When it comes to clothes I don’t have much of a choice. I let people clothe me as they please, as frequent as necessary. I’m a mannequin, so, you get the idea.
I was not born this way. I was once a charming young lady, in fact the most popular in our campus, thanks to my impeccable sense of style. I followed the latest fashion trends as a disciple would to a rabbi.
It was when I met this guy that everything changed.
He was a very poor boy, a scholar who works part time to support his education, and he was so in love with me. I knew it thanks to the creepy glances he kept giving me in class. I did not mind, I was used to the attention that I get from the boys. It’s just that no one’s good enough for me.
One day before the summer break, while I was having lunch with my girlfriends at the school cafeteria, this poor boy approached me, carrying three sunflowers that were obviously freshly plucked from the school garden. I heard my friends snigger while I was silently praying for an escape from the inevitable humiliation.
“Sundra, for you,” he said looking into my eyes, hand trembling while he offered me the flowers. I stood from my chair and took the sunflowers. He smiled before I slowly dropped them one by one to the floor, and stepping on their hideous yellow heads. I hated yellow.
“Girls, let’s get out of here,” I said and never looked back.
The next day I woke up in this state in this cheap clothing shop. I could feel and see everything, but I could not move. The first time that I let them undress me was the most terrifying day of my life. I cried inside, but the tears never came out. I had no idea how this happened to me.
On my third night as a mannequin, I saw the poor boy again. He entered the shop as if looking for something, and then he saw me and walked closer.
I could see the sadness in his eyes as his calloused hand reached for my face. “I’m so sorry Sundra, this is all my fault,” he said.
While the shop owner slept he slowly undressed me, eyes not leaving mine. He replaced my blouse and jeans with a yellow sundress from his satchel. I could feel his hands on my back as he zipped me up, his face so close to mine.
He gave my lips a soft kiss before he turned his back and left at the same time that the clock chimed. It was twelve midnight.
Slowly I felt life coming back to me. I could blink my eyes, flex my fingers, and move my legs. My first instinct was to run after the poor boy, but an invisible barrier hindered my foot from stepping beyond the shop’s door. I cried, as if I never felt tears before, until it was 5 am and I was a mannequin again.
That has been the cycle since then. Mannequin during the day, alive when it turns twelve.
As the shop owner sleeps I remove my purple jumper and replace it with that yellow sundress he brought me. I walk by the door and wait for him to come back, as I have been doing since the night he left.
I know he will.
A response to Daily Prompt: The Clothes (May) Make the (Wo)man