The Woman I Was Born to Be

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The Woman I Was Born to Be

Post  Yakima Canutt on Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:21 pm

The air in the bathroom was so chilly my breath steamed up the mirror as I stood there barefoot on the cold lino, trying to make myself beautiful. My hair has never done what it's told, and that day it looked like a straw hat. When I tried to style it with a hairdryer, I ended up resembling a fluff ball. I could hear the rain sheeting down outside, so I was going to have to wear a headscarf anyway. There was nothing to be done about it.

At least I had a nice frock, even it was a wee bit dressy for six o'clock in the morning! Gold lace, with a gold satin ribbon at the waist, I'd bought it for my nephew's wedding the previous year. I'd found it in a shop in the nearby town of Livingston and it had cost a tidy penny, but it was a special occasion and I thought I looked good in it. At the reception, I'd worn the dress with a white jacket, white shoes and natural coloured tights, but the morning of the audition—I don't know what possessed me—I decided to pull on black tights. Black tights and a gold dress with white shoes, for God's sake, Susan, do not match! But I didn't know that then. I put my head round the living-room door to say goodbye to my cat, Pebbles, but she was sensibly fast asleep in the hearth. Just before leaving the house I touched the gold chain round my neck that has my mother's wedding ring on it. Wearing it makes me feel she's close. 'Here we go then,' I said, closing the front door behind me.

Sometimes when I look back at that moment, I feel there must have been some sign that my life was about to change, but if anything it was the opposite. There was nothing auspicious at all about that rainy, grey dawn. In fact, it felt like one of those days when the sun never seems to come up. They call this part of Scotland the Wet Valley because we get more than our fair share of rain. Some people say the next generation is going to be born with webbed feet! Sling-back, peep-toe white shoes are certainly not the most suitable footwear on a rainy winter morning and the water was seeping in through all the gaps.

There were one or two lights on in the neighbours' upstairs windows, but it was still too early for most people to be up and about. A dog that had been out all night shivered in the dripping shelter of a doorstep. I saw a couple of men leaving their houses for the early shift, their coat collars up, lunchboxes under their arms. They didn't take any notice of me, which was just as well because, teetering along on heels like stilts, I was in quite a mood.

As I hurried along, dodging puddles and potholes, half of me was wanting to turn back to the safety of my nice warm home and the other half was desperate not to miss the bus. When I reached the main road, the bus was nearer to the stop than I was and I had to run like mad, which is not easy with cold, wet feet in three-inch heels. The doors opened with a hiss and I climbed on, my chest heaving, face pink, and my hair plastered down under my scarf. 'Well,' I thought to myself, sinking gratefully into my seat. 'My worries are over now.'

The bus from Blackburn took me into Glasgow, where I had to change and get another bus to the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), an enormous complex of halls in the middle of the city beside the River Clyde. The rush-hour traffic was building now and the bus wasn't making much progress. I kept looking at my watch, then out of the window. I could see the conference centre in the distance, but it seemed to be inching further away, not closer. It suddenly dawned on me that I was on the wrong bus and I had to push through the crowds to get off. I got on the next one that came along, but that was going in a different direction as well.

Now I was beginning to panic. Calm down, Susan. I told myself the logical thing to do was cross the road and take a bus going the other way.

'There's plenty of time.' the bus driver told me.

'There's not!'

'The world's not going to blow up.'

'It's OK for you, but I've got an audition to go to!'

He gave me a look.

Yakima Canutt

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Join date : 2011-04-11

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Re: The Woman I Was Born to Be

Post  pinhedz on Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:14 pm

Rumor has it that the real author of that book is a certain Imogen Parker. Suspect

Schrödinger's Hepcat

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