That day, she wanted to look beautiful. Three girlfriends would be waiting at Victoria station early in the morning, charmingly groomed to blend in with the flower fields at Mayfield Lavender Farm.
It was the first time this summer she had the appetite for prettying up. In fact, it had been a long time since she last did something for herself, just to feel good, and not to be flattered by others.
Jessica Parker had split up with her boyfriend exactly 34 days ago. If it had not been for an infidelity, she would have stayed unhappily tied, without doing anything about it.
She woke up fresh, freed from the after-party sour breath that was all too usual in her Saturday mornings.
She smirked softly, thinking about how she had stayed at home the night before just to wash her best looking dress.
It was all about the small things now. And boy, that dress was gorgeous. A little tight in the waist, cut above the knees, of a dark-pink, coral pattern… Jess had only worn it once before at her friend’s wedding. It was a special day today too, at least as far as she was concerned.
She stepped into the bathroom and shut the door to stare at her reflection in the mirror. A whiff of vanity lifted her eyebrows, bringing an intense expression to her gaze. She looked great already, she could tell.
Outside it was getting warm, the sun came in shyly through the small window. For a moment she was upset at the peeling white paint of its wooden frame. “Why do I live in such a shit hole?” Jess murmured.
She jumped into the shower and opened the cold water tap so that she wouldn’t stay in for too long. It was late already for her to be on time, as usual.
The excitement grew in every step.
Clean, dry, moisturized and perfumed, she flaunted herself naked from the bathroom to her room looking for a good pair of underwear in her chest of drawers. Those days, ‘good’ simply meant ‘matching’. It was an effort considering how little care she had put in herself for so long.
Then came the dress. It fit perfectly. The lioness emerged.
All there was left to do was put on makeup. She remembered what her mum had told her when she was a teenager, about girls who wear too much makeup and look like dolls.
She kept it to a Channel golden glitter shade she applied just below the eyebrow arch. A hint of purple mascara lengthened her bountiful eyelashes.
Now she was an even more beautiful flower than the ones waiting at Mayfield, and looked forward to having this illusion confirmed by strangers.
She closed the door at 19 Blake Road, lifted her head towards the sun and stepped out into the streets of London. “It will be a perfect day”, she thought.
Then a runner crossed ways with her. Drenched in sweat, he looked down and said:
“I like your shoes.”
Author: Carlota Calderón
Author Bio: A shy spaniard who has been a journalist, an marketeer, a tech writer, a communications director and now is finally having a go at writing her fictionalised biography in the form of short stories.
Link to social media: Instagram @streetcarlota