Tuesday, June 17, 2014
She Left With Roxanne
Roxanne was perfect.
Jules knew it the moment she spotted her, wearing sleek black and silver, her angles sharp and curves soft.
“You are mine,” Jules said aloud.
A man in khakis glanced up and arched one eyebrow.
Jules ignored him. She left with Roxanne.
That was ten years ago, ten tumultuous years. A lot changed, like her job in sales. Now she was VP of distribution. Jules used to wear wedges, and now she wore stilettos. She used to drive a used sedan, and now she drove an SUV with so many luxuries, it could double as a spa. Her hair had been long and wavy that day, when she first laid eyes on Roxanne. Now it was cut short and kept straight, hitting her jaw at just the right angle.
The truth of her loss hasn’t sunk in.
Jules stands alone in the cosmetics aisle at CVS. Her new circle of friends would be appalled to see her there. They all purchase their foundation and eye shadow from Sephora and stores of that ilk. Jules does not. She feels like a cheater even going in those stores. It was here, in this very aisle, that she spotted Roxanne, that she approached her confidently and admired her perfect balance of sexiness and no-nonsense know how.
“Ma’am?” A young man approaches. “This is the last one. I looked everywhere.”
He hands Jules a tube of lipstick.
She remembers taking Roxanne home, peeling like fruit, pressing her lips against perfection. No one and no thing had ever made her feel that good.
Now she’s crying. In the cosmetics aisle. At CVS.
“I’m sorry,” the clerk mumbles. He looks at his feet and then backs slowly away from the crazy lady in her black suit and high heels. You get all types in a 24-hour drug store, but this is a new one for him.
Jules exits the store. She doesn’t stop to pay, and the cashier doesn’t notice. The young man does, but he keeps quiet. Something about her demeanor makes him think it’s not worth it. That woman isn’t all there.
In her car, Jules fingers the plastic cylinder. She watches the sunlight glint off the red waxy surface of the lipstick. One last time, she flips the tube upside down and reads the label, the name of the color…
And, beneath that, a yellow sticker...
Thanks, Sasha, for your offering of a woman discovering her favorite lipstick has been discontinued after ten years.