Shop Girl

 Katy was doing a shift in a boutique clothes store. The day was drawing to a close and she was thinking about closing and going home. She did a few odd jobs in the storeroom, and hoped the day would end without too much trouble. 

 

“Can I try this in a six?” – she heard the drawl of an upper-class American woman.  

 

The girl was pretty, in a polished but scruffy way which Katy could never quite pull off. Her honey-blond hair looked perfect in a messy bun, and she wore expensive faded jeans with a casual shirt and a huge handbag dangling off her left arm. She held up the dress, a limited edition French demi-couture piece, which cost around $3000. 

“Ok”, said Katy, trying to sound even. There was something familiar about the girl, she was either a useful contact from the film shoots, or someone she hated for some reason. As she rummaged through the hangers at the back of the shop, looking for the dress, she remembered. It was the heiress she had seen chatting to Gareth that night at Hollywould’s. 

 

She emerged back into the daylight of the shop, “actually, I’ve changed my mind”, said the girl, “can I try that blue beaded gown over there”, she pointed to the dress in the window display, it was the last one, and was pinned to the mannequin in a complex way,

 

Katy calmly hung the original gown on the back of a door, and set about removing the blue gown from the mannequin, she was conscious of passers-by looking at her, which made her more nervous, and she knocked over one of the other mannequins as she tried to clamber around the window display. For some reason, the mannequin had hard nipples which caught on the dress as she tried to remove it. She could feel the girl looking at her, bored, impatient. As she wrestled with the semi-nude figure, the torso detached completely, and the nylon wig fell off, hitting the girl. 

 

“I hope I’m not causing you too much trouble”, she drawled, 

 

“No, it’s fine”, said Katy, finally freeing the dress, 

She handed it to the girl, without bothering to straighten it. “You look really familiar”, said the girl, 

 

“I was at Hollywould’s last Friday, but we didn’t meet properly, you were chatting with my boyfriend”, said Katy, sharply,

 

The girl looked puzzled, trying to remember which of the men she had spoken to on Friday might be the one. “Oh, so you must be that English girl Gareth was dating”, she said, her face lighting up with realisation, 

 

Was. This is how you find out that you’re dumped. 

 

“Wow, small world”, said the girl, people who say that are always annoying. 

 

She looked at her watch, a huge man’s Rolex dangling off her skinny wrist. It was nearly five thirty. “Oh shit”, she said, “I’m almost late”. The girl glanced around the shop, scanning the displays for suitable items. 

“Listen, could you ask Lauren to send this and a few other things over to my flat for me to try on later, she knows what kind off stuff I like, just say that Kathleen Rixon called and needs a couple of dresses for a book party next week”, said the girl, dumping the dress on the counter, she had sensed Katy’s mood, and exited quickly, not wanting to deal with some stroppy little tart.

The phonecall wasn’t entirely unexpected, Katy sat on her sofa, picking at the loose threads in a cushion, 

“I’m really sorry, I thought you were doing a good job, but I’ve had a complaint from a customer, I can’t risk winding her up, I hope you understand, I’ll do a good reference for you”, Lauren sounded apologetic, Katy almost felt sorry for her. I feel shit, she wrote in ballpoint in her diary. I don’t know why I bother. Why is everyone so fucking hostile? 

 
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4 thoughts on “Shop Girl

  1. i love the way both of you write. something hidden behind the words. she will be glad you are telling her story. maybe finally she will be heard.

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