The Little Room Where We'd Fit

by Nicole Monaghan


She asked if I needed to be measured for size “to make sure they feel really good on you,” her lips all gloss and smile.  I was nineteen and knew my size but changes in weight had caused fluctuations before so maybe I'd be different again.  I set down the tangled mass of bras I'd brought back with me on a little counter and put my arms out like a T.  

She looked about my age.  Her body was small, a black top and pants stretching around little curves, and she smelled like vanilla and something else I couldn't place.  She told me I had a fantastic tan as she weaved the measuring tape under my armpits, around my back and across my breasts, over my nipples, and she held it there.  I could smell her and see her long lashes pointed toward my chest as I focused on a pile of folded panties, gorgeous little pieces of fabric.  I thought I'd tell my boyfriend about it.  I knew she was wearing underwear just like that underneath the black clothes.

She let the tape loosen around me, the one end dangling between us, the other still between her pink fingernails grazing my shirt, and she didn't step back.  With her face that close to mine, she said,“32 B.  You have the right ones.  I'll unlock a room.”  I cleared my throat, feeling that some tiny closed-off place inside me might have never been opened until just now.  I told her I'd been a C before I lost the weight this last time.  She said I looked amazing and shot a glance all the way down my body, then up at my eyes, and giggled.  That was when I knew it wasn't in my head.   

Behind the rose-colored door, I took off my shirt  and felt the satin and lace bras against me as if no fabric had ever touched my skin.  I could hear her clanging the metal hangers against the rack just on the other side of the door, smell the vanilla and raspberry—that's what it was, raspberry.  She said whatever I needed, she'd be right there, would help me with anything at all, and her name was Justina, just call her.  I thought about pretending to have trouble connecting or adjusting bra straps so Justina would come inside the little room, close the door, and have to touch me again.  I would ask her to look me up and down like that once more and whisper “fantastic” and “amazing” in my ear and she'd caress the silver lines of my stretch marks with her pink fingernails.  She'd put her glossy lips all over the hollows of my breasts where fat used to be, and they'd rise up to her passion.  If I just asked her, her eye lashes would flutter against all my unpretty and I'd hold on to the hook behind me with both hands while she proved I could be somebody else.