In my honors English class for this narrative unit, I was assigned to write a short story with dialogue about anything.This short story is about early womanhood in America, and how a young female makes a choice on whether she wants to let the views of men, other women, or herself to validate her. Consumerist culture is the heart of a young girl’s high expectation’s for herself; but what if a change in perspective can flip that whole ideal on its head?
Mona walked along the cement streets of the chaotic jungle of the Big Apple. The uneasy arms of Rose were wired around her neck. It was 2 am. “I just wanted to have fun,” Mona thought to herself.Rose sloppily whispers into Mona’s hair, “I’m not going to remember this once I wake up ya know?”
Mona admired the recklessness of her colleague; they had just met a week ago after being hired on the same day at Amour Lingerie bra shop. The business was run by 56 year old widowed women named Colette who would visit the shop twice every year from France. Colette’s bugged Mona because she took pride in how dangerously her life was lived. It was all ran by the ideals of men that have broken her heart just before dying. Her explanation for her unfortunate series of life events was always the same.
“God knew that my strength as a woman was too powerful for the men that stood before me so he had to take care of them,” Colette would say.
Take care of them. Mona’s heart was filled with nothing but pity for her. Her end goal was marriage. Collette’s end goal was to murder every man in her wake for a greater purpose. Mona’s parents were happily married. As a child, she would sneak into her mother’s closet and steal beads from her wedding dress. She had a wooden box under her bed where she would collect them until the day of her own wedding. Years of her life had witnessed the increasing laugh lines on her mother’s round, aging face. The kind smiling eyes of her father that would admire his wife with each passing day. The unconditional love of her parents spoiled Mona into thinking that love was expected, and not earned.
It wasn’t until she moved to New York that she learned her dream of a happily monogamous marriage can be nearly impossible for some people, no matter how hard they try. Although Mona’s exterior attitude towards men in the city was snooty and uptight, her inner hopeless romantic would sneak up on her from time to time. New York was a big change for her. Mona never in Boca Raton, Florida, with a more slow-paced lifestyle, and the beaming sunrise; never seeing snow. New York was a culture shock for Mona; she only moved there because NYU had one of the best writing programs.
Rose was Mona’s best friend, her views toward marriage were opposite to Mona’s perspective. Growing up with divorced parents taught her that love was fleeting. From an early age all she knew was that her parents loved her separately, even when they were together. It wasn’t until her 17th birthday that her parents realized they were officially not happy together after her dad decided to get a little too drunk, and sat on the cake. Rose developed a sense of weariness towards men. After the divorce of her parents, Rose’s motivation in life became aimed strictly towards her personal success as a businesswoman.
“When you get to know a person for long enough, everything about them just annoys you. That’s what marriage is, hanging out with a person for too long until you’re mentally exhausted with their presence,.” Rose says as she hangs Collette’s new edition of bralettes.
Mona scoffs.“You always say the most pessimistic things when you’re hungover.”
“I also say the most brutally honest things.” Rose rebukes.
Their friendship was like day and night, but in many ways, it worked. Rose leans in closer to Mona’s grinning face.
“Did I miss something last night?” Rose asks.
“What?” Mona says, failing to wipe the smirk off her face.
“You met someone last night, didn’t you?”
“Well, had you been paying attention instead of grabbing every drink in sight you would have seen that I was talking to someone the majority of the time.”
Colette interjects by jumping down from her step stool and pointing to the door only to see the back of a young man, smoking a cigarette and fiddling his phone.
“Dominic,” Mona whispers to herself.
She runs outside and taps the lofty young boy on the shoulder. Rose walks up to the window to further observe the male stranger.
“I can tell he’s broken a heart or two by the way he carries himself.” Collette scoffs, closely scanning his overwhelmingly urban appearance.
“That man is a typical New York John. His poorly put together ensemble gives off insecurity with the overcompensation of poorly put together masculine garments.”
“Oh, Colette,” Rose whispers,“you’re such a darling.”
The two women continued to eavesdrop from behind the mannequins. Mona had her arms crossed, but she had a calm look on her face. Dominic drop’s his half-finished cigarette, and steps on it. He fixes his hair and timidly attempts to pat the wrinkles out of his coat. Dominic was trying to make himself look more approachable, and Mona noticed. She looks at the ashed cigarette on the grey concrete floor. Her yes slowly look up until she meets his face, then carefully smiles, reassuring him that his efforts have been taking into her consideration of him trying. Rose almost knocks over a robe hung over a mannequin’s hand.
“I can’t read lips that well but but my intuition is telling me she is going to go through with whatever he proposes. Like Mona always does.”
Mona’s demeanor was unusually calm; she listened intently as the young man’s body shifted awkwardly every five seconds while trying to talk to her. His hair was in his face from looking down so much to avoid direct eye contact. Mona took two steps closer to him with a look of endearment in her eyes. She smiled calmly as she took her hands and gently brushed the hair out of his eyes. Rose and Colette rushed the back of the counter as fast as they could. Mona walks in, a dazed look on her face. She picks up one of Collete’s latest bras from the display, and admires it closely. The silver bra dangled from her dainty fingers. Mona continued to observe it as if the bra were some exotic scientific specimen, and then she grins.
“Silver lace. What a unique design, Collette. At first I thought that the bra was grey, but now that I’ve had a good look at it, it’s actually this strange glistening shade of chrome silver. Colette this bra reminds me of armor.” Mona glances up to look at the two women slowly retreating from behind the counter.
“Are you alright my dear?” Colette asks.
“Yes I’m okay, I’ve just realised something.”
“What have you realised?” Rosa observes her intently.
Mona brushes her fingers along the lace patterns, observing every detail.
“Dominic is a sweet guy. He seems like he really wants to make some girl happy, but as I was talking to him I realised I am not that girl. And this is because that I “can’t” be that girl, but it’s also because for once in my life I don’t want to be his girl.” She pauses. “Ever Since I met you guys, I’ve always questioned your resilient nature towards heartbreak. I’m completely naive to the feeling of love ending, yet I’m too afraid to begin loving someone in the first place.”
“You can love anyone when you’re ready. Don’t be afraid to end up disappointed. You’ll never learn that way.” Rose takes her hand.
“He was just a boy, with so much to learn, it–it didn’t feel right, I’ve also realised that I have much to learn as well,” Mona sighs.
Colette gently runs the special silver bra between her fingers, as if blessed by the young women before her.
“Silver lace. A coat of armor used by women. Oh child, how special you are.”