The wall did not hold the answer. No matter how long I stared at it, it wasn’t going to explain what was wrong with me. After 3 years of perfect placement, I was broken. Since opening my boutique I’d prided myself on my “perfect fit” guarantee and I had never failed. I mean, it was hard to fail when you made each piece appear specifically for that person, but still I was proud. It was hard work; I deserved to be proud.

The moment they walked in the door the crafting began. I saw their mood, their personality, their aura, their soul, twisting and churning around them. They’d explain the occasion or, if they were a regular, they’d just start talking. They’d tell me about their kids or their spouse or their job, it didn’t really matter. All that mattered was the energy that swirled around them. In it, I could see the silhouette forming in my mind’s eye. When I felt confident I’d smile and the clients would take the cue.

“I’ve just the thing,” I’d exclaim and disappear through the curtained door. In my back room, where office and workshop blended into one, I imagined it. I saw the client in my mind and vividly imagined how each piece would look. Every crease, every stitch, every thread was perfectly envisioned. I knew how the fabric would hug the body, how the piece would make the client feel. I was always right.

Until that day.

She waltzed into my shop and destroyed the whole plan. She hated it, the dress I’d so carefully envisioned. “It just doesn’t feel like me,” she’d complained. She was back again, Rose was her name, for another attempt and I was determined to get it right. I’d spent more time watching her, studying her movement, her breath, her coloring. Her aura was brilliant, shining for only me to see. When I looked at her, I could see her kindness etched into her jawline and her wickedness stretched across her smile. She was a nymph, playful and elusive and beautiful. She was light and bright and airy. As I thought I felt the piece coming together, a gauzy peasant skirt and a tight fitting camisole. It was cold, sure, but her arms shouldn’t be hidden, they were too fluid and elegant, her shoulders strong but fragile under my gaze.

“Here it is, try it on!” I sang as I came back into the room.

I saw her nostrils flare, her lip curl up on just one side. I’d done it again, I’d failed. I plopped myself down onto the couch beside her. “I’m sorry… I don’t…. This has never…” I gave up trying to explain and sighed.

After a moment, the silence broke. “I don’t need an outfit, I kind of lied.” Rose confided in me, refusing to meet my eyes. “I mean, you can’t really find an outfit I don’t need, or want… It’s just… I walk by here every day, I own the florist shop down the street. Rose, I know,” she rolled her eyes. “I see you working and I… I just wanted to meet you.” Finally she met my gaze and my world crashed into alignment. In her amber eyes, I saw my life laid about before me.

“A cup of tea then?” I smiled. She smiled. And it was just the beginning.

©️2018 Rae Davis