Lorna stared at the zit on the tip of her nose in the mirror. A little swollen red spot that stood out like a beacon. She sighed. She was about to start her new job as a receptionist with an international cosmetics company and this isn't going to look good.
Lorna wished her mum was here. She could fix it, she was an expert beautician but they had a fight over dad. Mum wanted Dad to come and live with them again, for the third time. She loved her mother and father but they fought like cats and dogs and Mum would give as good as she got but when they were separated piece reigned. Mum would shower her with clothes and beauty products and Dad would take her to a fancy restaurant two or three times a week. With the benefit of some distance between them they were polite, kind and loving to each other.
Lorna had put her foot down, if dad came back to live with them then she was out of here. Her mum packed her bags and her dad gave her keys to a little apartment he owned for a very reasonable rent and now she was here, about to start a new job with a zit on her nose.
She applied the finishing touches to her make-up, brushed a few non-existent dust particles from her business suit and went out to face the world. It was a very nervous Lorna who kept looking around convinced everyone was looking at her zit and it took all her self-discipline not to touch it with her fingers. Not that she needed to, she could feel it growing.
She was met at the office by a stern, elderly woman in her fifties who looked at her strangely. She showed Lorna all the things she needed to know, all the places she needed to go to and all the people she needed to talk to and never once taking her eyes of the zit.
It seemed like an eternity to her tea break and, in Lorna's mind, every person coming into the building stared at her zit and as soon as she was in the ladies room she examined it in the mirror. It was larger now and a little tender. Just as she was poking it a young Asian woman entered the restroom.
"Hello," she said, "your new here aren't you?"
"Yes, I'm the new receptionist."
"Nasty zit you've got there."
"Here, try this," she said and gave Lorna a little round tin with a dragon on it.
"Is this something from the chemist?" Lorna asked.
"No, no. My grandmother has a Chinese Herbal medicine shop. She swears by this. I've gotta go, bye".
Lorna opened the little tin. It smelled ok, she thought and carefully applied some to the zit. She went back to work feeling better than she had all day.
She slowly became aware that more and more people seemed to be lingering and staring at her. Her supervisor approached, extracted a little mirror from her purse and put it in front of Lorna. Lorna gave a little scream, there in the mirror was a huge red swollen nose with a zit on the end of it. She rushed to the restroom and collided with the young Asian woman.
"Oh, I'm so sorry," the young Asian woman said, then spotted her nose, "my goodness what happened to your nose."
"Your bloody cream, that's what's happened to it."
"Oh I'm very sorry, you must be allergic to the cream. Grandma did say some people were."
"You could have warned me," she whined.
The young Asian woman said as a parting shot, "Oh don't be such a baby, It will go away in a week or so."
Standing at the restroom mirror and touching her nose for one last time she turned and was about to exit the restroom when half-a-dozen young salesgirls stormed through chattering excitedly. Unfortunatly Lorna was leaving at the same time and the restroom door slammed into her face. Her nose took the full blow and blood flew all down her business shirt. The girls cleaned her up as best they could and took her back to her supervisor who promptly took her to emergency to check for a broken nose, told her to go home and don't come back till the nose was healed.
She stood in front of her own mirror wondering what else could happen to make this day worse. She had an enormous zit on her bloody, bruised swollen nose that was beginning to ripen with a tiny yellow spot appearing when her mobile phone rang. It was her mother.
"Lorna, darling. Your father and I would like you to join us for dinner at his favourite restaurant to celebrate your new job."
"Oh thank you mother but I think I would rather stay in for tonight."
"Oh please come, dear. I hate the thought of us fighting."
"No honestly mum, I've got over that."
"Well why don't you come then. Surely your not going to stay home and pout are you. You know you do have that tendency to sulk if you don't get your own way. Wait your father wants to talk to you."
"Lorna, " her dad spoke sternly, "Stop all this childish behaviour and come and have dinner with us."
"But dad, honestly...."
"I am not taking no for an answer, princess."
She hated being called princess. She was nineteen for gawds sake however she gave up and said yes.
Lorna arrived at the restaurant by taxi so not too many people stared at her nose although the taxi driver showed an unhealthy interest in it because he kept asking if he could squeeze it. The restaurant was full and the waiters face wrinkled in disgust at the sight of Lorna's nose. The little yellow dot had got bigger. She was escorted to her parents table and both parents gave a gasp at the sight of her.
"Oh my poor baby, you should have come to mummy sooner," she said in her usual loud voice. Lorna wanted to die and just after she was seated the maitres-de whispered something into her fathers ear.
"Of course, Of course, " he replied then whispered something back. With the aid of a couple of waiters they were whisked of to a table normally reserved for people the maitres-de kept for those he didn't want seen in his restaurant.
"What was that all about," asked Lorna.
"It appears the sight of your nose is making some patrons ill. Never mind we got a free bottle of champagne and thirty percent off the bill."
Lorna asked why they were waiting and her mother said that they were waiting for Rodney.
"Why in the hell did you invite him, mother?" Lorna almost yelled. She had known Rodney since she was five and disliked him since she was five. At thirteen years of age he announced his undying eternal love for her then showed her his penis but before she had a chance to react a bee stung him. She didn't see him for months after that and never saw his penis again. For some strange reason her mother seemed to think she liked Rodney and kept inviting him to family events all of which usually ended in some unpleasant incident.
Rodney arrived and the first thing he said was, "My, how beautiful you look this evening, Lorna."
Lorna replied, "Are you some sort of idiot." She had long ago forsaken politeness with Rodney, "I suppose this thing on my nose is some sort of decoration."
Rodney, realising, again, he has made some sort of fax-pois reached over to get a jug of water when he suddenly fell back and pushed his chair over. In a vain attempt to gain some balance he swung his hand out and as he went over backwards whacking Lorna solidly on the nose and this time the blood squirted out.
She groaned into her MacDonald's hamburger, ignoring the stares of all the children. They had all got evicted from the restaurant, mum and dad had an enormous fight blaming each other and split up again and Rodney asked her out to the movies tomorrow. She didn't know why she did it but she accepted. Concussion, she thought, that's what it must have been. She now did not only have a zit about to erupt on her nose but her nose had blown up to the shape and colour of a small tomato. It was all bruised, bandaged and bloody and she had enormous bruises underneath each eye.
"I hope they put the boyfriend away for a long time," some woman said to her husband who was trying hard not to stare.
The date with Rodney, and oddly enough it was not the first one, started off as well as could be expected. No way was Lorna going to dress up for Rodney and definitely not with a nose like the one she currently had. Rodney arrived on time and some second sense seemed to warn Lorna as he opened his mouth.
"If you say I look fucking beautiful I will de-knacker you right here." Rodney got the message. The movie was up to the usual Rodney standard. 'The Revenge of the Evil Pumpkin'. She sat through the whole mind numbing movie waiting in terror for the next onslaught on her nose but nothing occurred. After the movie Rodney surprised her by taking her to a little quiet bistro serving wine and food for a late afternoon lunch and they had a pleasant conversation. Rodney had an interest in butterflies and was an expert on them. He kept Lorna amused with stories of odd, weird butterflies.
As the afternoon wore on Rodney consumed more wine than he should have and a bit more oysters on top of that. It was the bursting of Lorna's ripe zip, the horrid, yellow liquid that was dripping off the end of her nose that was a bit too much. He projectile vomited initially straight onto Lorna's nose then all down her chest. It took three men to subdue Lorna as she chased Rodney around the Bistro threatening to bash his brains in with an empty wine bottle.
Lorna's dad moved out and Lorna's mum move Lorna back in and nursed her nose and dignity back to full health. Eventually she forgave Rodney but she never did get her job back.