Retail Therapy

A few weeks back  I posted a short story that I wrote in an introduction to short story writing class. Recently I attended a class about writing conflict.  Below is a short story I wrote in that class. First we had to answer 8 character interview questions about our main character. Then we had to come up with 3 different conflicts on slips of paper then throw them into a hat. The first conflict I chose out of a hat was ‘a client that lives in England time zone’. I wrote on that for a while before having to pick another conflict out of the hat, ‘wardrobe malfunction’.

So the story below is what I wrote using those two conflicts.

Lila could not miss another session with her therapist. It was the only thing standing between her and jail. But she was also on probation on her new job and couldn’t miss an important phone call to London. But this phone call had to happen at the same time as her session. She couldn’t tell her boss about the mandatory session since a, she didn’t alert her new job to the fact that she was a thief. And b, this wasn’t even court appointed therapy. More like nun appointed therapy. The nun who caught Lila stealing her car and decided to let her go if she would go to therapy to stop her klepto ways. So Lila picked up the phone and called Dr. Allen.

“Dr. Allen, it’s Lila. I can’t make today’s session – “

“Lila, we already agreed if you missed another session that I would call Sister Kate and she would most likely call the police.”

“I know, but I have to be on a conference call to London at that time – “

“Really, to London?”

“Yes, I had to get a job, you know, since I can’t steal anymore.”

“What is your new job?”

“Oh I’m working in the stock market now.”

“Really. Do you have experience with the stock market?”

“Well, I may have fudged my resume a bit…”

“Lila, you are here to get help for compulsive lying and kleptomania, you don’t get out of going to your session because you lied to keep from stealing.”

“I’ve become accustomed to a certain lifestyle and the jobs I’m qualified for won’t support that lifestyle.”

“Maybe sacrificing your lifestyle would be a good thing.”

“Even if I quit this job today, and get a minimum wage job tomorrow, I still may not be able to get out of work in the middle of the day for sessions. I won’t even get a whole hour lunch with a minimum wage job, but I do with this one.

Dr. Allen paused as if taking in what Lila just said.

“Even though I get the distinct feeling I’m being handled, you do have a point. You will come and see me on your lunch break tomorrow. No excuses. We’ll talk about how this new job might affect your rehabilitation.”

“Thank you Dr. Allen! See you tomorrow!”

Lila hung up the phone before he could admonish her any further. She grabbed her folder and ran out of her office and headed to the conference room where the conference call would take place. When she arrived at the conference room she could see that everyone was there except for her of course. Sitting closest to the door was that little witch Megan who interviewed her. Lila knew Megan didn’t believe she was qualified for the job and didn’t want to hire her, but Lila was able to charm Megan’s boss into giving her a chance. 

Lila quickly entered the room and headed for the only empty seat. As she passed Megan that evil beast stuck out her foot and tripped Lila causing her folder fly out of her hands as she went flying towards the floor. The video call picked up on the large screen at the head of the conference table just as Lila stood up with half of the buttons on her shirt undone. She had given their very conservative client an eyeful.