Lorraine woke up next morning with a heavy heart. First of all, she missed Suki. Next, she was so fat and she didn’t have a boyfriend. She would never have a boyfriend again because she was so fat.Those size four pants were so tight she could barely zip them up. And everyone knows that today’s size six was yesterday’s size twelve. How embarrassing to bump up to a twelve! She would have to go on a starvation diet for real. And those lines around her mouth…Horrible. Maybe a bit of surgery would help.
To cheer herself up, she walked across Cherry Street to Mountain Nest looking for her friend Colleen, who always made her laugh. She was surprised to learn, however, that Colleen no longer worked there. She left the store with her head drooping, and made a beeline for Sweet to see Sidney. She found Sidney behind the counter noshing on Bridge Mix.
Lorraine poured out her heart to Sidney who scooped out a double dip of chocolate ice cream and handed it to Lorraine, who wolfed it down without even paying attention to what she was doing. When Lorraine set the empty cup down on the counter, she came to the realization that dieting was just not going to work. Exercise was the key. She bought a box of malted milk balls (might as well…), excused herself, and set out on a brisk walk around the block.
She went down Cherry Street, turned left onto Sutton, passed the furniture store and the bike store and glanced into the open door of Take a Hike. They once again had a big Sale sign in front of the store, and Lorraine decided to peek inside. In the back she located the sale racks and saw that there was an additional thirty percent off already reduced clothes. She had absolutely nothing to wear to exercise in, so she decided to pick out a few outfits. After all, she couldn’t very well exercise in size four slacks that were about to burst at the seams!
An hour or so later, Lorraine emerged from Take a Hike toting a huge bag of Northface, Athleta, and Patagonia clothes that had set her back a fair amount. Her head was spinning. She was broke, once again, and should not have spent so much money. And yet…She pulled out the receipt and looked at the total. Looking at the total, she felt as if she were about to be sick. But then her eye scanned to the amount she had saved. She had saved $456.65. Yipee. See how economical she was! She immediately felt better and walked up to Dobra for a cup of tea. And maybe a cookie.
Sitting on the front porch of Dobra with a steaming cup of Chai in hand, she regarded the pretty lawn in front of her. So sad that developers were planning to build a three-story building to fill the entire space. Lorraine had a realty license, though, and understood that growth was inevitable. She might have a shot at finding tenants for the retail spaces planned for the ground floor. Black Mountain could use some bigger name stores like Gap, Banana Republic, and Victoria’s Secret. She would also like to see a high-quality store for make-up and skin care products so she didn’t have to go into Asheville any more to buy these. She could make some money as the rental agent , and then she wouldn’t feel so bad when she shopped in the new stores. It was a win-win situation. Too bad Dobra would be displaced.
Thinking about her career as a realtor, Lorraine mused about her poor sales of late. She just wasn’t getting the listings she wanted and she was feeling the financial pinch. She was working as hard as she could. Honestly. The only thing she could control, however, was her wardrobe. She didn’t want to drive to Asheville to her favorite clothing store in Biltmore Village, so she continued her stroll up Broadway to State Street. She turned left and continued up the street to Krista Anne’s clothing store. While they did not carry Eileen Fisher clothes, they did stock some dressy items that could work. The clothes at the shop tended to be roomy and ruffly, both of which were perfect for hiding her chubby body. She had already warmed up her credit card, so she might as well put that thing to good use. She headed inside and went to work changing her life by changing her wardrobe.