Friday, 6 February 2009

There was nothing remarkable about her, nothing that would make you notice her among other shoppers. Her clothes were a non-descript mixture of beige and black; not even a colourful scarf to break into the dullness of her appearance. Of average height and average build, with mousey brown hair and nothing interesting about her face she never stood out in a crowd. Even the way she moved with lethargic slowness spoke of nothing.
And then, there was her name: Brenda Smith. You can’t get much more unremarkable than that. She often wondered why her parents chose it for her. It was not a romantic name nor an adventurous one. You just do not fall dramatically in love with a girl call Brenda, not in her experience anyway.
Brendas do not change the world either.
Was it the name that dictated the course of her life?
Perhaps if she was named Clarissa, she might have married a rich banker or an artist. She might have been living a life of parties in a luxurious apartment somewhere in London. Shopping in Harrods and having lunches in those exclusive and terribly expensive restaurants.
Or, with a serious name like Janet, she might have been researching how to prevent the disappearing of bees. She would have been travelling giving lectures and awakening the awareness of scientists and politicians around the world. Important people would listen and respect her. She would have been given recognition and awards for her work.
But, no, she was named Brenda and she had been spending her life working in the local Council Offices without glamour or recognition.
It used to trouble her very much but now it does not seem to matter quite so much.
So, she boarded the bus home with her shopping of three pairs of black trousers and two beige cardigans. She won’t keep them all, of course. That’s the good thing about M&S: you can try clothes at home and take them back for a refund or exchange later.
For one mad moment she toyed with the idea of exchanging one of the cardigans for the emerald green top that caught her eye. But it was only for a very brief moment. Beige is so much more practical.
Yes, there was nothing remarkable about her, except….her unfulfilled dreams.

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