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The Personal Shopper

by Smit Zaveri
(Bangalore )

Her tangled hair had straightened itself out over night. Smooth and glossy, it shone as she walked into the place. She turned the lights on and stepped inside the room. Carefully unbuttoning her wrinkled shirt, white under the yellow lights, she placed it aside on the chair. She looked at herself in the long mirror, admired her face and smoothed her hair a little more. Impressed with what she saw, she stepped out. The world was her dressing room, awaiting her arrival. She took the dress from its hanger, draping it on her arm, before spotting the jacket she was looking for. The dress was black from the top to bottom with a golden zipper at the back. It had a hem of gold, a small black net frill around it.

She walked back into the dressing room. Her taste was impeccable, and she knew it. The leopard print jacket in gold and brown complimented the black dress. Careful not to rip anything, she dressed herself, taking all the time in the world. She was pleased; the dress barely touched her knee, the jacket snug above her waist. She undid her pants, dropping them almost carelessly on the floor and pushing them away with her feet. Barefooted, she tiptoed around, looking for footwear to complete her look of the day. She meticulously tried on every pair in the room. She then remembered her pair which she had hidden in the back of the closet, away from the prying eyes of any other woman. She forced her foot into the boots, the heel shining, covered in rhinestones, greedy for the soft suede against the skin.

Twirling, she saw herself in all three mirrors. A small waist, petite shoulders and fair face. Her elegant wrist carelessly placed on her hip bone. She continued posing, lost in her world, ready to step out into the limelight when she heard a noise. There were footsteps, heavily echoing across the giant hall
she stood in. She walked silently towards the curtain that separated two rooms and looked for a face in the dark.

She watched the Night Watchman walk towards the curtain and stop. She breathed slowly, in measured gulps of air. He turned and pulled the curtain aside. His eyes were red, like little glossy beads around someone’s neck, asymmetrical and large. They stared at her. A smile crept across the side of his face as he pushed her against the wall and kissed her lips. He bit her hard. His eyes wandering. Hands grasped her jacket and pulled it aside. His left hand was now all over her chest, pressing her breast, his mouth grazing her neck, hungry for more.

She pushed him away, her hands on his shoulders. Looking at this face in the dim yellow lights, she laughed. Giggles at first, then a loud grunt. He turned the mains on; the white lights illuminating every nook and cranny of the store. Every mirror on the ceiling had her face on it. Her crooked teeth were prominent on her freckled face, which now looked glum. “You owe me a favour for today”, he said, his eyes refusing to meet her face and instead staring at her naked thighs. She looked at him teasingly, then turned away and walked with a swagger. She stuck her back out, making her figure prominent, as she stepped into the dressing room seductively, hoping that her little performance would keep him satisfied for today till she came up with a better plan to stall him.

She undid the dress and put her wrinkled shirt and pants back on. Folding the clothes, she placed them in the hamper with the other stock. She brushed her tangled messy hair into a bun and returned the shoes to the shelf. He opened the front door and greeted the manager who stepped in a while later. It was 8 AM and the day had just begun.


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