Kristin Fouquet ~ Devotion

“Even good girls lose their virginity when they get married. Francie’ll never lose hers now.”

Eying her image in the vanity mirror, Carol gripped the black telephone receiver.

“It’s unspeakable that she’s done this.”

Using a lipstick brush, Carol painted her lips red.

“I don’t bee-lieve it. How can she expect him to do that? That’s down right cruel.”

Carefully, she pressed false eyelashes to her lids and blinked.

“I don’t care if it’s customary and symbolic. Mr. Whitman doesn’t deserve that. I mean I know he’ll do it. He’d do anything for his little girl but, to expect him to walk her down the aisle knowing that he’ll never see her again. I just don’t know.”

She single-handedly removed huge rollers from her hair before a teasing comb madly disheveled the curls.

“And no possible hope of grandchildren.”

Standing back from the mirror armed with an aerosol can, she saturated her bouffant. Her jaw dropped, engulfing some of the foul hairspray.

“Isn’t that awful? Only two pairs of underwear. It’s not even sanitary.”

Squeezing the pink rubber pump on her atomizer bottle, she sprayed perfume between her thighs. Thinking of the backseat of Bill’s new car, she thought she’d surprise him by forgetting to wear her panties.


After inspecting the stiletto caps on a pair of brown alligator pumps, she placed them on her feet.

“Poor Mrs. Whitman’s kept her room exactly as she left it, hoping the silly fool will come to her senses and go home where she belongs. Hold the line.”

With the receiver down, she stepped into the dress and slid the side zipper up.

“You there? What were you sayin’?”

She lit a cigarette with a match. Staring at her reflection, she exhaled smoke rings around her pointed tongue.

“Oh, I know.”

Carol opened her jewelry box. Watching the ballerina pirouette to the instrumental tune, she found a short string of pearls and fed the strand around her neck.

“Betty told me they only eat what they grow in their own garden. So, she’ll never eat a hamburger again. Can you imagine? She also told me when she went to visit her, there was an iron grill separating them. She’s a willing prisoner; it’s a life sentence.”

With smoke snaking from her parted lips, she touched her diamond ring.

“What really breaks my heart is that she won’t be coming to my wedding. Betty says that even if she or her parents were dyin’, Francie wouldn’t be able to leave that place.”

Carol snuffed the butt out in the ashtray ferociously then reached for a brown alligator handbag. After packing her cigarette case, matches, lipstick, compact, handkerchief, plastic rain bonnet, and coin purse, she thoughtlessly dug her sharply filed fingernails into the bag’s oiled skin.

“I know. They wear wedding dresses and they get wedding rings.”

Sighing deeply, she shook her head.

“Betty says she has to take four vows: chastity, obedience, enclosure, and poverty. Can you imagine? I’ll never understand Francie, sorry, I mean Sister Mary Francis.”

Carol peeked out the window.

“I’ve got to run. Bill’s here with his new Chevy.”

A stiletto heel tapped.

“You’re right. Giving up everything like that. I can’t begin to understand that kind of devotion.”

She smiled deviously.

“Not even for Bill.”





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