June Bloom: "Found"

A little twist this month – many loving thanks to Kurt R. for inspiring me to write this month’s flash fiction story titled Found. Here’s an excerpt from what he shared with me. 

“Stacey, would you marry me?” – Kurt R.

"Found"

Over the years, DeAnne had habitually shopped department stores with three old friends from high school. She still relied on them to gauge what would, and wouldn’t, work for her fashion-wise. Early in their sprees, they’d scout out the current trend, style, color, craze, and rage. Her friends placed precedence on staying current and always selected what they thought best for her – no matter what the fit.

“This double-breasted purple velvet blazer works perfectly, DeAnne, if you move the middle two buttons over. It’s a hot color this fall. Don’t lose out on this one. It’s full price, but worth having. Grab it.”

“Okay, if you think so.” DeAnne took it home, and that night wondered whether alterations could make it right for her. But the fabric had felt so fabulous in the store.

When premium outlet malls started popping up, her shopping pack began frequenting the new one on the outskirts of their town. 

 “Wow, check out the shoes over here, gold leather Choo’s and gem-studded Weitzman’s. You must get one or the other, DeAnne. Take the Choo’s, they’ve got one pair left in your size. Grab that box.” 

“Of course, I guess I should get them right away before someone else buys them.” When DeAnne tried on the 3.9 inch heels at home, she discovered her inability to walk more than a few strides. But the stilettos had looked so pretty on the display shelf.   

When the local news reported on a Main Street revitalization development that included a new retail boutique, the pack made sure to be first in line when the doors opened. On that glorious day, DeAnne waited with them for three hours so they could secure all the gifts and discounts offered to the first fifty customers.

“Oh, my, my, DeAnne, you must get this sleek-fitted sequined dress. It’s the chicest of chic, try it on,” her friends said. “We’ll tailor this beauty to fix the drape and the droop in those tricky-to-fit places around your shoulders and waist,” said the sales staff.  

The following week, when DeAnne picked up the “must-have dress” for a “maybe-future” occasion, she decided it stifled the way she liked to move: free of constraint, with no limits on the natural swing of her arms and the stride of her legs. She hadn’t really liked this dress on the mannequin but hadn’t want to disappoint her posse.

Over the years, her friends moved away and online sites gained traction. DeAnne ventured into these trending shopping spaces alone at home. She marked her own preferences – swing blazers, sturdy flats, and free-form dresses. Unexpectedly, she stumbled on a perfect ensemble that matched her tastes and desires. Two days later, she opened the package and reveled in having found a wonderful wardrobe for all seasons that fit well, felt glorious, and fulfilled her.

(Kurt R. and I met online, both of us “shopping” for life partners. We exchanged three emails, two phone calls, and one date that led to another – and another. Our wedding date is June 3, 2022. For real!)