“You look bootiful. Bootiful just like the pwincesses at Diswee Whirl.” Four-year-old Amanda’s eyes darted between the blonde haired waitress and her mother. “Doesn’t she Mommy?”
“You think I look like a princess from Disney World?” Jaymie’s eyes smiled at Amanda who shook her head up and down like a yo-yo. “Thank you. I think you’re beautiful, too. I’m going to bring you a special dish of ice cream if it’s ok with your mom.”
Amanda’s mom winked at Jaymie, “Sure. That would be fine.”
As Jaymie headed to the kitchen, the boys at table three whistled at her, “Can we get some help from the prettiest girl in the place?”
“Hold your horses, fellas. I’ve got to get a princess-to-be some ice-cream.”
As she faded from view, the guys leaned in across the table and whispered among themselves,
“She is seriously hot.”
”Gorgeous. Blonde. Well-endowed.”
”How do you describe looking like that?”
“She’s mine. You guys back off.”
”You’d never get a date with her.”
“You gentleman talking about me?” While they babbled, they had not noticed that Amanda had delivered the ice cream and was ready to take their order. “Who can’t get a date?” Her eyelids fluttered as she gazed at each of the young men.
“Uh, ah…” Several of them actually blushed.
“What’ll you hunks have for lunch today?”
When Jaymie wrapped up their order, she twirled around and stood face to face with Vince, the day-shift manager. “You giving those boys some of the attention reserved for me?”
“Never. I have more than enough flirting to go around.” Her smile was unstoppable.
Back in the kitchen, another waitress, Marisa, sighed, “How do you do it? You make everyone’s day here. I guess if I had your good looks, patrons would notice me too.”
“Sweetie, if you only knew. If you only knew. Now go out there and just have FUN!”
Marisa and Jaymie encouraged each other throughout the remainder of their shift.
“Tips were great again today.” Jaymie could not believe the lifestyle she was able to live just because she looked like a beauty queen each day she went to work at the high-priced upscale diner. If they only knew.
She got in her small BMW and headed back to the loft apartment that overlooked the park. She was eager to get home and take it all off.
Take it off and be who she really was.
Just before she collapsed on the couch exhausted, she looked in the mirror and slowly removed the long blond wig that covered her bald head and tossed it on the recliner. “Your hair will grow back thicker and stronger after the chemo.” That’s what the oncologist had said. Unfortunately, she was one of the few who never did get it back.
An hour or so later, Jaymie gradually made her way to the sink where she carefully removed her layers of make-up. I wonder if Amanda would think I was a ‘bootiful’ if she could see all of these scars on my face. The skin cancers had been removed ‘just in time’. I wish I had always been as lucky as I was with the skin cancer.
At last, she headed to her bedroom. After flipping on the light switch, she began to change into her pajamas. As she removed her special mastectomy bra and the insertable breast forms, she chuckled to herself, “I wonder if the boys at table three would want a date with this?” Then she spoke to her reflection, “Well, Sugar, at least you look good when you work. Can you imagine what the tips would be like if you went to work looking like you do right now? I’d guess we’d be sleeping in the streets, huh?” Jaymie switched off the light, knelt by her bed, and prayed, “Thank you God for wig-makers, make-up consultants, and breast form makers that allow me to look better than I should. Without You and them, I’d be anything but ‘bootiful’.”
After I get some emotional CPR, I'll comment on this article. Like a steel fist in a velvet glove, you struck at the "male" solar plexus and will likely leave some of them gasping for air. Rightly so. What a terribly beautiful way to express that "man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart." As soon as I catch my "macho" breath I'll surely have more to say. I seldom say this here when I critique articles, but I'll easily say it to you: "Excellent!"
Sharon, I do like this story better. I'm sorry you had to change it. Like in the other version, when she get home and starts taking off her "outward" beauty, I was shocked. I loved how you showed she was still beautiful inside. Great job.