This is another excerpt from the novel I’m writing. This is Rebecca’s third appearance in the book (Her first is here). She’s a relatively minor character who occupies a slightly different timeline from the rest of the book—starting about a year before the rest of the story, although she eventually catches up.
Anyhow, her entitled vapidity is an absolute joy to write. And will hopefully provide an interesting counterpoint to the protagonist’s guilt-ridden vapidity. She may go too far in this draft, but we’ll see how that plays out.
Hope you enjoy!
Rebecca Salazar deserved this yoga class the way no yoga class in the history of time had been deserved. It had been a terrible week.
On Monday, she had gone to dinner with a gentleman who was less attractive than his online photo implied. And when the check came, he offered to pay… half.
On Tuesday, she had been shopping for a self-esteem restoring top. She found one, the cutest thing, a pink-striped number with little tiny straps that said, “Yes, I work out, and no, I don’t sweat.” Rebecca asked the shopgirl if she could try it on, and what did that little tart say? “Sure, Sweetie, let me get you a size 8.” Rebecca spun on her heel and left that perky little bitch in her dust, but it still wrankled.
Even worse, in her haste to leave, Rebecca neglected to pick her purse up from the shelf where she had set it to free both hands for better shopping. When she returned to the store, not five minutes later, to retrieve it, it had been removed. She had to ask that… that thing! if she had seen it. And the shopgirl had the audacity to say, “I’ll have to check in back.”
You’re the only one working here! You moved it!
The girl even had the audacity to make Rebecca describe it before handing it over.
On Wednesday, some very nasty construction worker had screamed at her. She was minding her business, walking on the sidewalk where you’re supposed to walk, and talking on her phone where you’re supposed to talk, when he suddenly started shouting. “You knocked over fifteen feet of scaffolding!” he’d yelled, as if that were possible. She hadn’t touched anything. If one of her bags had, well, she couldn’t really be responsible for every one of her possessions, could she?
Oh, but that construction worker had a foul tongue. She didn’t listen to much of what he said, but he definitely called her a “bitch” at some point. Rebecca called people “bitch.” She wasn’t called one herself.
The man also completely lacked decorum. Rebecca could still hear him screaming from that rooftop when she was two blocks away.
On Thursday, her toaster burst into flames.
Spontaneously, unless the puddle of water had something to do with it. But that seemed stupid. Water put out fire, it didn’t start it. That’s why she didn’t live in Cleveland.
That one wasn’t even really a big deal. Scary, a bit, but nothing lasting. All she had to do is rip it out of its socket and shove it into the kitchen sink. That didn’t stop the flames, but it did put the apartment fire extinguisher into her view. Rebecca banged the butt end of the extinguisher into the toaster until her next door neighbor, a liverspotted old grouch named Barney, burst in (attracted by the pounding or perhaps the fire alarm), grabbed the extinguisher, and used the hose end to shoot some kind of white foam at the toaster.
Not a big deal at all. Rebecca dined fashionably, never on toast and never in her own resident. But Barney had carried on as if she were recreating World War II, calling her a stupid little girl with no respect for anything or anyone’s nap time. And then the landlord came up and hollered about how the alarm had automatically called the fire department, and when they came and realized that there wasn’t any fire there would be a $100 fine, and that Rebecca was going to have to pay it, all of it interspersed with Polish obscenities. Which was terribly unfair, because there had been a real fire, so it seemed only natural that the fire department should be invited.
But today was Friday. Rebecca cleared all of the trauma of the past week from her highly trained mind. There were, perhaps, traces of tension left—if she’d considered the matter thoroughly, she’d realize that she could date a constant increase in stress in her life to her first encounter with the strange three-eyed man about six months earlier. She did no such thing, however. It was yoga time, and that required a clear head to fully enjoy.
This was the good yoga, too. The one with the genuine little Asian man. It cost an extra twelve dollars a session, and worth every penny.
Rebecca kept her moans of contentment silent as the genuine little Asian man led the class through its beginning stretches. Extraneous noises were strictly frowned upon, as every teacher explained at the start of class. It interfered with your chi.
It was the seated carp pose—a new one, of the little Asian man’s invention—that caused the problem.
The class was twisting to the left. All except one person, the man immediately to Rebecca’s left, who was turned opposite. Awkward, but Rebecca had decided to magnanimously not permit this infraction to ruin her day.
But her eyes caught his. Three of them.
“You!” Rebecca screamed. “You again! Stop stalking me!”
By this point the little Asian man had leapt to his feet and bounded over to Rebecca. He bent over her and picked her up by the waist, so that when he straightened up Rebecca was upside down and helpless. He hauled her to the door, set her down roughly but upright, and pushed her out.
“Do not return,” he demanded. Pointing at one of the many signs, he added, “No refunds.