Accountability – Part 3 – Chapter 1

Here is the start to the exciting final act of Accountability. The rest will come once a week with a short break during the Olympics as I tell you all about the exciting things happening in South Korea during the games. Look for that and another article about experiential education.

The little girl tugged at her dad’s fingers trying to pry him away from the mom he was staring at in the window of the booth across the shopping center from mine. She was an adorable little girl but seeing her disappointed me because she was already dressed like a mother in training with an apron tied around her waist. It also worried me that no matter how hard she tried, she would never pull her dad away from the demonstration the prospective mom was putting on. The man’s unblinking eyes soaked in the presentation as the woman demonstrated her vacuuming skills. She was attempting to get a rather pesky piece of fluff hiding underneath the couch against the back wall of her booth. She had gotten on her hands and knees to stare the piece of dirt down. She had the vacuum cleaner so the back was parallel to the floor and she was trying to slide it underneath the couch so it would grab that piece of dirt. Apparently that piece of dirt was the peskiest piece of dirt that ever lived because she was forced to slowly rock the vacuum cleaner back and forth underneath it. Yet that little piece of dirt still eluded her. The vacuum cleaner also seemed to cause her a bit of trouble because she needed to get her whole body into the rocking motion required to get that complicated piece of equipment all of the way underneath the couch. The man seemed enthralled with the presentation because drool started to collect on the precipice of his lip and his limp body continued to ignore the gentle pulling of his daughter faced the opposite direction. The prospective mom must have felt the drool collecting because she looked behind her with pouty lips. The concern etched itself across her eyes informed the man she would attend to the drool on his lip after she sucked up that pesky piece of dirt.

I sat at the other end of the showroom on my couch leafing through a magazine while watching this presentation. It wasn’t the first timed I had seen something like it and I knew it wouldn’t be the last. Watching the woman’s presentation pained me the most when I thought about the harm being done to the children. The husbands didn’t care about the kids, and that woman showing off her butt like it was some kind of mothering tool could care even less. My heart went out to that little girl and all the others before her.

I had spent two and a half months on the bottom floor of the Mother Mall and not one prospective husband had been interested in purchasing me. At first, I couldn’t understand why I hadn’t been snatched up quickly, but it soon became apparent what I needed to do in order to move off the shelf. It was something I was not comfortable with. Husbands didn’t want mothers who would keep the house clean and had dinner made for them at a certain time. They weren’t interested in women who could raise their children correctly and prepare those kids for a future in this wonderful country. They were more interested in carnal needs as put on by the demonstration of the woman and her vacuum cleaner. If a prospective mother could meet these needs then all of the other concerns the husband needed to be addressed would be accomplished in the best manner possible. It wasn’t as important as the need in the bedroom.

I had seen women being shipped in from the Capital Limited Re-education Center on a weekly basis and there never seemed to be an end to the need. Husbands would continue to file into the Mother Mall, find the mother fitting their need, talk to one of the sales people and then have the mother released into their care. If the woman could make a demonstration much like the one with the vacuum cleaner then they would move a lot quicker than if they tried their hardest to demonstrate their ability to achieve the standards in a timely manner. I was always amazed at the way women could show off their sexual prowess in such a small enclosure. Some of the more creative ways would be washing dishes with a sink near to overflowing, and full of suds, so everything would overflow from the sink and onto the mother. Some would do their laundry and then spend long periods of time folding the same pieces of underwear over and over again. It seemed all of the women who moved quickly from the store would all live by the same code: bend at the hips. No matter what they did they would perform this maneuver making sure that their backside was to the glass wall while demonstrating their agility in picking something up that just accidently fell onto the floor. It disgusted me the lengths these women would go to in order to impress a potential husband. Yes, I will admit living in a small enclosure exposed to the whole world at any time was a little uncomfortable, and I would have loved to get out of that environment, but as I watched these demonstrations on a daily basis, I swore I would never lower my standards or expectations of myself to the level these women did in order to be freed from the Mother Mall.
I would wait until the perfect husband came and chose me. This way I wouldn’t have to subject myself to the humiliation I believed would happen to one of these floozies as soon as they arrived at their new home. If they presented themselves as sex slaves at the store then they would become sex slaves when they went off with their new husbands. All of the training they learned at the Capital Limited Re-education Center would be wasted in the bedroom and these women would eventually find themselves getting re-educated once again. These husbands would just trade them off for a newer, younger model when this happened and it would keep perpetuating the idea sex was more important than raising a child correctly. I knew in order to return this great country back to the place it needed to be I would have to maintain my integrity and never subject myself to such base ideas.

Everyday, I would go through the process of going through the routine I knew made me a wonderful mother. I would show off my abilities in the kitchen. I only wish there was some way I could let the smell of the food I was making everyday waft its way through the showroom because I knew the smell would bring many of the husbands over to my booth. They would be intrigued by what I was making, and I knew I would be able to snag one of these men with this great bait.
I also kept my little area completely spotless. The wood furniture would shine. No dust would swirl anywhere in my booth or even find refuge on any of the surfaces. The dishes were always cleaned as well as the bathroom. All of the countertops would sparkle. I knew the man I wanted to attract had nothing to do with my abilities in the bedroom, but instead with my abilities as a mother. I knew it would take me longer until I found the right husband, but it was worth the wait to make sure the husband who bought me was a good one.

Because I didn’t waste my time strutting around my booth trying to appeal to man’s simplest instinct, I had a lot of spare time on my hands. There wasn’t much to do in a room as small as mine. There was only so much I could clean, so I found myself with a lot of free time on my hands. At first, I read through the collection of magazines they gave me, but after I read through them three or four times, I needed something more to keep myself entertained. They were nice enough to give us a new issue whenever one arrived, but they only gave us subscriptions to three different magazines and they would only come once a month. I remember the day my first new issue arrived. I hoarded it in the corner like it was some great prize I was afraid they would take away from me at any moment. I savored every new picture, and enjoyed every new word of every new article. It was the greatest entertainment I ever had, but that issue would soon get as old as all of the other issues arranged in a nice, neat pile on my coffee table.

I ended up spending most of my time staring out of the window and paying attention to what the people were doing outside. This was when I really started to notice the depravity of every man walking through the showroom. After awhile, I started to think there wasn’t a single man out there who didn’t think with his crotch. Husbands only seemed to care about propagating the world more with useless, unintelligent children. It didn’t matter to them because they didn’t have to worry about the children anymore after they conceived them. Taking care of children wasn’t their job. Their job was just to create them and then to provide for them. It was up to the mothers to take care of them and if the husbands didn’t find the mother they purchased attractive anymore they could just exchange their wives for another one they found more attractive.

Sometimes the husbands would bring their children with them. This is when things started to get interesting in the showroom. I knew the children would be the ones to pick me as the perfect mother. This is when I would start to put on a little show. I would start to make food I knew they would love and look appealing at the same time. I would make smiley-faced pancakes, or cookies that displayed their favorite Buddy Bear character. I would also make their favorite food like macaroni and cheese and hamburgers. This had the same effect on the children all the sexual poses had on the husbands.

When the children finally found their way to my booth, I really started to shine. I would create quick toys out of anything I had lying around. Sometimes I turned socks into puppets, or I would create paper airplanes out of scraps of paper lying around. I had also become very proficient at making origami animals out of those same scraps. Whatever way I could employ my creativity to create entertainment for the children was a bonus for me. They would be enthralled by what I was doing behind the glass shield separating me from them. There would be times I would have a group of children gathered around my booth while the husband would wander off for what it was they were really looking for. I still can’t believe there was not one single husband interested in what was best for their child instead of just another sexual partner they could play with. I know my strategy for finding a new husband was a long shot, but I knew it would find me a wonderful husband in the long run, or so I thought. It always ended up with the husband watching the woman with the vacuum cleaner. He would talk to a salesperson. The woman would get sold and the child would get ignored. I would be left alone in my booth for another evening.

At nine o’clock every evening the lights would turn down, the sales people would gather their coats and the doors would be locked behind them. The mothers who had not been sold would shake off the rejection, and they would find some way to unwind in their booths. We would never communicate much with each other even though we could hear what another person was saying in another booth. We were basically in competition with each other, so we never wanted to consort with each other. Even though all of the mothers found themselves together in a huge warehouse-sized room, there was still a feeling of loneliness permeating our little community. We eventually learned to ignore each other and find our own ways to relax in the evenings. I was always able to tell when there was a new shipment of mothers who arrived because they would be trying to communicate with the mothers near them to avoid the solitude. But it always ended the same way, the new mothers being ignored and having to accept the inevitable.

During the nights, I would try to go to sleep as soon as I could. I would pull out the bed hidden in my sofa, turn out the lights in my booth and try to let the quiet take me in so I could escape all of the problems I was experiencing. The day time was the time the more interesting stuff happened anyway. This would be when I would have a chance to see and interact with children again. During the night, I could only see other mothers waiting to be purchased, getting ready for bed or trying to find other ways to console themselves through their pain. This was too much to watch, so I would try to live with my pain in the darkness and privacy of my own booth. It didn’t help much that I would try to go to sleep so early every evening. I would lie awake staring up at the darkness of my ceiling praying slumber would come and take me away from this reality. This is when I would really start to think about Zach and Lindsey and how much I missed them. I wondered what their lives would look like now. How many teeth Lindsey had lost since I was taken away from her? Did she still hang on to her blankee or had she had given it up? Did she try to emulate her new mother or had she given this up in order to try to emulate her half-sister instead? Was she getting the love and care she needed in order to grow into a wonderful young lady?

And what about Zach? Was he growing into a fine young man or was he being ignored as well? Was he adjusting to life without his mother? Was he going through a growth spurt by this time? Was he becoming more coordinated as he grew into his body? Was he doing well in school and were the conversations he had with others becoming more intelligent? Was he looking out for his sister or was he ignoring her as well?

These were the questions racing through my mind as I lay in bed and wiped away the tears that would eventually come. I couldn’t understand how I ended up in this place. It didn’t make sense to me that a mother who loved and cared so much for her children could be viewed by society as such a social deviant she needed to be re-educated and then sold on the black market like some common commodity. It didn’t seem fair to me. There was something in our culture distorting the values of the people and I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it actually was. My thoughts convinced me that what I was going through had something to do with it, but I couldn’t articulate what it was.

As the lights slowly turned off in each of the booths, I continued to look up at the ceiling and begged for sleep to come and take me. Most nights it wouldn’t be until two or three in the morning when I would be able to finally push myself into a fitful sleep and there were many nights I laid on my bed and never got to experience the joy sleep would bring to me. It was during one of these nights I was given some information allowing me to start formulating the plan that eventually led me to the position I’m in now. The lights had been turned off completely in the big showroom. It was completely quiet. I had flopped around in my bed trying to find a place where I could be comfortable and ended up curled in a ball with my face looking towards the glass wall separating me from the rest of humanity. That was when I heard the sound so familiar to me I had to open my eyes just a crack to see if I was dreaming or if the maker of the noise was really in the showroom at that exact moment.

“Clack… Clack… Clack…”

From the far corner of the showroom, I saw her coming closer. I couldn’t quite make out the color of her pant suit as she made her way over to my booth, but the familiar clipboard tucked into her side told me it was my old idol. I looked over to her right hand to make sure and I saw a gleam sparkle off of her favorite companion, that red pen who had caused me so much stress and agony over the past year. She was walking over with another person, someone I don’t ever remember seeing before in the building. At first thought, I remember thinking it must be the night janitor showing Dr. Blur around the establishment, but as they approached closer, I could see he was wearing a business suit. There was no way he could be the one in charge of cleaning the place up after the customers went home. He had to be someone much more important to be here so late at night with Dr. Blur.

They kept moving towards my booth, and as they got closer I could hear bits and pieces of the muffled conversation they were having. They had a total disregard for the women in their booths because they were talking without a care about who heard them and what they said. It seemed to me I was a part of their conversation because the man kept gesturing to my booth when he talked to Dr. Blur. I kept hearing phrases such as bargain basement, not what they want, and change the standards, as they moved closer, but it wasn’t until they were right at my booth before I was able to catch the whole conversation.

When they made it to my booth, I was also able to see the man for the first time as they made it to my window and peered inside. He looked familiar to me, but I couldn’t quite place where I had seen him before. He was a little overweight and he would use his girth to emphasize his point by swinging it furiously at the person he was talking to. Even though he was wide in circumference around the belly, he was still a short man. He stood a whole head below Dr. Blur, but a casual observer could tell his importance was larger than that of the good doctor. There were many lines on his face showing a place where a scowl was usually etched upon his countenance. The lines were so deep that even when he smiled, he couldn’t wipe away that angry look. What little light shining into the building reflected off his bald head. Even though my eyes were barely open, it was his bald head that lit his path to my booth. Despite all his ugly features, he still dressed very fashionably. He wasn’t wearing clothes male models and movie stars would wear, but he was able to buy the finest suits and had them tailored to meet his unusual body size. Everything about him screamed out wealth, and it was the way he carried himself that made me think I had seen him before. When they made it to my booth, he waved a big meaty palm in my direction and said,

“Here is a great example of what I have been talking about, Nancy.”

“Who? Miss Ervaring?”

“Is that her name?” He leaned down at a plaque at the corner of my booth to read it. “I guess it is. I could give a rat’s ass less what her name is. I just want the money that she’s worth.”

Dr. Blur seemed a little put off by his statement and straightened herself up before responding. “Well then, why don’t you move her more quickly?”

“Because I can’t move merchandise like this. If she doesn’t move quickly, I’m going to have to try and recoup some of my losses by sending her off to the bargain basement.”

Dr. Blur looked over to where I pretended to sleep. “I don’t understand why you can’t move merchandise like this, Sam.” The man’s name triggered something in my mind. Even though I couldn’t remember where I had seen him before, I would’ve said his name was Sam. “I worked very hard to make sure you were given some quality products. We hand-selected the mothers we knew would be most fit to raise children.”

“That’s exactly the problem.” Sam pushed his belly and waggled a thick index finger at her to emphasize his point.

“I’m not following you, Sam.”

“Husbands don’t give a shit about the rug rats making their nannies’ lives miserable. This is not the reason they come here shopping.”

Dr. Blur closed her eyes and shook her head in disbelief. “Why are they coming here to shop, Sam? What are they looking for in a mother?”

“One who is submissive.”

“You know damn well our program teaches them how to be submissive. You helped to design it, remember?”

“One who is flexible.”

Dr. Blur once again looked in my direction. “This one is a great example of a woman who is flexible. She has adapted to numerous situations and has persevered every time.”

Dr. Blur’s vote of confidence filled me up with some much needed pride.

“One who is able to attend to a man’s needs.”

Dr. Blur gave out a snort of disbelief. “Once again, Miss Ervaring is a wonderful choice for this. When she was married, she cleaned the house, did the laundry, and is known for her wonderful cooking ability. What man would not be interested in this?”

Sam crossed his arms in front of his chest and scowled even further. “I don’t think we are talking about the same thing, Nancy.”

“I thought we were talking about mothers.”

“Yes, but I’m talking about the reason they became mothers in the first place.”
Dr. Blur looked down at the man trying to decipher exactly what he was saying,

“Because of the joy of raising a child and the love they have in return?”

“No because of the sex, Nancy. They can’t have children unless they have sex. That’s what these men are looking for. A submissive, flexible woman who is willing to attend to his needs.”

Dr. Blur looked around in shock and dismay. “Oh!”

Sam moved in closer for the kill. “That’s the reason men come in here looking for a new mother. They could care less if the brats they have grow up properly. They’re looking for sex. Your re-education program keeps on bringing me these women who are trying to raise the next perfect kid, but what I need is a woman who can show our customers a good time in the bedroom when they get back home. That’s what’s going to make us money.”

“But what about the children?”

“Who gives a fuck about the children? Nancy, don’t tell me you forgot why we got into this in the first place? We did this for the money. There’s no way two back-country hicks from Wyoming could ever make enough noise on a national level to change the world, but you knew if we played the game right we could set up a way for us to make lots of money while we had a chance.”

“You’re right. We’re going to have to tweak the program a little bit more in order to move the merchandise a little quicker.”

“Isn’t that what the new legislation is all about?”

“Oh, that bill will just ensure we have a continual flow of product. It almost guarantees every mother will have to go through the re-education process every five years because it will be impossible for them to continually pass the assessments. It is quite brilliant actually. Mothers are no longer just graded on how great they are, but also how much they have improved over the year.”

“But how do you improve if you are already exemplary?”

“That’s not for me to worry about.”

Sam chuckled at this and his belly shook with the joy he was feeling in his heart.

“I can’t believe you are getting them to push that through.”

“There are still a couple of roadblocks in the way, but I am working to take care of those in the next couple of weeks. The Dash to the Summit will be another law benefiting us and all we are doing at this establishment.”

“That’s wonderful to hear. Keep up the good work, Dr. Blur.”

“You as well, Mr. Hogston. You as well.”

They both laughed and moved off to another part of the showroom and once again their voices became muffles I couldn’t quite understand, but it didn’t matter anyway. The last name helped to jar my memory of where I had seen this person before. His picture was in the middle of the memoir by Dr. Blur. He was standing at a podium on a stage and Dr. Blur was at another podium at the other end of the stage. He was clearly yelling at her in the picture as he tried to emphasize the point he wanted to make. In the picture, Dr. Blur stood there with the same expression always on her face. In between them hung a red, white and blue banner with the words “Mayoral Debate” emblazoned upon it. Sam Hogston was Dr. Blur’s opponent when she ran for mayor of Jeffery City, Wyoming. He was the one she had exposed as misusing the funds of the town’s treasury. I had always thought because of the scandal he was now in prison never to lay waste to another unsuspecting group of Americans again, but nothing ever more was said about what happened to him after the election. How did he become such an important part of the Capital Limited Corporation? Why was Dr. Blur taking orders from him like he was in charge? What did this all have to do with mothers, and the National Caring and Loving Behavior Act? What was this new bill they were talking about, Dash to the Summit? Why would they expose all of their sinister plans by being so blatant in front of the women who had been directly affected by their decisions in the past?

The last question to run through my mind had an answer that was obvious. They were having a conversation right in front of me with no regard for privacy because they no longer thought of me as a human being. They only thought of me as a commodity they could ship and sell to whomever they pleased. I was an object to them, and they no longer cared about the things making me unique. They only cared about the things about me making me marketable. They could exploit this as much as they wanted to and it sounded like they even had plans to make sure this type of selling and buying of humanity would perpetuate as long as they had control of the government and the psyche of the American people. Somebody was going to have to put a stop to them, but what could I do? I was stuck within their bureaucracy and even if I found a way to get out of it, would anybody believe my crazy tale? There was no reason for them to believe a woman who had failed as a mother and was barely making things better for herself by being sold as a commodity at a discounted price.

But there I laid on my bed with these thoughts running through my brain in the dark of the Mother Mall, and a resolution started to build up inside of me. I started to believe I was destined to be the one to bring these people to justice. It would be my destiny to take down greed and corruption. It was these qualities that inspired me to idolize Dr. Nancy Ann Blur in the first place, and even though my image of her was destroyed, I still believed it was important for people to act like the fictionalized persona Dr. Blur had taken on. She may have no longer been my hero, but there were many other women out there still needing a person to look up to. They needed someone to start looking after their needs and beliefs. They needed somebody with integrity and determination in order to take on this corruption destroying the heart of America. I know I wouldn’t have chosen to be this person under normal circumstances, but for some reason fate had tapped me as the messiah. I knew I needed to figure out a way to make sure the people of America understood what I did. I formulated a quick plan of what it was I needed to do and then for the first time in a long time, I fell into a deep sleep.

When the lights turned on in the morning, I was more refreshed than I had been for a very long time. I quickly got out of bed, and made my room up. I wanted it to look its best for the day. I didn’t even concern myself as the manager opened the doors to the Mother Mall and the first group of potential husbands made their way into the showroom. My booth being presentable was my number one priority. In fact, I was still wearing my cotton nightgown and my hair was still a mess while I was attending to the bed being stored into the couch properly, the kitchen being cleaned and the living room carpet getting vacuumed. I did it all except for the kitchen floor. I knew I needed to save that for last. It was essential to my plan.

By the time I had made it to the shower to make myself up, there was already a good crowd of husbands who were starting to mill around the showroom looking for the next perfect mother they wanted to attend to their needs. Some of the mothers were already executing their demonstration showing the husbands how submissive and flexible they could be. A couple of them would probably get sold, but it wasn’t important. I needed to look my best if I was going to make sure it was my turn to be bought by a potential husband. My make up was perfect. I took extra time to fix my hair, so the curls would bounce lightly on the side of my face begging for some man’s hand to get entangled into. I spent a little more time making sure my dress was pressed and presentable. I remember men walking past my booth while I was preparing all of this. They would look in and see me still dressed in my nightgown buttoned up tightly around my neck and me slaving away on top of an ironing board. I’m sure I was quite the sight. It was probably the reason all of them didn’t linger longer than a moment. I’m sure in their minds there must have been a better prospect than one reminding them of their mother. But I knew when the husbands saw the demonstration I was going to put on it wouldn’t matter. They would be enthralled, and today would be my last at the Mother Mall.

After I made sure my dress looked presentable, I went in the bathroom and got ready. I put the dress on like I did every day. I cinched the apron on a little tighter to make my waist a little skinnier. I looked at myself in the mirror and saw I looked like a beautiful mother, but something still wasn’t quite right. I still looked a little too conservative. I still needed something to give me that little extra boost to give my demonstration exactly what it needed, and then I saw it. I took my sleeves down from my shoulder and slid them over my biceps. It showed off my milky white shoulders and forced the top of my dress to become taut. My breasts started to peek out over the edge. A valley appeared guaranteeing to make any man want to venture down the front of my dress. It was perfect; the look would get me what I needed.

I walked out into my booth. The morning crowd was starting to get large. It was time for me to start my demonstration.

I went over to the kitchen sink and plugged it up with the stopper. I took the soap out from under the sink and unscrewed the cap. Using both hands to bring it to the top of my chest, I slowly squeezed the liquid into the sink. Most of it collected on the bottom of the sink, but a healthy portion of it found its way down my dress. I didn’t care because I could see out of the corner of my eye it was already working. I had snagged one man as he stood at the window of my booth and watched the demonstration.

I turned on the tap and let the hot water turn the soap into a foamy mass. Suds began to form and quickly filled up the sink. I took the rest of the soap and spread it liberally across the floor. It wasn’t a big floor, but I could see that if I wasn’t careful in the next few minutes, I could easily slip and fall. It would’ve broken the illusion I was trying to create with my exhibition.

I went back over to the sink and bent down from the hips to put the bottle of soap back. It really didn’t matter because it was empty at this time, but the illusion was important. The small crowd of men gathering at my booth seemed to agree with me as well. I knew I needed to put on a little bit more of a show because things were already starting to head in the right direction. I wiggled my butt around as I pretended to look for the brush and sponge, even though I had them in my hands within seconds of opening the door. The sink helped me by pushing some of the over flowing suds onto my back. Things were falling into place beautifully and this was going to be a demonstration the Mother Mall would never forget.

I took myself out from underneath the sink to see I had obtained a few more admirers. I pretended I didn’t notice them as I continued on. I took both hands around the brush and plunged it into the water building up in the sink. Suds flew up into the air and onto the side of my face. Water splashed out of the sink and down my dress to mix with the soap I accidently left there. I wiped away the soap away from my face and let more water cascade down the front of my dress. I could start to see men pushing their way to my booth, trying to get a better angle on what was happening.

I got down on the floor on my hands and knees and faced the crowd. I knew they were able to look down the front of my dress, and all of the soap and water made for a more exciting spectacle. I started to scrub. Slowly at first but I sped up as I went along. I put my whole body into it. I closed my eyes and made sure to breathe through my mouth to give my audience the impression that the work I was doing was not only hard but pleasurable at the same time. The little moans I made seemed to help as I continued. By this time the floor was extremely sudsy. The top of my dress clung to me as I made sure more water splashed up there and more suds cascaded down from the sink where I left the water running. It was such a mess I needed to mop it all up. The front row of men must have agreed with me because they were so worried about the kitchen floor they had placed their hands and faces on the window to see if I would be able to clean it up in time. Condensation was building up where their faces were pressed up on the glass.

I grabbed the mop and put it on the floor in front of me. I spread my legs and pushed the head of the mop in between them. I was now riding the mop like a hobby horse. I continued to push the mop behind me as I rode higher up on the handle. I brushed back my hair, making sure it looked wet as it clung to the side of my head. I once again closed my eyes and started to moan with the motion. The men must have loved my demonstration because I started to hear shouts and whistles from the crowd. The moaning became louder the faster I mopped up the floor. I also hugged the mop handle more as I made sure the top of it found a place nestled in between my breasts. I was becoming very popular. I opened my eyes just enough to see how big of a crowd I was getting. I could see the crowd stretched out to the center of the floor. Other women in other booths were even looking over in my direction with scowls on their faces. Apparently my demonstration was more popular than anything they could think of. It would only be a matter of seconds before I was on my way out of the Mother Mall.
That’s when the door to my booth opened. I turned around to see Steven standing in the entrance. I had seen frowns upon his face before but nothing like the one he was showing me that day. I stopped my demonstration and tried to figure out why he was so mad. He was either a eunuch or I had gone too far. Either way, the demonstration would need to end.

“Miss Ervaring, I need to see you. Come with me.”

There were shouts of disappointment from the crowd. Things were just getting good and they didn’t want it to stop. I dropped the mop onto the floor and turned off the water. In the effort to please I had made quite a huge mess of the kitchen. I walked over to where Steven stood. The shouts of protest got louder as I made my way to the exit. I knew I couldn’t leave my fans this way and I needed to exit on a high note, so right before I walked out the door, I gathered some suds in my hands, turned around and blew the suds in my hand at my adoring public. I then winked at all of them. They went crazy with the gesture.

That’s when I saw her. Standing at the front of the crowd, ignored by all of the men around, was a little girl no older than Lindsey would have been at the time. She was staring up at me with her head slightly tilted to the right. Her big brown eyes were looking into my eyes and her eyebrows collected at the bridge of her nose. The moment I was living in was lost within those eyes. She must have misinterpreted my countenance because all of a sudden she seemed to have gained understanding from my actions. She brought her hand up to her lips and kissed her fingertips. The little girl then brought her hand up in front of her face and blew at the spot where she had just kissed, then winked at me. I still wonder to this day if my demonstration didn’t do more harm than good, but only time will tell.

Steven had enough of the disruption. He grabbed me by the shoulder and yanked me out of the room. The door slammed on the crowd left behind.

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