The price of a desire – Short story #3

Here we go with my third short story! It was originally written for a contest about desire. I would like to know what you think. Enjoy!

The price of a desire

Our first encounter has happened by chance. It wasn’t planned, I should have gone directly at home after work, but I entered that place as if it drew me magnetically.

Did it ever happened to you?

You walk through the same way every day, to get to work, to reach your children’s school, to go to the gym, to the supermarket, to the bank, and yet there are things that you don’t notice, you can’t see them, because your eyes are used to perceive them in the background.

Then one day, by chance, as a sign of fate, a faint strand leads you, induce you to turn right in that spot where you usually get by. And finally you open your eyes, you stop watching and you begin seeing.

That’s exactly what happened to me.

I was getting home back from work, one ordinary day of one ordinary week. Once out of the office, I hastened on the sidewalk, my handbag on a shoulder, the case in the other hand, my heels that tapped on the pavement. I stopped in front of the zebra crossing, waiting for the traffic policeman to let me pass through, but instead of keeping my gaze in front of me, as I usually do, I turned around.

At my right there was a wonderful place, something very close to my idea of Heaven. Maybe it had just been launched. How could it be that I never noticed it?

I approached the place in a trance, I rested my hand on the brass handle and pushed the wooden door. The room was ample, illuminated with warm light and, despite the presence of several people, there wasn’t the usual frenzied confusion, but calm and tranquility.

The target that immediately claimed my attention wasn’t in plain sight, but my gaze was attracted nonetheless. Elegant, sober, refined: the perfect incarnation of every woman’s desires. At least of my desires.

I shouldn’t have gone any nearer. I knew from that first glance that I couldn’t manage to resist, but the temptation was so strong and everything seemed perfectly orchestrated by a destiny with a strange humor. Setting aside my doubts, I decided more or less consciously to get a little nearer.

The first time I hadn’t enough resolution to establish a direct contact, it didn’t seemed appropriate. But I went back to that place the day after and the day after that and the object of my dreams was always there, making that spot so special and tempting.

I tried and tried to persuade myself that it’s not appropriate, that I don’t need it, that I don’t lack anything. I tried to think of my husband, who won’t understand. I tried to convince myself by considering my son’s needs, who will begin University soon. I carefully evaluated my responsibility towards the payments, the bills, the loan.

But this attraction is getting stronger and stronger and the ties that bind me are weaker and weaker. So today, finally, I have decided to surrender and fulfill my desire.

I have been nervous the whole day, so much that the colleague with whom I share the office threw me more than a worried glance. I can’t help but think of how I will react if today, today that I have decided to surrender, I will lose the moment. May the destiny decide to play such a dirty trick on me?

Finally the time to go out comes. I turn my computer down, I go out and take the lift. Once out in the street, I hasten along the same old road, with my handbag on the shoulder, the case in the hand and my heels that tap on the pavement.

At the zebra crossing I turn on the right, I put my hand on the brass handle and I get in. With a sigh of relief I open up in a smile and I relax: it’s there, like every other day, in that corner.

With confident steps, feeling lighter now that I am decided, I approach the counter. The woman on the other side looks at me with the face of someone who knows exactly how things are. Goodness knows how many times she has already witnessed such situations. Her greeting is friendly and her smile encouraging.

While the last remains of my doubts vanish, I say << Good morning. I would like to try on that coat on the mannequin in the corner. Size 14. Thank you.

Without uttering a word, the shop assistant exits from behind the counter and picks up the right size.

In front of the mirror, while I try it on for the first time, I think of the next loan payment, of my son’s University bills and of my husband who won’t understand because he knows that I already have two coats. But, in the end, is it so terribly wrong to bend the rules from time to time to satisfy a desire? And my husband doesn’t necessarily need to know how much it costs.

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