She lived in an area, which had been somewhat rundown, but which was now undergoing a great trendy facelift. Fashion boutiques, especially proliferated—something new sprung up in every street one missed walking along for a few weeks or so. There was a kaleidoscope of styles, including retro. The windows positively smooched and glittered with the samples, poster-sized photos of lovely svelte models, none of them over clad, beamed down everywhere as if to say d’you wannabe like me? She had always sustained executive smartness, crisp black suits and stockings, starched cream blouses. But now she needed a spark. Those young things she passed on the street—they weren’t really all that special.
Janice was determined to make full use of the fitting room—a complete outfit from white silk underwear to a dark-green two-piece suit and a range of items in between.The changing room was spacious, and had a thick navy blue curtain. She had just got into the underwear and was putting on a cream blouse. As her fingers closed on the first button, a gust of wind rushed into the boutique. It swept up the
curtain so that, for a few seconds, she was in full view.
The young sales assistant, slim, smooth, a bit Latin-looking, dressed in black, lost his composure in a split second. His face registered a cocktail of embarrassment and delight. But he instantly recovered his cool, turned his eyes to the correct angle, slanting away from her, and restored the curtain to a decorous drape. The open door, or whatever had admitted that gust of wind, had obviously been dealt with. Elated, Janice made her purchases—all was well, she was safely within her credit limit. But the changing room experience aroused thoughts of being an eye-catching, crowd-stopping image. When she saw Halle Berry coming out of the sea, she ached for that to be her. But how to become what she wanted to be?
In some way it would have been nice to have an affair at work, but she was oh so proud of her detached efficiency, as well as suffering from being under surveillance, in spite of her relative seniority in the firm—those CCTVs could be far more benignly employed!