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This is a twisted short story.  Enjoy. 


There are days when we all need a little encouragement.  Fitting words at the right time may be just what we need to feel better about ourselves.

CHARLOTTE WALKED OUT OF the store feeling better than she had felt in years.  She was carrying a shopping bag with her old clothes inside it.  The old her was in the bag.  The new her was wearing what she just bought.

Her red dress was a perfect fit.   It showed off her curvaceous body.  Her satin and leather red stiletto heels made her legs look gorgeous.  She walked around the side of the store and stopped next to the building.  Alone, she let out a silent cry.

No matter what she thought and tried to tell herself, it was not working.  That good feeling would not stay with her.  An overpowering feeling of worthlessness and ugliness kept overshadowing it.

Her husband’s words kept coming back to inflict more and more pain on her.  She could not fool herself.  The wounds were too deep for her to ignore.

Thirty-eight years old.  Fourteen years of marriage.  He always had a wondering eye.  But he would never stray.  That was what she told herself.

Three months ago her desired reality ended.  He came home and told her he had a confession to make.  He had an affair with a twenty-five year old.  It was not planned.  It just happened.  That was what he told her.  It was also what she wanted to believe.

But, since the affair, he never missed the chance to let her know that if it were not for her he would have never done it.  She was not sexy enough to hold his attention.  She was too fat.  She was not beautiful enough.  She needed to work on herself.  She needed to keep him interested.

Charlotte leaned against the building and lifted her leg and removed one of her heels.  Her hand was against the building while she balanced herself on one foot.  Something was inside her shoe.  It was irritating her foot.  She turned the shoe upside down.  A small stiff piece of paper fell to the ground.  She slipped the shoe back on and looked down at her feet.

A car horn beeped.

Startled, Charlotte looked up.

A large black Mercedes was stopped next to her.  The passenger window came down.  A gray-haired man leaned toward the open window.  Suspicious, Charlotte stared at the car and looked around.  “Two-hundred for one hour,” the man said.  Charlotte was not sure she heard him and squinted.  “Two-fifty and that’s it.”  Her mouth dropped open.  She had heard him.  If this was a joke at her expense, it was not funny, she thought.  “Six hundred for two hours and no more.”

She was speechless.  How dare he.  She was too annoyed and disgusted to respond to the man.  She walked off.

“Okay,” the man said, following her in the car.  “Three-fifty per hour.  But I get two and half hours.  Anything I want.”

She was taken back and stopped.  She was still disgusted.  But she was confused and amazed too.  Had this man confused her with a prostitute?  Was he serious or toying with her?  Seven hundred dollars for two and half hours.  He had to be kidding.  She was fat.  She was not beautiful at all.  Her hips were too big.  Her husband told her this.

The man opened the car door.  “Are you in or out?” he asked.  Seven one hundred dollar bills were in his hand.  He extended his arm out of the door.  “I’m not the cops.  I’d have to tell you that.  It’s the law.  You ask.  I have to tell you.”

“Are you the cops?” she could not believe she asked that.  Why did she ask that?

“I’m not the cops,” he said.  “Get in.  We’ll have fun.”

She looked around.  At the far end of the street were women walking in heels and short dresses.  Cars stopped and the women would go up to them.

She stopped herself from giggling.  Then she looked up and saw the street sign next to her.  She had wandered onto a known street where women of the night hung out.

“In or out, sweetheart,” the man said and held up another one hundred dollar bill.  “Eight large for two and half hours.”

She stared at the man and swallowed.  She found her feet moving toward the car.  Her hand took the car handle.  She opened the door and leaned inside the car.  “You can’t hurt me,” she said, in a shaky voice.  “You have to tell me what you’re going to do before you do it.”

“You high-priced women,” he said.  “You make the big bucks and still want to call the shots.  Alright, whatever you want.  It’s your show.”

She stepped into the car and shut the door.  The Mercedes drove off.

Charlotte’s life could go in any direction.  You choose.  (You can let me know with your feedback.)

1. Charlotte began a new career.

2. It was the last time Charlotte was ever seen or heard from.

3. Charlotte went back home after being with the gray-haired stranger and left her husband.


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