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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Breathe (08/19/10)

TITLE: Remember To Breathe
By Charlotte Leonard


Corrine reached for her hand mirror and wondered how long it had been since she had cared what the back of her head looked like. “My goodness my hair is getting thin”, she thought as she pushed some wayward strands back into place. Unfortunately her hair
was the only thing on her body that seemed to be thinning. If only she had known that she would be asked on a date she wouldn't have eaten that second piece of strawberry cheesecake or finished off the ice cream night before last. Luckily they now sold
foundation garments that helped to corral the bulges and rolls of over indulgence.

Hair sprayed to near helmet level, in case of over zealous air conditioning or wind gusts, she studied her face in the mirror on the magnification side. The eyes were good, no stray blobs of mascara and the eye shadow was where it was supposed to be. No toothpaste specks on either side of the mouth and no lipstick on the teeth. Nearly good to go. She turned her head from side to side and lifted her chin checking closely for
those blasted thick wild hairs that pop out in quarter inch lengths overnight.

Satisfied with her hair and makeup she stepped back to take in the overall effect in her full length mirror. It had been longer than she cared to remember since she had actually agreed to meet a man and she wanted to look as good as possible. Now for the clothes, she wanted to look stylish but not over anxious. The black top was just too small, even with the minimizer bra (lifts, separates and reduces you one size!). Corinne sighed and pulled it off over her head, luckily her hair lifted as if one piece and then fell back into place. She looked at the heaping pile of clothes she had rejected earlier on the bed and pulled out the yellow top with black stripes. Someone gave her a compliment once when she was wearing it and it went fine with the slacks, also it was a just a tad bigger and the lines from her All-In-One Body Shaper (smooths and firms from ribs to ankle!) didn't show as much.

A spritz of cologne, she walked into the mist to avoid too much fragrance, and she was off! Halfway to the garage she wished she hadn't worn heels quite this high but time had run out and she figured that her hurting toes would take her mind off feeling like she was being slowly strangled by her underwear. “I must remember to breathe”, she told herself. Breathing wasn't an option, but it certainly wasn't easy either.

It was a three tic tac drive to the restaurant and she spotted his car right away in the parking lot. She had seen him at church but never thought he was interested in her,
in that way. Her heart was racing as she pulled into the empty space right next to his. She could visualize them walking slowly back to their cars and stopping for long looks into each other's eyes as they prepared to leave, or perhaps make plans for another rendezvous.

She caught her reflection in the glass door of the restaurant and wondered why in the world she had chosen an outfit that made her look like a large honeybee, then she saw him. He was at a table for two, a stack of papers in front of him, he was smiling and waving.

It was harder to walk while sucking in your stomach than she remembered. She tried not to think about how everyone in the place was staring at her, and her heels only caused her to stumble once as she made her way toward him.

She could tell he had been anxious for this moment. His eyes were bright and it was impossible for him to hide his excitement, little drops of spittle came flying out as he told her how long he had wanted to get together. Corinne removed her glasses and leaned forward, giving him the full effect of her enhanced eye lashes as she wiped off the lens with her napkin. Her heart stopped as he reached out his hand. Gently he rested his hand on hers and looking intently into her eyes he said “It is time to get serious.....about your insurance needs.”

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This article has been read 378 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/26/10
I chuckled throughout. I had a feeling a disappointment for the MC and a big laugh for me was coming at the end. You didn't disappoint me at all (maybe your MC a bit, but that just can't be helped):)
AnneRene' Capp08/27/10
Oh brother...this was unsettling. You described me to a T. I was even searching for the 1/4 inch overnighter chin hair while I was reading this. :)

Truly, this was probably "spot on" in describing how so many of us "mature" women feel, when and if put in the same situation. I cringed at the ending and being the die hard I am...still found some hope for a romance, since it was over dinner.:) :) :)
Charla Diehl 09/02/10
You captured your MC's feelings so realistically--and all the work of preparing for a date in later years. Your first place win is well deserved with this skillfully written story. I enjoyed it from start to finish.