Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta store. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta store. Mostrar todas las entradas

lunes, 16 de octubre de 2017

Two Theresa's

   Theresa had just come out of the asylum. She wasn’t supposed to call it that but she found it was better to call things by their name. She had been there for five months, after suffering a very serious mental breakdown in her office. Thing had been thrown, insults had been hurled and the police had to be called to stop her from hurting more people. Things had really gone badly that day and she had to accept, in front of a judge, the condition of getting help in the insane asylum.

 Her stay there had been largely uneventful, except for the screams she had to hear every single night, that prevented her from sleeping like a normal person. Besides that, she had to go to the shrink every single day, for an hour, and also to group therapy once a week. It was a lot of talking, of listening and of showing others how she felt and looking at people hurting from their pasts or presents. It was kind of tiring at the beginning, but it eventually became part of the routine.

 Same happened with the meds. Her doctor had assigned a certain prescription to her at first, but then it was change several times during her stay in the asylum. The things she had to take, with a little sip of water, kept getting stronger. She had begun losing grip of reality. After having a crisis in her cell, she decided to leave the meds and just pretend she was taking them. It wasn’t easy because they checked everyone afterwards, but she was able to make one of her new friends take them.

 The first week she spent outside of the asylum, she realized how mean that had been. Making someone unstable taker her meds could have been potentially destructive for said person and maybe even for herself. However, she knew that those chemicals would have never helped her at all. She just needed to get away from everything, she needed silence and calm, as well as some time away from everything that bothered her, starting with her job and her family. In short, she needed some sort of holiday.

 That’s why she liked to tell people that her stay in the asylum had been uneventful, just something he had to do in order to please the society that had deemed her unfit to be in society. She tried to fake her hatred of the system and decided to get a job that wouldn’t be as stressful as the one she had before. Over two months after her release, Theresa was able to get employed in a flower shop, taking care of the plants and also attending costumers when the owner wasn’t around. It was a very calm environment, perfect for her. Free of stress and fear.

 However, her family was still around maybe even more than before. Theresa had tried hard to make them understand she needed time for herself, in order to get well again. But they didn’t care about that at all. They were too busy thinking about how others would perceive them. Her mother had many friends all over the city and she had even received some gossip about her own daughter that Theresa just refused to discuss. She had no need or urge to comment on any of it with her mother.

 Her father had been dead for a couple of years and her mother and siblings would always say, when she was around, that it was better that way in order for her not to shame the family name and her father’s prestige in front of the rest of the community. They behaved as if they were kings and queens or something very similar. It was a relief when Donna, the owner of the flower shop, asked her to go for a short period of time to the small town from where she received the flower shipments.

 Apparently, they had been having problems with some of the plants and they needed to get them in line because Valentine’s Day was coming soon and that was their big day of the year for sales. Theresa had shown so much interest in the business and in the plants as themselves, that Donna thought it would be perfect to send her to represent the company. She would have to visit several plantations and tell them exactly what they were looking for, in order to improve sales and wealth for everyone involved.

 She accepted the moment Donna proposed her plan to her. She left a week later, without telling her family or anyone else. She just grabbed a suitcase and hopped on the bus. She arrived there and discovered how beautiful real nature was, how calm really looked and how people lived without so much tension from urban life. She hadn’t realized how her rough lifestyle had been an important factor in the development of her emotional crisis. City life almost killed her.

 When she arrived, Theresa was supposed to stay up to three weeks in the town, travelling to other parts of the region every day. However, she ended up staying more than two months. She only came back to help Donna with all the craziness of Valentine’s Day. Once the season ended, she went back to the countryside. No one ever knew what she did there but the truth was that she had been hired to do the same thing she did in the flower shop. The only difference was that she did it in the open; with real sunlight caressing her skin and that was priceless.

 Her family looked for her through email, mobile and telephone, but they never got to her because she had taken a step back from most of the things the modern world could offer. She visited an Internet café once a week to read some news and chat with Donna and other friends, but that was mostly it for her technological life. Most days were spent in the fields, sweating from early morning to sundown. It was hard work but she loved feeling so tired that no thoughts ran through her mind.

 She would be the first person to wake up, feed the chickens and pigs and then help in the field, doing whatever they asked her to do. She loved tending to roses, sunflowers and dahlias, but she would also work on a potato plantation and picking strawberries and grapes. It was always changing but it was good money for only one person. She eventually got to save enough to have her own little house, from were she could travel by foot to any of her jobs, no matter what she had to do.

 Before her breakdown she had been one of those women that never touched anything without a real necessity. She had a chauffeur to pick her up from her meetings and then take her back home or to the office. She had a maid to cook for her and two assistants that helped her much more than she would admit to. She would be very cold to all of them. Cold wouldn’t be the word as she was never outright mean, she just wasn’t one of those people that liked to hang out with others.

 Looking back at her past, she thought that woman in her memories was someone she couldn’t really recognize. That woman, through some sort of creep psychological magic, had been locked away in the asylum, with all the other crazy people. She was a danger to herself and others and it had been quite a difficult task to get rid of her. Because, before anything else, Theresa had to realize how bad everything was before taking the road to a better life, which is exactly what she did.

 Eventually, she met someone she was able to fall in love with. He was the first person there, in the countryside, to know who she had been and how much she had changed. He praised her for that and acknowledged her might every day of their life together.

 As for her mother and siblings, they kept trying to reach her but she never went back to the city. She just wrote them a letter telling them how her life was now much better than before and she had no need to go back to a place so toxic for her.

viernes, 22 de septiembre de 2017

A life of risk

   Natalya stopped by the hotel only for a few minutes, enough time to pick up whatever she had brought along with her to that damn place and then get out of there as fast as she could. She put it all in a small suitcase with wheels and practically ran down to the reception in order to pay whatever she owed. It wasn’t something she did often, but she had been made to pay for dinner in her room, as her target had not being available that night. He was too far for her to follow him as he had to.

 The woman asked for her receipt. As she was grabbing her wallet to pay the reception man, she realized something in just a few seconds: a man wearing all black had suddenly stood up in the living room in front of the reception. Almost at the same time, a tall woman with hair as white as snow, had entered the hotel almost as if she was the impersonation of the wind. Their presence made Natalya feel nervous. Something was going to happen, she just knew it. She extracted two bills from her wallet and tried to seem innocent.

 The moment the reception man received the bills from her hands, Natalya heard the first shot behind her. As fast as she was, it had been impossible to save her luggage entirely. She pulled to the left just in time and then ran away from the lobby area, trying to get away from the scene as fast as possible. Screams came from the area she had just been in and she knew there were bodies there. One of them was probably the young man that had given her that damn dinner’s receipt.

 It was difficult to run with boots on but Natalya was very agile and fast. So fast, that people in the kitchens were surprised to see her run past them, minutes before the two assassins would come running after her. She was fortunate enough to find an exit through the depot were fresh vegetables and meat were received every morning from various markets around the city. She ran past workingmen carrying big crates and didn’t stop until she actually saw traffic and passersby.

 The hotel was located on the most sought out part of the city, where all luxury commerce had found a spot to lure everyone. Not only people that could actually afford to buy any of that stuff but also the ones who liked to see what opportunities others had in life. As it was a Saturday afternoon, the place was packed. The main street of that area was filled with families and couples, with tourists and salary men and women trying to find a good place to have a beer and maybe do something else afterwards. And among them was Natalya, running for her life.

 She knew she had to hide but the first thing to do was to know where her assailants were. Both of them were pretty easy to pick out in a crowd but the street was so crowded and Natalya was substantially smaller than most people. That had always worked in her advantage but it could also be something of a hurdle. She decided to enter a clothing store and run upwards, towards the tallest point of the structure. Sure enough, one could get a great view from the area from the men underwear section.

 A young woman looked at her and asked if she could help her. Natalya was breathing heavily. She tried to smile and said she was just looking for some boxers for her husband. The young woman smiled back and attempted to show some of the newest models to Natalya. The woman stopped her by saying she was going to look around first and then decide on something. The young lady nodded and told her that she could look around all that she wanted, even in the changing rooms.

 The girl walked away leaving Natalya confused. What had she meant? She turned around quickly, remembering why she was inside of the store. Sure enough, she saw the silver mane of the woman that had killed so many people in the hotel just minutes ago. In the distance, Natalya could hear the sound of several ambulances, probably rushing to the place. She hoped the body count was low, as those people had nothing to do with everything that was happening. It was all her fault.

 She started wandering around the store, in order to not look suspicious. She looked at some male underwear, some of them with fun textures and prints but she wasn’t really interested. She was remembering what had happened just over a day ago, when she had stolen a series of documents from a rich man’s mansion, a very rich man that was suspected to have links with several terrorists groups that would give him the advantage if they were capable of reaching the higher spheres of power.

 Natalya had been sent to retrieve the information, as the people that had hired her had an interest in it. She had been ordered to copy everything she had and take it back herself to be given in person. They had also asked her not to use the Internet, make phone calls or even talk to any people beyond the necessary communication. Then, she remembered the young boy from the hotel and realized a tear had come down her face. As she cleaned it off her face, she felt something warmer. Natalya realized what the young woman had meant before, about the changing rooms.

 She walked down one floor and entered the changing rooms with a blouse and a skirt she had grabbed without even properly looking at them. She was assigned a stall and it was then when she realized that one of the bullets had come way closer than she had imagined. The projectile had burned her cheek, leaving a red line below her right eye. She still had her purse hanging around her body, so she took out some tissues and tried to clean her face as thoroughly as she was able to.

 Natalya came out of the store half an hour after she had entered. She decided the best thing to do was to get to the airport. Her flight was still some hours away and it was a priority to get the information back safe. After all, her business was danger and that wasn’t the first time she had been shot or had actively been targeted by someone. She walked for a bit until she found a big avenue. There, she stopped a taxi and asked to be taken to the airport. The man had doubts but she paid up front.

 Arriving in the airport, Natalya thought that it was possible that she could be getting older. She was not the same age as when she had first entered that line of work. She had been trained and recruited because she was agile, both mentally and physically. But now she felt as if everything was getting a little bit too fast for her. Besides, she kept thinking about the boy in the hotel and that had never been an issue before. She had seen many bodies in her life but had never been specially affected by them.

 After checking-in, she rushed to the security checkpoint as her flight was leaving in less than twenty minutes. However, she stopped the moment she saw that damn blonde hair again. And it was impossible to run away from that situation. So she pulled the gun hiding in her purse and started shooting. Everyone around was screaming and running but the two women were just hunting for each other. They were doing what they had been doing for years and it was too late for them both to stop.

 Both ran out of bullets and a physical confrontation ensued. Punches were thrown back and forth. But then, experience appeared in the form of a selfie-stick lying on the floor. Some scared tourist had just left it there, in the middle of the shooting.

 Natalya grabbed it, removed the part that holds the camera with a powerful pull and then impaled the blonde woman with it. The warm blood on her hand made her feel alive but also scared. She had never been scared before and it couldn’t be the best of signs. Not right then.

martes, 2 de agosto de 2016

Pet party

   As Mary got out of the bank, she realized there was only one more chance to get her dreams to come true. If she couldn’t work it out this time, she would be done for good, as she had nothing to fall back on. She had quite her job in a prestigious company and now she had withdrawed every single penny she had saved. Once she got him, she started making plans for every single cent, knowing how she would spend her money in order to make her dreams come true.

 Since she was a little girl, Mary had a tendency never to get what she wanted. It was always some other kid, more likely her sister, who got all the attention, all the love, all the gifts and presents and everything from everyone whereas she had to settle with whatever landed on her lap, basically. The times she complained, her parents argued that she was jealous of her sister and that she shouldn’t be such a nasty little girl. That kind of response was the main reason why she hadn’t spoken to any of them in such a long time.

 She wrote on a small yellow notebook every single plan she had in order to make it all a success: she had to invest some money buying stuff and then there would be a time of a few months in which she would have to reduce the amount of money she spent drastically in order to survive and have enough time to be successful. She had read several books and informed herself of what she had to do, so it wasn’t like she had rushed herself anywhere.

 As per usual, no one would help her achieve what she wanted. Mary had broken up with her boyfriend a few weeks ago and they didn’t spoke at all after that. It had been a very healthy break up, when she had accepted her mistakes and he had been very surprised she hadn’t attacked him or tried to make him stay. The truth was that Mary had changed quite a lot and simply had no time for such behavior now.

 After she quit her job and decided t be independent, she also realized there would be hours and hours of free time as her business began to from so she decided to exercise at home and also try some kind of diet. It would help a lot to spend less money and it would make her a little more agile and awake, what she needed urgently because of her new lease on life.

 Even if people hadn’t seen it, she had always been a very careful young woman, with her money and what she chose to say and not to say. Mary had never been distracted but rather very focused and driven. She knew most men didn’t like that and her family thought she was just jealous of everyone so her achievements had always been clouded by the shadow of someone she really wasn’t.

 The idea was pretty simple. Since she had been very young, her ambition had always been to have a pet. She had tried to make her parents buy her a dog but that didn’t happen until she was fifteen and her sister got one but she was twelve and wouldn’t really take care of the animal so Mary ended up having to feed him, and groom him and do everything for him in order to be healthy.

 She noticed back then that the food pets got could really use some work. They didn’t seem to be really delicious and she even tried one to check out the flavor. Her sister saw her doing that and immediately told her parents who told her she was disgusting and that they wouldn’t let the dog near her if she did it again. And yet, she kept looking at his toys, the ones that they sold at the stores and how the dogs interacted in the park and, even back then, she had the idea.

 Only now she was making it a reality. She had many designs and recipes kept on that yellow book, thousands of small idea she could bring to life if she only had the money and the energy to do it. She had not tried it before because she was certain the idea would fail but now it was different. Maybe it was that she had heard about her sister recently and was jealous of her, as they had always claimed. Or maybe it was because of that man that tried to have his way with her at work. Whatever reason it was, she was thankful for it.

 She bought ingredients, fabric, even clay to do small versions of the toys she would like to produce. She tried the food with the pets in her building or at the park wearing a vest and a hat she had sewed herself with the potential name of her company: Pet Party. Some people were interested and happily gave their dogs some of the treats and it was surprising to see how they all wanted more. Of course, there was no sugar or nothing like that in them, only vegetables and various proteins.

She submitted her toy ideas to several factories and many of them rejected her ideas because she thought she was joking or because they didn’t think her designs were good. But she finally found one specialized in pets and they were thrilled to work with her ideas.

 Everything was slowly falling in to place. She was making some dog’s clothes by herself, she had many ideas for smaller animals like rabbits and hedgehogs and also for larger ones like horses. She really had thought her idea through and was hoping to be able to achieve the dream of her life. She wanted to prove herself that what people had always told her was just a lie and that she was a good person and a smart one too.

 Right then though, her parents made an appearance. Of course, they criticized every single thing she was doing, they hated the fact that she was doing a diet and that she had gotten slimmer, saying she just wanted to be like her sister. They talked about her all the time, telling her how successful she was as an actress and the fact that she had paid for their trip, including the hotel and business class in flights and all those things they had never enjoyed because of having two kids.

 Mary did not say anything, trying not to let them get to her. However, her father found her yellow book and started reading it. He mocked her for her ideas and told her that she had to realize those perfect businesses where everything goes perfect doesn’t exist and that they are only achieved, if they exist, by people that have talent and that special thing that she clearly didn’t have.

 She didn’t love them but in that moment she understood how devastating it truly was to have always been a disappointment and a mistake for her parents. She let them know how much she had tried to be a good daughter and how awful and despicable they were. Mary told them about every single time in her life in which she only needed her parents to love her and she had to do everything by herself because no one got her back, no one was there to support her at all.

 They tried to argue but she just told them she was done with them for good and not to talk to her ever again. She pushed her out the door and asked her building’s security guy to come and fetch them and never let them in again. Same went to her sister, who she never heard about anyway, unless it was trough his parents. She just quit to having a family and it was surprisingly a very easy thing to do for her.

 Six months after quitting her job, her business had begun taking off. She received a lot of orders for her pet food and also for the dog clothes she had designed. The toys were a bit cheap in their build but people bough them anyway. She kept an online store for a while until she was able to pay the rent of a small store not far from her house. In a single year, she had won much more than in the rest of her life. She hired an assistant and Pet Party was an example of good planning and success.

 Mary loved the fact that she made people happy. She wanted to make everyone feel that their pets deserved better, as she had deserved better all her life and had needed a push to just do whatever it was that she needed to do. And she was grateful for it. She had never been happier, even if she had to give up her blood relatives in the process.

sábado, 28 de noviembre de 2015

Sock Empire

   The place only sold socks. They were everywhere and in every single color you could imagine. It was very nice to see rows and rows of different tones and drawings on them. Special socks for Christmas, for Halloween, for Thanksgiving, for Valentine’s Day, for Easter and even for New Year’s Eve. Every employee knew where everything was and how socks were made and could help a costumer find anything they wanted in a matter of a few minutes. There was a reason why the store was called the Sock Empire.

 The Empire was also divided into types of socks, not only color, and between those made for men, for women and for children. Ruben Rostenkowski had been the creator of the Empire and many of his competitors admired him for his amazing take into the world of footwear. People had been focusing so much on the foot for so long, that it was refreshing that one store could focus its whole attention solely to socks and all the types that existed.

 No one knew how Ruben had come up with the idea but they were envious he had had it. Everyone in the city knew he made millions of dollars every year and only from the main store. He had stores in other states but they were not as extravagant and amazing as the one in his hometown of Cleveland. He had been born there over sixty years ago and, although he had lived and worked in other parts of the country when he was younger, he decided to go back to his home in order to make his dream come true.

 Back then, Ruben was just a young boy, not really a full adult. He was still shooting cans with his air rifle and drinking the content of those cans with his group of friends. He had gone to school to study medicine but the truth was that Ruben was the lousiest student ever. He attended only half of his classes and the rest of the time he just spend it with girls and drinking. For all that, he wasn’t apparently as childish. After all, he was twenty-five years old.

Many thought that a man that owned such a store dedicated only to the foot had to be some sort of fetishist. And they were right. Ruben found that out in college, as he met lots of beautiful and not so beautiful young women. The first thing he did every time, as a form of foreplay, was to massage the girl’s feet. He would do it in such a professional manner; the girls never really realized he was so into it. To be honest, he was obsessed with it as he detailed every foot he saw, the curves and the skin and the complexity of it all. He was very obsessed.

 In class, he would suffer sometimes when a fellow student decided to remove her shoes beneath the desk. He instantly wanted to touch the foot and have it for his own but then he remembered he was in class and he couldn’t risk shaming himself even more than he already did when getting drunk. So he learned to breath deeply and just think about something else, maybe even count backwards in order to relax his mind and get any ideas out of it.

 It worked, sometimes. Other times, he would just ask the girl out and massage her feet as soon as he was able. He decided, and that a very healthy choice from him, to visit a shrink. He was sure a person with enough experience in these things would be able to help him stop his obsession and live a healthy life.

 However, it was a surprise when the psychologist told him it was pretty normal to have a fetish. He told Ruben most people had one, whether they realized it or not. Maybe it was a hair fetish, or maybe a “tall” fetish or maybe even weirder stuff like liking sex in costumes or always in public spaces. The point was, and the doctor repeated it constantly, that it wasn’t a disease and it wasn’t something bad as long as he learned to control it and not the other way around. So he advised him to get a hobby with which he could control the thoughts he had.

 It was difficult to find the right hobby, though. Ruben had never been really good at sports. Actually he sex appeal didn’t come from his body at all but from the way he spoke to women and how they responded to his voice and careful and intriguing demeanor. Anyhow, he still tried to play softball, rugby and gold but he failed miserably at all of them and it was then when he noticed he had started looking at men’s feet and he hadn’t even realized.

 Now he was really worried because in his mind he thought that his obsession had made him gay. But after calming down and watching a pornographic movie, he realized he was not interested in men, at all. Only their feet. So it was in that moment when the idea of the Empire first came to his mind: he thought that if his obsession was to be put to good use the best thing to do was something with feet.

 He looked everywhere and finally found a small workshop where people could go and learn how to make shoes. Of course, it was more about seeing the process than doing it because the materials were not all that easy to find and the idea was to attract people into the footwear business. There were just a few sessions but he became obsessed about shoes now and started reading all there was to now about the history of shoes and also about the making of shoes.

 As far as Ruben’s parents were concerned, they were happy to see him doing his last year of med school. He entered that time when he actually had to help patients and do shifts in a hospital and so on. But he was as lousy in that as he was in class. Besides, he was reading all he could about shoes and started thinking a business dedicated to shoes might be just what his life could be all about. Making them was not that easy but maybe selling would be a lot more interesting. He would see feet every day but he would have under control because it would be his job. Perfect.

 But after months of research, he realized the market was just filled with shoe stores selling the same types of shoes to every single idiot in the United States. He had to be unique and bold.

It was around that time that Ruben met Carly, a student of reflexology. She wasn’t from college but she had attended a rare conference about the subject there and Ruben had instantly fallen in love with her. She took some time to liking him however, but after some weeks they were dating and enjoying each other’s company. They rapidly found out about their mutual interest and engaged in long and detailed talks about the history of the foot and its pressure points.

It was the day Carly took him home for Christmas, when he realized his biggest idea yet. Her grandmother was there, a lovely lady, and she was knitting the socks that were left for Santa to put on the presents. And it was then when he had the idea to dedicate his business, not to shoes, but to socks. He told Carly this over dinner and even her parents thought it was a very funny and smart idea. They had never seen a store that only sold socks.

 The following year was the one. It was hard at first because Ruben had to drop out of college only months before finishing. His parents were devastated and told him not to come back home. He was destroyed by that but moved on thanks to Carly, who traveled with him to Cleveland, finding a nice flat for the both of them. There, Ruben created the logo of his company, the idea, the details of the first store and so on.

 He asked for a loan and with that he set up shop and asked for socks from all around the world. Then, he decided to wait a year and see how it went. If it failed, he had lost a lot of money. If not, it was just the beginning.

 That was the birth of the Sock Empire. The name was made fun of sometimes but he loved it and people loved what he did with the place. He would come into the shop sometimes with Carly in order to visit his workers and shake hands and tell everyone how much he thanked them and how much he loved his sock world.

 Even now, years after his invention, he still massages Carly’s feet before bedtime. And he still looks at all the feet he can on the beach and on his store. After all, he couldn’t stop doing something that gave him his livelihood and so much happiness.