Thursday, November 13, 2008

My Newest Story....It's a long one.

Here's my newest story since my reader(s) requested it. This was based/inspired by a guided writing exercise we did in class that I expanded on. It's a little long, but I'd be interested in what you all think. Remember: I'm not a great writer and it's probably crap.

Candy always wanted to be a dancer. Ever since she was a little girl she loved any kind of dance. She dreamed of someday going to New York City to become a dancer on Broadway. New York seemed worlds away from the small Texas town of Corpus Christi, where she grew up and still lived. The shithole strip joint where she danced five nights a week was a far cry from Broadway. But Candy had plans. When she wasn’t stripping, she also worked at the Clip n’ Curl as a nail tech. She was saving every penny she could from both jobs to help her get to New York. Every single lap dance got her that much closer to her dream. At least that’s what she kept telling herself, each night, as she dealt with the pawing patrons of the club. The only luxury Candy allowed herself was buying the occasional item for her small apartment. She looked around that apartment now. She had furnished her home as she imagined she would someday furnish her New York apartment. Every month she would pour over her In Style and other designer magazines hoping to steal a glance into a different life. Her couch and curtains were a deep burgundy to offset the taupe walls. In one corner of the room sat her salt water fish tank. It was exactly like the one she’d seen showcased in numerous In Style spreads. What the magazine didn’t mention was that salt water tanks were very difficult to maintain, and the number of her expensive fish was dwindling. Her walls were adorned with posters of her favorite Broadway shows, like Rent, Hairspray and Cats. She wanted to dance in one of those shows one day. She had big dreams.
Class was hard to come by in her small Texas town, and she very much wanted to be classy. Candy’s hair was a little too blond, her make-up a little too heavy, her accent a little too ‘twangy’ to be considered little else than white trash, but she tried. Her bedroom walls were painted a soft sage with matching silk curtains and bedspread. The room would be elegant except for the scattered stuffed animals mixed among the pillows on the bed. These served as a reminder as to the age of its occupant.
At 21, Candy was barely old enough to drink in the Horseshoe club, where she’d been dancing for three years now, ever since her mama kicked her out of their trailer. Her daddy’d never really been in the picture, and her mama had a steady stream of boyfriends for as long as she could remember. At eighteen, Candy was a pretty girl. She had blue eyes and long blond hair that curled in just the right places. She had a petite frame that curved in all the right places too. Her mama’s boyfriend, Joe, had taken a liking to her. Candy was just naive enough to believe that her mama would take her side. Instead, she saw Candy as competition for what she saw as one of the few “good men” of Corpus Christi. Candy wasn’t so naive any more. In order to support herself, she got a job doing the one thing she’d always been good at….dancing. Exotic dancing wasn’t exactly what she’d had in mind, but it paid the bills. She had some regulars and the tips were good. She was getting closer to her goal every day. She’d gotten an apartment a few blocks away from the Horseshoe club, and often walked to and from work to save money on gas. This particular night was a warm one, but at least there was a slight breeze to get the dry air moving. The air was always dry and thick with dust here and Candy found it stifling. The air was even thicker in the club with the addition of dense clouds of smoke. Candy went straight back to the dressing rooms to get changed. She tried to spend as little time as possible in the actual club because she secretly thought she was better than its patrons. She wasn’t going to be stuck in Corpus Christi like her mother or any of the other small town girls who were content to marry young and work at the mall. She was a determined girl and hoped to wash the “small town” off her when she left. Candy was calculating how far she was from her goal as she was changing out of her jeans and tank top. Her friend Gail walked in the dressing room as Candy was applying glitter body lotion. Gail was the complete opposite of Candy. Where Candy was petite, tan and blond, Gail was tall and pale with flaming auburn hair and bright green eyes. Candy looked wholesome and cute, much like the schoolgirl look she used in some of her performances. There was nothing cute and wholesome about Gail. She was raw sex. She reminded Candy a little bit of Jessica Rabbit, and even had the same husky voice. It was through Gail that Candy had met Eddie. Eddie was a real estate developer and a frequent customer at the club. He’d originally set his sights on Gail, but she wasn’t interested. Eddie was a little too polished for her. She had always preferred her men a little rough around the edges. Candy, on the other hand, thought Eddie was just perfect. He was in his late 30’s, handsome, and he was married so he wasn’t looking for a commitment. Candy didn’t want a man to hold her back from her dreams. Eddie wasn’t hurting for money and Candy enjoyed the frequent gifts and lavish meals in the few nice restaurants Corpus Christi had to offer. She saved her money for better purposes.
“What’re you doing this weekend?” Candy asked as she watched her friend brush her silky hair.
“Not about you? You going out with Eddie this weekend?”
“No, he’s out of town this weekend and through till next week on business. I thought we could have a ‘girl’ weekend, maybe check out the new rodeo bar that opened up past the mall.” Candy knew this would be right up Gail’s alley as she loved the rough “cowboy” type that these kinds of bars attracted. Gail was always on the prowl. She was wild and always up for a good time. Sometimes Candy thought about asking Gail to come with her when she left for New York, but was afraid that bringing Gail with her would never let her shed her old life. As much as she loved her, Gail would always be small town. Candy cringed a little, as Gail lit a cigarette and slowly took a drag. The cigarettes were what probably made her voice so husky.
“I heard about that place. I could use a good time. I’ve been arguing with Harry all week about giving all us girls a raise. You know he can afford it.” Harry was the owner of the Horseshoe club. He was good to his girls, but extremely tight fisted with his money. He was in his fifty’s with a pot belly that hung over his belt buckle. His mustache was the same salt and pepper color as his thinning hair.
“I could really use a raise. You know I’m still saving for New York.”
“With working here and at the Clip n’ Curl you should have a pretty sum saved. What’re you still doing here?” Gail asked. “I’d be long gone by now.”
“It seems like every time I get ahead some, something happens. Remember last month when my car broke down? Getting the piece of shit fixed took a huge chunk from my savings.” Candy’s car was a 1989 Ford Escort. It was always breaking down and was another reason she liked to walk to work most nights. She just couldn’t bring herself to spend the money to buy a new one though. It’s not like she would need it once she got to the city. At this point in the conversation, Harry walked into the dressing room.
“I’m not paying you girls to sit in here and chat.” Harry said with a wink, “One of you should get out there, the natives are getting restless.”
Candy finished zipping up her knee-high black high heeled boots. “Sure thing boss,” she said dryly, rolling her eyes at Gail. Candy hoped she wouldn’t be staying at this job much longer. She pushed her way past Harry and onto the darkly lit stage.
The next day, Candy was getting her station cleaned up between clients at the Clip n’ Curl. She liked for her station to be neat like the one’s she’d seen in the nicer salon’s across town. She heard the chime of the door and looked up at the woman entering. She was wearing a cream colored silk blouse and matching cream linen pants. Her hair was perfectly coiffed and Candy could tell it was done in a salon much nicer than this one. She must be here to get her nails done, Candy thought. She looked like the kind of woman who favored pale pink polish, or a French manicure; something subdued and classy. No long, fake, red nails for her, that’s for sure. And she’d probably be a good tipper. She must live on the other side of town in one of the new subdivisions past the highway. The ones where the large stone houses all looked the same with their perfectly manicured lawns, swimming pools, and bored housewives. Candy wondered what brought her to this side of town. Surely there were nail salons near her house. Candy didn’t have to wonder long, as the woman seemed to be heading straight for her.
“What can I do for you today?” Candy asked, a polite smile forming on her lips.
“Well, you can stop sleeping with my husband for starters.” the woman said icily.
Candy was caught completely off guard. “You must be Eddie’s wife.” She managed to get out.
“Yes, I’m Edward’s wife and I’d appreciate it if you left us alone.” the woman said, her voice raising an octave. “Did he tell you we have two small children? Did he? Are you having fun being a HOMEWRECKER?” By this point the woman was screaming. “When I found out he was cheating I had to come down here to see for myself. I expected more. You’re nothing but a cheap little whore and I can’t believe Edward would waste his time with you. This affair ends NOW do you hear me?” the woman asked and without waiting for an answer turned on her heel and left the salon.
Candy was speechless. She never would have imagined that they would be found out. Eddie said that he was careful and his wife had no suspicions. Candy didn’t have to look around to know that all eyes were on her…she could feel it. She was humiliated. The owner, Faye, approached her and said that maybe she should pack it up for the day. Guiltily, she did. As she walked through the salon, her face burning, she could hear the whispers of the other patrons. Candy had always thought of herself as better than the people in this town. She couldn’t bear to think what they must be thinking of her now. Upset, Candy drove to the Horseshoe club. She wasn’t supposed to be working for several hours, but she was hopping to catch Gail there. She needed to talk to someone. Candy held back the frustrated tears as she slammed the car door and walked into the club.
“Is Gail around?” she asked Hank the bartender. Hank was a large, burly, bald man with a black goatee. He acted as occasional bouncer for the club if the occasion called for it.
“Not yet. She should be here in another hour though.” Hank said wiping down the bar. “You’re more than welcome to sit here and keep me company till she comes in though.”
“Thanks, Hank. I think I just might.” Candy said sitting down on a bar stool. She didn’t want to go home. She had to think about what she was going to do next. When Eddie came back from his trip they’d have to break it off. She didn’t need any more humiliation. She watched Hank as he counted down the register and sorted receipts.
“Hank!” Harry called from the store room. “I could use some help in here!”
“Would you do me a favor Candy?” Hank asked glancing impatiently at the store room door. “Would you take these receipts and put them in the safe for me? I’ll be right back.”
Candy often counted down the drawers for Hank. Yet another reason she thought she deserved a raise. “Sure Hank, no problem.” She slipped off the stool and headed around to the other side of the bar. She grabbed the stack of receipts and the envelope that contained the previous nights’ drop and headed into the office behind the bar. She turned the combination to the safe and put the receipts in. Candy hesitated with the envelope for just a second. She slowly opened it. Candy thoughtfully fingered the hundred dollar bills. She thought of how much easier her life would be if she had the money to live her dream. Remembering the humiliation she felt after today’s scene at the salon, she desperately shoved the money in the back pocket of her jeans. She shut the door to the safe and took a deep breath. She was really doing this. Candy walked quickly out of the office. Hank was just coming out of the store room.
“I think I’ll come back later when Gail’s here,” she said grabbing her purse off the bar. Hank didn’t seem to notice as she almost ran to her car. She nervously drove back to her apartment her hands shaking on the steering wheel. Once at her apartment, Candy packed the only suitcase she owned. She filled it with only what she couldn’t bear to part with. It hurt a little to think of leaving behind any of her possessions, but she was going to make a fresh start. She tossed the suitcase in the trunk of her car and headed towards the greyhound station. She was finally going to begin her life. She purchased a one way ticket to New York City and went to wait on a nearby bench. Candy took one last look at the place that would soon be her past. She wasn’t sure if she would ever return to Corpus Christi and the thought made her a little sad. When the overhead speaker announced the imminent departure of her bus, she got up from the bench. Candy grabbed her suitcase and walked purposefully towards her future. Standing in front of the door to the bus, Candy took a deep breath. Here goes nothing, she thought and walked up the steps.


JackeeG4glamorous said...

I'm waiting for the next chapter....

My Wonderful Men said...

Where did this come from? Wow! Sarah this is great. I'm think as I read the last line, no you didn't end it like this. Darn it. You have to finish it.