Rescue Me: A Valentine's Day Story - Smashwords
Rescue Me

    Molly Mack was teetering on a ledge.

    This was no metaphor for shaky mental health. This was the narrow span of solid terrain outside her apartment window, overhanging the world below.
    Molly pressed one palm against the building and bent as far as she could, but her Jimmy Choo was still out of reach.
    She took one more step toward her brand-new stiletto, slipped, and almost fell. Adrenaline surged through her and she clung to the siding. She couldn’t get to it.
    Fine, she’d abandon the shoe for now. She’d get herself back inside through the window, and she’d figure out some other way to rescue Jimmy.
    But her near fall had triggered some self-protective instinct. Suddenly, she was sharply aware that the ledge she stood on was a century old and had probably never been built to code in the first place. She was all-too-conscious of the twenty foot drop to the sidewalk and street below.
    It was far enough to make jumping impossible, and the distance back to the window now struck her as enormous. Even if she hadn’t been wearing the world’s teeniest Valentine’s Day-red dress, and even if her body weren’t wrapped mummy-tight in a foundation garment, and even if she didn’t have on thigh high stockings and no panties, there was no freaking way she would have been able to summon back the rage-fueled nerve that had stranded her out here in the first place.
    She was stuck. And freezing.
    It was warmish for nighttime on February 14 in the Boston area, forty-five degrees maybe, but no comfort for a girl whose dress contained four square feet of material. She was shivering like mad and her feet were already lumps of ice, which didn’t add to her confidence in her footing. At least there was no snow or ice up here.
    Her other consolation was that on her dark Somerville street, there appeared to be no one to witness her humiliation, although that also reduced her hopes for a rescue.
    Her toes were starting to hurt. Could you get frostbite at this temperature? They didn’t seem to have a lot of feeling left in them, beside the ache. Maybe she’d be safer—and warmer—if she sat. She lowered herself slowly down, and yes , that felt a little less precarious. Maybe she could scoot her way back to the window? Although now that she examined it closely, the ledge was covered with rough tar shingles secured by intermittent rusty nails. Not a good surface for sliding on mostly exposed thighs.
    If Molly’s mother could see her now, she’d say, “This is why we wear undies.” Or, “This is what comes of vanity.” Or, most likely, “Did you try that dress on before you bought it? It’s at least two sizes too small.”
    Molly blamed Peyton.
    If Peyton hadn’t stood her up on her birthday two months ago, they would have eaten at Sergio’s that night. If they’d already tried Sergio’s, they wouldn’t have had coveted, prix fixe, Valentine’s Day reservations for tonight. So she wouldn’t have been quite so poised to fly into a fit of fury when, after bathing and sloughing and waxing and shaving and plucking, after blowing her hair dry right side up and upside down, after applying hair oil and powder and lotion and deodorant and foundation, after sweating profusely while struggling into the restrictive undergarment and the laughable dress, after throwing open a window to cool off her efforts and the stream radiator heat that never, ever went below seventy-five degrees, after meticulously making up her smoky eyes and her kiss-me, glossy mouth, she got a phone call from Peyton saying he was so, so, so sorry for the very late notice, but he’d met someone else and it felt wrong, just wrong, not to be with this new woman on Valentine’s Day.
    She admitted to herself—because when you were stuck on a ledge there was nothing else to do but be honest with yourself—that she should have known things with Peyton would end badly. He had, after all, very slightly overlapped his previous girlfriend with her. At

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