Assignment: She was a fat woman whose eating habits were dainty. There was a check for $13,612 in her purse, not made out to her, but, you know. She was good at figuring these things out. Start with her hair.
Submission: Daphne –she of the elfin, waiflike name- carried an extra 100 pounds on her fragile frame, but in no way did she give the impression of heaviness. Light on her feet and dainty in her mannerisms, Daphne’s bright blue eyes and full, luxurious hair -even when piled on her head in a messy brown knot- gave the illusion of wispiness and lighthearted days. Her clothes gave the impression of money and the ability to pick and choose a personal style at will. Her clunky handbag screamed individuality.
Seated at the outdoor café table, Daphne stretched like cat in the sun then continued to pick at the bits of cheese and ham from the center of her omelet as she carefully waited. For whom did she wait the staff wondered; a man? Or a friend perhaps, the other diners speculated as they watched her from the corners of their eyes. For surely no one as gossamer as Daphne could be waiting on something as mundane as a business meeting or a husband.
Imagine their surprise –and disappointment- when, at exactly 9:37 a.m., Daphne rose, placed a precise –generous, but not frivolous- amount of cash on the table and calmly walked into the plain, building block of a bank across the street from the café. “Hmm, not so ethereal after all,” some might have mused to themselves.
Blinking into the cool dimness of the bank, Daphne began to survey the possibilities. One must choose carefully with whom one does business. Especially business of a certain type. She immediately disregarded those carefully dressed and coifed. These often paid too much attention to details. Likewise, she shunned the sullen or sulking. These often operated out of spite and jealousy rather than professionalism and compassion.
There, third window from the left. There was Daphne’s hero, or rather heroine. Carefully, hungrily, the young girl risked eye contact with Daphne. Oh yes, HERE was the perfect collaborator- timid, yet motivated and eager to please.
Twenty minutes and an ambitious story about a loss (sparsely applied embroidered handkerchief- not Kleenex) and an insurance snafu later, Daphne sailed out of the box-like bank, $13,612 richer, leaving with the glowing teller –and those still idling at the café who noticed her departure- precisely the right amount of herself: generous, but not frivolous.