Letting Go Ch. 01bySoft1017©
She felt a lump rise in her throat as she walked towards the door of the clothing store where she now worked. Sara had recently joined the plus size franchise Savi. She was beginning to feel comfortable working there as a plus sized young woman herself. She found that she enjoyed the atmosphere in the store.
Inside the trendy boutique she felt at home among her co-workers whose bodies resembled her own. This morning however, that sense of comfort was wearing away as she heard quiet laughter from the gentleman's store directly across from her store's entrance.
The two stores were situated in the Palazzio Mall and while Savi catered to plus sized women's fashion, Brionni was an upscale store dedicated to the distinguished business man. From what she assessed, the men working there were mostly Caucasian, clean cut and very well spoken. On occasion she would glance inside, never giving a thought to actually entering the domain of the gorgeous alpha males.
"There she is!" someone whispered.
She didn't want to look, but she did anyway knowing that she might regret doing this. Brionni was opening for the day ahead and at the entrance stood three men in conversation. They had been staring at her. She quickly looked away. That uneasy feeling was returning. Her life thus far had not been an easy nor positive one. She had been bullied and ridiculed all her life, because of her weight.
She had to endure being called fatty, ugly, huge bitch and other derogatory names by family, peers and strangers alike. It was very painful to go through all of this and as a result of the abuse, she closed herself off from dating and even conversation with her family.
It was all happening again when she least expected it, and her face was inflamed with embarrassment. She felt tears welling up in her eyes, but she held them at bay.
She didn't want them to see her break down, even though behind the exterior her heart was breaking. She wanted to disappear and never come back.....but she couldn't do that. Not now. She took a deep breath and tried to ignore the 3 pairs of eyes watching her. She entered her store and forced herself to not think about what had just happened.
"Good morning honey. Is something wrong?" asked her manager Louise.
"Good morning. I'm alright, just a bit under the weather this morning." said Sara, forcing a smile.
"Are you sure? You look a bit flushed. Is it a fever?"
"Oh I'll be alright, I just need a drink of water." she said heading for the break room.
"Alright honey, you're early so just use that time to get yourself together. If you need anything let me know." Louise smiled.
Sara made her way down the stairs towards the break room. She was the only one there and she was glad. She didn't want any of the other girls asking her why she looked so down on this beautiful morning. She quickly entered the bathroom and let her tears go. She was crushed. She didn't know why so many people found her appearance so offensive.
She had become more health conscious as the years went by and was determined to become fit. Unfortunately, progress was slow and no one could tell that she was trying hard to take care of her body. Most assumed that she was an out of control glutton at 260 lbs.
She stopped herself from crying. This episode would continue after work in the privacy of her room. She dried the sides of her face and was happy for the fact that she didn't like wearing eye make-up. Her face would have been an inky mess from the river of tears. She walked towards the mirror and looked at herself.
Staring back at her was a young woman of 29, 5'7 in height, with large shapely breasts and a slightly protruding belly. She looked very smart in the slimming black dress and silver drop earrings. Her hair, dark brown and straight, ran down her smooth brown neck and fell to her broad shoulders.
If it were not for her red face she would have thought herself to look decent and not at all ugly this morning. She had recently lost 30 lbs. and although her weight loss goal was far away, she was proud of herself for having come this far. She let that thought sink in. All her hard work and perseverance was not to be diminished by the snickering idiots across from her store.
She applied a little powder under her eyes to hide the tints of red and teased her hair a little. She would conquer this day and not worry about anything other than meeting the needs of her customers.
She took a few steps back and inspected her dress in the mirror, making sure that nothing was out of place. Her face was slowly going back to its normal color and apart from a slight redness in her eyes she looked like her old self again. She was ready to go out there.
The next few hours went smoothly. She was having fun again and felt lucky to be employed at such a great store. Her sassy peers were confident, classy and never too serious. They made her smile and even laugh from time to time with their upbeat personalities.
She couldn't forget her morning, but it didn't bother her so much anymore. She had all these wonderful people around her who treated her with respect and she wouldn't ruin this social experience for them or herself.
The day went by quickly to her amazement. She didn't feel like the tears she had saved up needed to be unleashed anymore. It was now 10pm and all stores were getting ready for closing time. This was her favorite time of the night. Not because it was time to go home. The mall was quiet and the pace was slowing down at this late hour. Everyone and everything seemed relaxed and she loved walking past the empty stores on her way out.
She decided to stay back with Louise to help her set up a few displays for the next day. After all she wanted to show how dedicated she was to being a good employee. She enjoyed Louise's company and felt at ease around her, even though this woman was her boss. She had always been tense in the presence of her previous managers and was thankful that she had taken the chance to apply here.
They were finishing up the displays when in the corner of Sara's eye, she saw two figures approaching.
"Hello Louise!" said a deep masculine voice.
Both women turned around and two men in well-tailored suits were approaching.
"Hi Michael, how are you?" Louise addressed the older man, with a smile.
"Well, thank you." he replied politely.
Michael was probably a little past 6 ft. tall and he towered over his companion and the two ladies. He was a prime example of tall, dark and handsome. His dark hair was sleek with a few greys here and there. His face was very handsome featuring dark blue eyes, a long narrow nose and a strong jaw.
He smiled at Louise, then Sara. He, as well as his companion, was one of the three men who brought her to tears earlier that day. Sara didn't know what to expect, so she braced herself.
"Is this lovely young lady new?" he asked Louise; that smile never leaving his face.
"Yes she is new and a great addition to our staff."
Sara smiled shyly and thanked Louise.
"Well it's very nice to meet you young lady. I am Michael and this is Christian." he said as he extended his hand out to Sara.
She slowly received it and shook his hand.
"My name is Sara. It's nice to meet you both."
"Christian and I thought we should introduce ourselves to you since you will be seeing much of us." he said gesturing to his younger and even more handsome companion.
Christian was a few inches shorter than Michael but that did not take away from his gorgeous stature. He was a dirty blonde, hazel eyed Apollo. His face was somewhat boyish; he may have been in his early to mid-twenties, but his manner seemed much more mature. His eyes were very warm and he smiled at Sara, exposing his gleaming white teeth.
She marveled at the slightly pink tint of his lips as well as the soft look of them. She smiled in response and quickly straightened her mouth, awaiting some form of criticism from her neighbors.
"Well Sara, it was nice meeting you. I'll leave you two to get a little more acquainted as Louise and I have some business to discuss." he said leading Louise away to the back office of the store.
"Sara, you don't have to wait on me. Thanks so much for helping. Go home and get some rest. Hope you feel better Hun!" Louise said sweetly.
"Goodnight." said Sara nervously, feeling a little uneasy about being left alone with Christian.
"I can do this. I can do this." she thought, quickly searching for a reason to abandon her handsome guest.
"So how do you like the store so far?" he asked kindly.
"I really like it here. It's a beautiful mall and I have a lot fun with my work." she answered, feeling another lump growing in her throat.
He made her nervous but his smile and the scent of his cologne made her body melt.
"Great! It's always important to have fun with your work. It helps the day go by quickly."
"Yes it does." Sara nodded.
"I actually asked Michael to introduce us because I wanted to apologize about this morning. I realized how things might have looked to you and I'm sorry if we made you feel uncomfortable." he said with an apologetic look on his face.
"No, it's fine. It was just an awkward moment for me." Sara said, easing her tension a bit.
She hadn't expected such a direct apology.
"For the record, I was the one being made fun of. They were telling me that I needed to take charge more often." he laughed, flashing his gorgeous teeth.
Sara smiled in response and also flashed her pretty teeth which matched his. She wondered what it really was that he should be taking charge of.
"Can I walk you out? I'm also done for the night and would love to escort the lady."
"I... I'm fine really."
"Consider it part of my apology. It's the least I can do to make up for this morning. I don't mind waiting." he smiled warmly.
"Well alright ...I just have to get my things. I'll be right back." she said turning and heading for the break room.
"I'll be waiting." he smiled and continued to watch her curvy frame as she walked away.
Sara's heart was pounding furiously and she hadn't realized how moist her inner thighs had gotten. No one had ever had an effect on her like this and she was terrified of what was happening to her.
She couldn't slow her heart beat and wanted to sit down but she didn't want to keep Christian waiting. She quickly opened her locker, and grabbed her purse. Her mouth was a little dry so she took a sip of some bottled water and generously applied her favorite Cherry chap-stick to her lips.
"What a day!" she thought as she headed up the stairs.
She half hoped he wouldn't be there when she got back. He made her too nervous and she wasn't sure if she would be able to keep her composure.
The two walked side by side in the empty mall. There were only a few personnel in the whole building now.
"I love it around this time. It's so peaceful" said Christian.
"I do too. I saw this 80's movie when I was a kid about these teens who were accidentally locked in a shopping mall overnight. They had a blast. It made me love the idea of an empty mall." Sara laughed.
She was starting to get a little more relaxed around the stud.
"I have too, but I can't remember the name of it." he replied and laughed with her.
"Neither can I!"
"So I'm assuming we're probably not that far apart in age then?" he smiled.
"I'm 29, getting close to that dreaded 3-0." she said
"Ah yes, women and the age thing. It's not so bad. It's just a number and doesn't change who you are. Besides you look a lot younger." he smiled.
"Thanks." she replied shyly.
"So what other cheesy movies have you seen? I'm partial to those late night cheesy horror flicks. I can watch them for days." he laughed.
"I love those too. I have a huge collection at home. You don't seem like the type to enjoy these kinds of movies though."
"Hey, despite what I look like, I know how to have fun!"
The two began a tiny competition over who had seen the most horrible and cheesiest horror movies of the 80's and 90's. Sara won, but Christian's list wasn't too far behind in number.
Both were having a great time and it would've been obvious to anyone how well they seemed to get along. As they approached the exit door, she wished she could have spent a little more time with him. They seemed to have much in common: a love for movies, classic literature and art.
He didn't intimidate her so much, yet there was this nagging thought in her mind. Maybe they were making fun of her and hadn't expected her to look their way. Maybe this was some kind of dare or bad joke at the fat girl's expense. She was preparing herself for disappointment because she no longer knew how to tell if a man was really being genuine. She would be respectful to him and his peers but she would not let her guard down. Ever.
"Are you alright?" Christian asked, looking a little concerned.
"I'm fine." she smiled back, not wanting to make him curious about what she was thinking.
"I heard Louise telling you that she hopes you feel better. Are you sick?"
"No it's nothing really. She just commented on how I looked a little flushed this morning and..."
"Oh man, I'm so sorry. This had everything to do with our behavior this morning. Am I right? I feel terrible!"
"Don't, it's not a big deal." she lied.
"It is a big deal and I'm going to make it up to you." he said seriously.
He held the door for her as they exited the building. She didn't know what to think but she wouldn't let herself give in to him so easily. The night air was cool and the streets were close to empty. The hustle and bustle of the city was quickly dying out as the hour grew late.
"Well, thank you for walking with me...and it was nice meeting you."
"That sounds like an "I probably won't see you again" type of goodbye." he laughed.
"I didn't mean for it to sound that way. I just have a lot on my mind at the moment. We are neighbors after all. I'm sure we'll see each other from time to time."
"I'd like to see you more often, than just from time to time."
She didn't know how to reply to that.
"Well I've taken enough of your time Sara. You have a good night and maybe I'll see you tomorrow." he said quickly, not giving her too much time to think up a response to his previous statement.
"Oh... well goodnight Christian."
"You can call me Chris." he smiled.
"Good night Chris." she said returning his smile. "I'll see you tomorrow."
"Be safe!" he said and turned towards the nearby parking lot.
She watched him for a few seconds as he walked away.
"I could easily fall for him... but I don't want to. I can't deal with another disappointment." she thought to herself.
She broke away from the gaze and started heading towards her train. She couldn't wait to get home to relax in her bed...and maybe dream about the gorgeous man she had just met.