The Price of a Desire
After showing you the revised version of my short story, The Envelope, today I’d like you to read another short story I wrote for an anthology. This time the theme is… desire.
Enjoy your read!
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 that place dragged me as a metal splinter to a magnet.
Did it ever happened to you?
You walk the same way every day, get to work, reach your children’s school, go to the gym, to the supermarket, to the bank. And yet some things that escape your attention. Your eyes are used to perceive them in the background, but you don’t really see them.
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 start seeing.
That’s exactly what happened to me.
I was getting home from work, on an ordinary day of an 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 tapping 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.
On my right I noticed a wonderful place, something close to my idea of Heaven. Maybe it had just opened. 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 ample room, illuminated with warm light, was calm and tranquil; despite several people, there wasn’t the usual frenzied confusion.
Even if the target that claimed my attention wasn’t in plain sight, my gaze was attracted anyway. 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 at first sight I wouldn’t 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 lacked the resolution to establish a direct contact, it didn’t seem appropriate. But I came back the following day, and the day after, and the object of my dreams was always there, making that spot so special and tempting.
I tried and tried to persuade myself it wasn’t appropriate; I needed nothing of the sort, because I lack nothing. I tried to think of my husband, who wouldn’t understand. I tried to remind myself my son’s first semester’s tuition. I carefully estimated my responsibility towards the payments, the bills, the loan.
But this attraction is getting stronger and stronger while the ties binding me are weaker and weaker. So today, finally, I surrendered.
I’ll fulfill my desire.
I have been nervous the whole day, so much I earned more than a worried glance from the colleague I share the office with. I can’t help it. What if today, today I decided, is too late? May the destiny play such a dirty trick on me?
Finally, it’s time to go out. I turn off my computer, 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 tapping on the pavement.
At the zebra crossing I turn right, put my hand on the brass handle and get in. With a sigh of relief, I open up in a smile and relax. It’s there, like every other day, in its corner.
Now I’m decided, I feel lighter. With confident steps I approach the counter. The woman looks at me with the face of someone who knows exactly what’s going on. Goodness knows how many times she already witnessed such situations. Her greeting is friendly and her smile encouraging.
While the last remains of my doubts vanish, I say “Good morning. Can I try the coat on the mannequin in the corner?”
“Size 14. Thank you.”
Without another word, the shop assistant exits from behind the counter and picks up the right size.
While I admire my reflection in the mirror, try the coat on for the first time, I think of the next loan payment, my son’s University bills and my husband who will object that I already have two coats. But is it so terribly wrong to bend the rules sometimes and satisfy a desire?
And my husband need not know how much it costs.
Did you enjoy it? I’d love to know your opinion! And, since English is not my mother language, if you spot something strange or incorrect, please point it out in the comments. I always try to improve my language!
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