Here is my post for the writing challenge I put up this morning, originally inspired by The Cutter. See this post for more details if you want to join in the challenge. El Guapo entered his in the comments section of my earlier post and the link to Janna’s post is below .
Amy was juggling too many things at one time. She knew that. The hours she was spending at the office were eating into her social life and causing a huge strain on her relationship. She had promised herself she would spend more time at home, be the doting wife she had professed she would be in her vows, but her sunken eyes and dark circles under those eyes did much to disprove her intentions. She was a workaholic.
As she trudged along the sidewalk to head towards the bus shelter she passed the same store windows she did every day. She had never really taken notice of what the stores offered because it never occurred to her to care. The flashing neon signs had never distracted her before but today she decided to lift her head and see what the flashing pink lights were telling her. Her eyes strained to see the woman behind the counter and she immediately noticed how radiant she seemed. Amy deviated from her routine and went in.
The first thing that hit her senses was the smell of cheap perfume. Her favorite Led Zeppelin song, Going to California, was playing in the background so she took it as a good omen. She had no idea what this place was all about but she felt drawn here so she continued to the counter.
Amy realized her mistake halfway through the makeover. Her hair had been teased so much it reminded her of when she was a kid and she created static electricity by rubbing a balloon on her head. The blue eye shadow and pink blush had been applied so liberally she began to look like Mimi from the Drew Carey show and her red lips would give Angelina Jolie a run for her money. All she needed now was a spray-tan and a tiny dog in a purse and she could be a Beverly Hills housewife!
Tissue in hand, Amy did her best to remove the offensive pastels and tame her hair into submission. She left the shop bereft of her dignity and wondered how she would explain the lingering color palette on her face to her husband. She was only doing it for him.
The bus ride home seemed to take twice as long and, after doing her best to become as infinitesimal as possible on the bus, she was only steps away from home. She could see the candles flickering through the window and the shadow of her husband moving from room to room. His movement took her off-guard since he was always comfortably ensconced in his recliner, usually asleep, by the time she got home.
He was there to open the door before she had time to fumble with her keys. The dulcet notes of The Tenors caressed her ears as she took off her coat. A medium boat of sushi was on the coffee table and the wine had already been poured. He understood. He knew her hard work was for a purpose. As he leaned in to kiss her his eyes caught a glimpse of the make-up residue. She simply sighed and shook her head. He knew her well enough not to ask, wiped off some of the leftover lipstick with his thumb and his lips met hers.
Later, as she began to drift into a peaceful slumber, wrapped in the warmth of his arms, she only had the strength to whisper four words, “I’m taking tomorrow off”.
Other stories for the Random Selection: