Of course they didn’t know. A flash of leg or a hint of cleavage might get a passing admiring look, but she wasn’t showing any more skin than many of the other women, and certainly not as much as she had shown an hour ago in the lingerie shop, despite her nakedness beneath the coat.
She looked in the mirror again. Of course they weren’t looking at her, because she was still beige. Her coat was beige, and next to it her skin looked beige. The bright red lipstick, the ruby red shoes and the dark eyeliner had too much to fight against, and they were defeated by the dull coat. If you looked closely you might be able to see a young, sexy woman inside, but you had to decide to look closely in the first place.
That was the solution: the coat had to go. But she didn’t want to buy a new coat, not on a warm day in May. Her mind span again and the world started to feel like a dream. Am I thinking what I think I’m thinking? she asked herself. She was.
Susan was a hundred of miles from home and no-one in the town even knew her name. The old Susan had come out of the hotel this morning, but it was going to be the new Susan that went back this evening. The new Susan, with all traces of the old discarded.
She put down her bag containing her new skirt, her new top, her new bra and black lace shorts. She stood looking at the mirror, took her car keys out of her purse and put them both down on the seat next to her. She stared again at the mirror.
“I dare you,” the reflection mouthed.
“I accept,” she mouthed back at it.