Rosaliene and Sons – Brazil
Over a year had passed since my estranged husband returned to Guyana, leaving our two sons and me behind in Brazil, when my three friends decided that it was time for me to have a night out. They invited me to join them and their husbands for a show and dance at a popular night club. Djavan, one of my favorite Brazilian singers, was coming to Fortaleza for a one-night presentation.
Fatima, the oldest among us, had it all arranged. She would buy the admission tickets and I could reimburse her on payday. Since we lived about a ten-minute-drive away from her house, my sons would stay with her two kids and live-in maid. At the end of our evening together, her husband would take us home.
Not since my days in Guyana had I gone dancing at a night club. To accept their invitation would bring back too many memories of good times gone sour. But when your friends care about you, how can you say no?
With nothing suitable to wear, I went to the downtown commercial area where I would find clothing at affordable prices. A dress on a mannequin in the shop window of a boutique caught my attention. It featured a full-length photographic image of a young couple (see captioned photo). Its choker neckline, long sleeves, and hemline to the knee left no skin exposed.
When I entered the deserted boutique, the lone shop assistant jumped up to greet me. She found my size and showed me to the fitting room. I soon discovered it was made of a polyester spandex fabric that hugged my curves. While I stood in front of the large, full-length mirror, the shop assistant came to see how I looked in the dress. After years of believing I was worthless and unattractive – men can do that to you when they leave you for another woman – I was as surprised as she was at the sexy-looking woman in the mirror.
Everything went wrong the night I arrived at Fatima’s house with my sons. She took one look at me and said: “You look like a prostitute.”
She crushed my fragile self-esteem.
For reasons I don’t recall, she and her husband were no longer going to the show, but my sons were welcome to sleep over. She would find pajamas for them. Lucinede and her husband would take me home and I could pick up my sons the following morning.
The dim lights in the night club could not hide my shame. Fearing that I would be mistaken for a prostitute, I did not venture onto the dance floor. Even Djavan’s presentation failed to relieve my discomfort. I prayed for the evening to end.
Looks can be deceiving. Looking like a prostitute didn’t turn me into one. Having the courage to wear that dress marked a turning point on my road to recovery. I regained my self-confidence as a woman and professional. I was ready to move on with my life.