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Rated: E · Short Story · Contest · #2297076
When understanding comes at a price.
The little shop was dark and grimy. When walking past it, you wouldn't even know that it was a thriving business. The lights weren't on and there weren't any displays or advertising in the single window of the small shop. The only sign, in fact, was the old, battered door that was cracked open, just a smidge. It wasn't even noticeable unless you were looking right at it.

When you carefully pull open the door, you pause as it produces a loud slow squeeeeeeek and you pause, worried that it alerted someone else in that back alleyway to your presence. There is no need to worry, however, as you are the only one there.

Your soft footsteps as you walk through that dark storefront reverberate between the empty four walls and you head toward the back as your friend had instructed. There, a doorway is covered with thick, black curtains. As you draw back the curtain, you are bombarded with light, beckoning you to come in further.

"Welcome, dearie! How can I help you today?" Sharply turning your right, you see an interesting lady seemingly materializing out of the shadows. She was swathed in colorful layers of different materials in various shapes. Somehow all cohesively showing off her lithe body. Her hair seemed to have a life of its own, hanging in long curls that moved as though there was a breeze in that windowless room.

"Um... " You are hesitant to talk, embarrassed by why you had ventured there in the first place. "My friend recommended I come. She said that you can help me with my problems."

"What is it you need, dearie? Understanding? Peace? Joy? We have all kinds here." She replied, gesturing to various displays along the far wall that you hadn't noticed before. Each shelf had little canisters for various colors. "It is so easy to solve your problems with a little piece of bling. Unlike conventional medicine, there are no physical side effects, no chemicals changing your brain waves. Our pieces use vibrations to create emotions. You can stop them any time by just taking the jewelry off."

"Why isn't it more widely known? If it's so harmless?" You ask.

"Ah, we don't want to solve every little problem. People still need to be able to process their genuine emotions. Our earrings are only meant to be a temporary fix, to help you through the tough times until you can find a better solution. That is why we have only will sell one type of earring to each person once a year. Each earring has a set number of vibrating sessions that they can store before they stop." This makes sense; you don't want to have to live the rest of your life wearing only one set of earrings and never losing the fear which is what prompted you here in the first place.

"Well,I have a little problem." You say quietly, now really sure how to put it into words. "You see, I have a boyfriend, Joe. We have been together for five years. This is really embarrassing." You take a deep breath and then just blurt it out. "He doesn't want to have sex with me!"

By the look on the lady's face, you can tell this was the last thing she expected you to say. "Oh, you are a very lovely lady. I guess that I am unsure of how exactly I can help. I could sell you a belly button ring that can produce lust, but I don't believe in selling bling meant for others. Your boyfriend would have to come in himself to purchase it."

"No, that is not what I was thinking." you try to explain. "His ex-wife really did a number on him. In short, she was only with him for the sex. She didn't want to spend time with him or have meaningful conversations with him. When he was young, that was okay, but after they got married, he realized there was no connection. It all resulted in a nasty divorce battle. He really is the perfect boyfriend, we get along so well, but I want that physical intimacy as well. I want to be able to move in with him, share my entire life with him, not just when I have spare time in the evening and on my days off."

"That is very understandable. I guess I am still confused as to how you think this would work." She replies.

"I want to feel what he did, rejection. I want to understand I want to stop feeling like my life is being dictated by a shadow, looming over our happiness." You try to explain your feelings. It is so difficult, as you didn't really know what they were yourself.

"I have to warn you. I don't like to see that particular emotion. While my bling do not have physical side effects, this one, this one often has an emotional side effect. If you use this more than once, the chances of the feeling of rejection burning itself into your soul get higher. You seem like a sweet person. Have you tried talking with him?"

You haven't really sat him down and explained what you were feeling. You don't like confrontation and you don't want to dredge up horrible memories for Joe. It seems like it is time to make a decision. What are you going to do?
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