependable than the willowy, angular and above all, tall creature she saw in the department store on a daily basis. True, she looked good enough in her simple, black shift dress, was always neat, always tidy. But, definitely not alluring.
Two. Her hair, no matter how much she wielded the curling irons, just wouldn’t stay in those Marcel waves her ‘ladies’ seemed to manage so effortlessly. Half an hour after she had stepped behind her counter with its sumptuous display of silk scarves and the waves would drop like loose change thrown at a beggar in the street. Plus, she was mousey. No woman who caused chaos, who left broken hearts in her wake, had mousey hair. If only she had a sleek, jet black bob.
Three. She had to work. Mother needed the money to feed the youngsters, now that Father was gone. Oh, the euphemism. She had told Miss Oliphant that her father had ‘gone’, just knowing that her manager, with her lower middle class mind, would assume she meant that Father had passed away. She wasn’t going to disabuse her of this. There was no way she was going to become shop-floor gossip, and share that he had run off with the bar girl from the Rose & Crown.
Four. Spectacles. No siren ever wore spectacles. On the odd occasion she was able to take the time and spare the money to go to the cinema, the heroine of her chosen film was always beautiful and, most importantly, spectacle free. She hated her myopia, hated that she had suffered in silence at school and been branded stupid.
No, there was no chance of leaving chaos in her wake – a disappointing eddy of grey, flotsam strewn foam maybe, but definitely not fireworks, no inferno, no suitor tearing at his chest in angst, calling out her name.
Since when did anyone called Gladys have that kind of effect on the world?
She sighed, twisted herself round the broken spring once more and closed her eyes.
‘Oh Gladys,’ he sighed, rolling the name round his mouth with a mixture of delight and despair. Ernest, the under-apprentice storeman picked at another spot erupting on his chin meditatively. When would she notice him? How could he attract her attention? How could the likes of him, buried in the store-room for most of the day, approach the unapproachable? She was clearly the kind of girl that broke hearts and left chaos in her wake. He imagined a string of suitors, dismissed here and there with hardly a thought on her part.
She was clearly out of his league.
I thought I would attempt taking part in the WordPress Daily Prompt. Today’s word is ‘chaos’. What do you think?
If you want to take part, pop over to the WordPress Daily Prompt page. I’m linking to CHAOS right here.