Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Story-Time Tuesday - Living Fiction

Jenny Matlock
If you missed where this story started just click here to read it or simply click on the Story-Time Tuesday link at the top of my blog to take you to previous chapters.

Living Fiction - Chapter 46

Here's where Chapter 45 left you.

Before I could even be embarrassed, she had stretched the neckline on the sweater and inched it down over my hair and make-up.

She held each arm opening up like I was a small child, and I slid my arms through obediently.

After tugging at the hem of the sweater I looked up to see Millie’s face. She had an expression I could not identify. After a moments silence she bellowed, “Jessie, come see for yourself!”

Jessie popped around the corner immediately. Her eyes grew wide. “Oh Mom,” she said, “Oh, Mom.”

And now, Chapter 46 Continues.

“Oh Mom, what?”

Jessie didn’t answer for a moment.

“JESSICA ROSE! You answer me right now…oh Mom, what?”

Jessie finally closed her mouth and replied, “Okay. Really, Mom. I think you need to see this for yourself.”

Which meant, of course, that I had to waddle up the stairs. Jessie and Millie followed so closely behind me, I know for certain they had to be aware of the dangerously taut fabric on my butt. The tight black underwear was trying valiantly to compress my…ummm…fluffiness, but frankly I was worried that any motion at all might cause the rear seam of the slacks to explode.

Apparently Edgar and Princess wanted to see the ‘big reveal’, too, because as I led the unlikely little parade to the floor-length mirror behind my bathroom door, they joined the entourage.

It was crowded in my little bathroom. Jessie picked up the dogs and put them into the tub.

Millie stopped my turn to the mirror. “Close your eyes, Pearl! Quick, close your eyes and I’ll turn you around,” she insisted.

“Fine,” I told myself, thinking I’d just go along with the nightmare makeover. After all she had spent a long time doing it. The least I could do was let her have a grand reveal. I’d just play along, try not to gasp in horror, thank her and then wash all the goop off my face.

Millie turned me around and squealed, “Okay, Pearl! Look! Look! Open your eyes! Oh, don’t be a chicken! C’mon…open your eyes now.”

So I did.

Just a tiny bit.

And then I opened them wider.

You’re not going to believe this, but I didn’t even recognize the woman in the mirror. I glanced around quickly to see if someone else had snuck into the bathroom with us…but, no…it was really me.

And I have to tell you, I actually looked good.

No, not good.


Somehow the five inches of make-up that Millie had applied didn’t look like five inches of make-up. She had made my face look brighter, my eyes bigger, my hair healthier and fuller.

I looked…

I looked…

Natural! And younger. And brighter.

“M..M…Millie?” I stammered, “What did you do?”

“Well, Pearl. You probably don’t know this about me but I used to be a professional make-up artist. I used to win so, so, so many awards for making those movie star people look like they had spent the night at home getting eight hours of beauty sleep instead of spending the night…ummm…well…just never mind. What do you think? I think you look so, so, so much better. And see how that pink makes you look all glowy? And that bra? See where the “girls” are? That’s where they’re supposed to be…not hanging down to your belly button…and...”

“Millie,” I interrupted, “My ‘girls’, as you so eloquently call them, were NOT hanging down to my belly button and…”

“Oh, whatever, Pearl. You can’t even see how much better you look. You are totally hopeless. I’m going home!”

As Millie turned to flounce away, I grabbed her arm. And pulled her into a hug. “Millie! I CAN see how much better I look! This is amazing. This is remarkable. I would never in a million years have dreamed that this is what I was going to look like. I was totally certain I was going to open my eyes and see another version of you.”

Millie looked puzzled. And then just a bit hurt. “What’s wrong with the way I look, Pearl? I like the way I look. I didn’t put this style of make-up on you because you couldn’t HANDLE IT!”

“What do you mean, I couldn’t HANDLE IT? I couldn’t handle looking like a…”

I should have known I couldn’t get along with Millie. She was so obnoxious. She was such an annoying little…

Jessie must have read my mind, because she stepped forward. “Mom, you look really good. I think you should just thank Millie and I’ll help her pack up her things and go on her way. We can’t take up any more of this good woman’s morning.”

While Jessie was talking, she opened the bathroom door, shooed the dogs out of the way, took Millie’s arm and started leading her toward the bedroom door.

I stayed in the bathroom staring at my face in the mirror over the sink. Good heavens, this woman was a make-up wizard, obviously. Who would have ever suspected that tacky, old Millie…

Jessie’s authoritativevoice interrupted my personal admiration society.

“Mom? Thank Millie now, so I can help her get her things home.”

Did I mention how bossy that girl had gotten?


I walked to the top of the stairs. Millie and Jessie were standing at the bottom looking up at me. “Millie. I don’t know how you did this, but thank you, thank you! Maybe when you have time you can give me a lesson in putting on make-up.”

Millie narrowed her eyes at me. “Oh, I don’t know, Pearl. I wouldn’t want you to look anything like me!”

Jessie gave me the evil eye and quickly followed Millie into the kitchen.

Geez. Some people are so sensitive.

Slamming the bathroom door, I looked at myself some more.

How had Millie done this? She had spent what felt like forever, making me look like I didn’t really have a lot of make-up on at all. I touched my skin tentatively and leaned in closer to the mirror. She had put just a tiny bit of eyeliner on that didn’t even look like eyeliner. It looked like I actually had eyelashes. And eyebrows. My hair was shiny and full instead of dull and flat. There was an awful lot of hairspray on it. At least it wouldn’t move in the wind. Other than the stiff hair, I loved everything Millie had done to me. She had somehow made me look 10 years younger, 10 pounds lighter and happy.

And if you promise not to tell her, I’ll admit to you that my ‘girls’ had been getting a little bit droopy. The black bra was amazing.

Plus, if I held my stomach in very tightly the muffin tops didn’t look very muffin-y at all.

I must have admired myself for longer than I thought, because the next thing I knew Jessie was knocking on the bathroom door.

“Can I come in?” and without waiting for my reply she opened the door.

“This is crazy, Mom. You look really good. I’m going to get ready and then we’ll go out to celebrate!”

“What are we celebrating, Jessie?”

“We’re celebrating the new you, Mom. And while we’re at it, we’re going to talk about some of the things the old you lied about.”

That girl can really take the wind out of my sails sometimes. Couldn’t she just let me enjoy my moment of glory?

“Okay, fine. Get dressed. Let’s go get some coffee. I know just the place.”

To be continued on Tuesday, August 9.

(c) 2010 Jennifer R. Matlock
This publication is the exclusive property of Jennifer R. Matlock and is protected
under the US Copyright Act of 1976 and all other applicable international, federal, state and local laws. The contents of this post/story may not be reproduced as a whole or in part, by any means whatsoever, without consent of the author, Jennifer R. Matlock. All rights reserved.

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Ames said...

Pearl you are just...just sooh rude! Poor Millie. I know her type and it takes all kinds! .....And just look at me...I am taklking to a story, oh jeeze!

I hope she runs into Jay and things start to click!

See ya next week Jenny! :D~Ames

Esther Joy said...

I smiled as I read this tonight. It reminds me of how I feel after I see my daughter in her beauty shop!

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for Millie. Shame on Pearl for talking to her like that after she made her look so good. Can't wait to see what happens at the coffee shop. Great chapter sweet Jenny. Hugs

Susan Anderson said...

How did I miss this one? I guess I got so behind that I was going to fast in my google reader and skipped right over it!