Robin's Last Stand

by Paul Jutras

   For seventeen years now Robin knew she should be a model. She did everything in her power to convince her mother of that fact. Even when she tried to be her true self, she met up with an unmoving object. Her mother. Robin never figured out if it was because she hated how models were treated or was upset at people glorifying beauty or just embarrassed to admit the truth to herself that Robin had what it took and her mother didn't.  Perhaps she just didn't want to admit her little girl was growing up.

    It all started one day as the tourist area where they lived in seemed to dry up on business. It became extremely slow all of a sudden and Robin was lucky to see a single shopper come through her cashier's line every five minutes.

    "You may go if you want." Susan said with a sigh.  Her boss knew today was going to be another loss.

    Robin looked at her watch and saw that her mother wouldn't be expecting  her home for another hour. This was a chance to do some shopping and stand up to her mother about it when she got home. With a thank you to her boss, she went to the clock and punched out for the day.

     "Should I reveal my secret to my boss and risk being fired." Robin thought as she recalled reading how a woman left to try to be actress and wasn't allowed back for being unreliable when it didn't work out. Not the right image their store wanted to project, it was said.

    Since their supermarket didn't sell purses, Robin removed her name tag and left the building. She went down the strip mall and looked at the prices. She tried to remember if there were better prices when she had been window shopping, but then decided to buy it.

    "How can I help you, Miss Bucks?" The woman behind the counter asked as she referred to the store name (BUCKS)  on Robin's uniform shirt; which the clerk had eyed.

    "I'll... I'll take this." Robin said nervously. In the past she had always bought her model stuff around a holiday or birthday so that her mother wouldn't object and have her take it back.  The look the woman behind the counter gave her, made her stomach do flip flops. What she bought wasn't for her mother to judge.

    After making it to the car, Robin's heart pounded in her chest. Normally she felt more relaxed shopping. "Relax, Roger, relax." She told himself. "Remember, the doctor said on your last check up that if you didn't remove the stress from your life; you'd end up having a heart attack."

     Nothing made Robin more nervous than her mother. She got in her car and drove across the parking lot to the drug store. She wanted to made sure nobody that her mother knew saw her carrying a fancy purse or changing into the type of clothes she pretended to model. "Forget how you're currently dress." She told herself. "In and out, you can do it."

     Robin went into the drug store and eyed the cashier waiting on some customers. She moved her way over to some T-shirts and pretended to look at them while eyeing the cardboard containers of nylons beside the shirt. Making sure that nobody was looking in her direction, she examined the sizes and took it with her in her hand basket. Her mother preferred her dress more like a man as her mom only allowed her one dress and pair of heels for Church. She didn't have a pair of nylons in the house. She then looked at the women's razors and grabbed one with some shaving gel. All her life she used electric razors and hope she could shave with a straight one without killing herself.

    As She headed for the counter, she saw a magazine on hair styles and picked it up. She nervously waited in line with the idea that all eyes were on her and her alone. She hoped that none of her mother's friends where shopping in the store to see her. She couldn't feel relief just yet. Now it was time to face her own mother. It would be sooner than Robin expected since when she got home, her mother was reading on the front porch.

    "They let you out early, Robin." Mary said with a smile. "Give me the keys and I'll put the car in the garage for you. I still don't trust you not to drive in straight."

    "What you got there?" She asked as Robin stepped out with a shopping bag in hand. At that moment, Robin felt her mouth go dry and her heart leap into her throat. She wanted to speak, but the words got caught in the passage.

    "S...Something I wanted to buy myself." Robin squeaked out and she slung the purse strap over her shoulder and looked at the horror on her mothers face. "I asked you for ten Christmases in a row to buy me stuff to model. This year I didn't ask; but only because I'd hope after our talks that you'd get the hint yourself."

     "You're never going to be a model in this house!" Mary said firmly. "You can't be serious about becoming one. First of all, you'd make an ugly one. And second, the idea would give your father a heart attack. Do you want that?"

    "You wouldn't really kill yourself would you?" She asked ready to call a doctor in order to help talk her out of doing anything rash. Hoped to talk her out of changing her sex and accept herself as homely nobody. 

     "I love you very much and never wanted to hurt you live this." Robin let out a sigh of her own. "That's why I suffered in emotional pain as I have. But as I said, it's my life to live as I want. You can't live it forever no matter how much you wish. You know I'll never be happy the way I am."

     Mary just stared at the pain in her son's eyes and felt totally defeated. "Being a model means this much to you, doesn't it."

     "I wouldn't put you through so pain if it didn't." Robin said as they started to make phone calls to start the modeling career with getting Robin her own agent.. As her mother helped teach her how to apply make up and dress with blouses that buttoned in the back, she saw her daughter Robin's face light up like never before. A light of happiness that shone from within. Happiness that spread and made Mary feel better for the first time since learning of her daughter's feelings.

     Till the age of 26, where her mother died of a brain tumor and her dad left her life with her step mom, Robin she appeared in many magazines. Since the late twenties is when models' career start to go down hill, her agent had new plans for her.

     "What kind of shoot is this?" Robin asked her agent who were drawing lines with a magic marker on her neck, shoulders, wrists, ankles and right leg.

     "You're going to be the image model for a line of mannequins country-wide." Her manager said he got behind the camera and aimed it at her. With a press of the button, a ray shot out and froze her solid.

    "What's happening?" Robin thought as she couldn't move or talk. The ray had put her in suspended animation where she'd need no food, sleep and never would age another day.  She soon found herself in a warehouse with hundreds of copies of herself that were all rented out to stores nationwide.  Not that being a mannequin model is a bad life.



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