A Nail’s First Responsibility is to be Red


“A nail’s first responsibility is to be red.” Stella heard her mother’s voice in the back of her head as she assessed her candy apple manicure. She wasn’t wrong, that mother of hers. Swathed in a color mostly seen on hot summer day convertibles, her nails took on a personality of their own. Ready.

Stella wiggled her toes, smiling at the matching shade. Wrapped in a big white robe, she felt royal, stepping out of the steamy bathroom into the attached bedroom. She scanned the room for her phone. Where had she left it? Walking across the off white carpet she marveled at how smooth her legs felt, how the lotion she had just slathered all over her really did make a difference.

Finding her phone on the bedside table, Stella perked up even more as she saw a text flashing in the upper right hand corner.

“Can’t Wait to C U,” it said. She wasn’t usually into texting, she was constantly badgering her daughter Jill to lift her head from her phone and look her in the eye, but this was something different.

Tonight was the night. She didn’t know what was about to happen, and she didn’t know if it was a good idea, but she knew she was excited to meet the man who called himself “Lucky622” online.

This feeling of first time anticipation wasn’t something that Stella was expecting to ever feel again. Ever since she married Simon, the man she had mistaken as a soul mate over eight years before, she had assumed the fluttery, stomachy, lovliness was a thing of her past and her youth. But after finding what she found, just a few weeks before, everything had changed. The man she thought she was attached to indefinitely had made choices she could not possibly understand and the only defense she could muster was echoing his behavior.

At first she had been afraid, almost disgusted with the prospect. But as she learned about the possibilities that existed on the internet, possibilities that wouldn’t necessary damage her reputation or even her marriage if she chose to pursue it, she became more and more intrigued.

Now, as Simon was on what they both knew was falsely described  “business trip,” and her children were safe at their respective friend’s houses for slumber parties, Stella was about to embark on something that, unlike the racy nail color, her mother would not have endorsed.  Feeling the butterflies somersaulting in her stomach only slowed her down for a second. She didn’t have to worry about what she was about to do. Simon had opened the door for her to do anything she wanted, and since then, her life had changed forever. She let the robe fall to her ankles and spun around the room, naked, smooth and ready.

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