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Pen Your Pride


I impatiently stand outside the changing room holding a pile of clothes, listening to the noises of agony escaping from inside as the large middle age woman inside tries to fit into clothes that are two sizes small for her. “Are you okay in there Mrs Lewis?” I call out as I look at the time on my watch.

“Just a second darling,” She says as I listen to her pulling up a zip. She draws back the curtain and I try my hardest to keep a straight face as I see her red and out of breath face. She’s wearing a black pencil skirt and a red floral blouse which seems like it’s going to burst anytime soon. 

“It looks really nice but I think you should get the next size up because you look rather uncomfortable,” I say. Her face falls in disappointment so I quickly add, “But that’s definitely the right coloured blouse.” 

“Are you sure? It’s just that I’ve been on a diet recently and I thought that this would really express my new body,” She says as she looks in the mirror, sucking in her large stomach.

“And it does, I can definitely see that you’ve lost weight since your previous visit but I think you should try the next size up so that you’re more comfortable,” I say reassuringly. 

 She lets out a sigh and then says, “Okay,” as she goes back into the changing room.

“I’ll go and get the next size up and put away the clothes that you’re not buying, just call me if you need me Mrs Lewis,” I call out. I let out a sigh as I hang up the two dresses and shirts on the rack and then make my way back into the shop. 

“Should I close up the shop now?”  My shop assistant Silver asks as she flips through an OK! magazine at the till.

“No not yet, we’ve still got someone in the changing room,” I say as I rummage through the rack, pulling out a size sixteen skirt then a size sixteen blouse. I let out a huge bear yawn as I slowly make my way back to the changing room.

“You seem really tired; do you want me to lock up tonight?” Silver asks.

I smile thankfully at her, “That would be amazing Silv, I practically feel like I’m going to pass out anytime soon,” I say as I run my hands through my tired hair.

“Have you finished in there? We need to close the shop now,” I call into the changing room, trying not to sound annoyed.

“Okay, I’m coming out in a second,” she calls out. I walk back into the shop and slowly scan the clothes at the till.

Seconds later Mrs Lewis comes out of the changing room, “Sorry if I’ve kept you waiting,” she says as she fixes her shirt.

I softly smile, “Don’t you worry Mrs Lewis. Now that will be sixty two dollars and forty eight cents,” I say as I place her folded clothes into a large, pink ‘Kayla’s boutique’ bag. She rummages through her purse and then places sixty five dollars in my hand. I cash the money and give her change as we exchange our goodbyes. As she leaves I collapse onto the white, fluffy sofa centred in the middle of the shop and let out a sigh of relief. 

Seconds later Silver comes walking in with my bag and jacket in her hand, “You need to go home and rest; you’ve been on your feet the whole day,” she says as she gives me my items.

 “Thank you,” I say as I put on my jacket, “I’m exhausted.”

“I’ll put everything away, tidy up and then lock up the shop,” She says as she ties her hair back, “Don’t worry, you can trust me.”

I stand up and hug her tightly, “Thank you very much, I’ll give you a bonus this month,” I say.

The nineteen year old, pink haired, blue eyed girl gleams at me in excitement, “Really?”

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