I dreamt of being accepted to the Spanish Riding School in Vienna when I was young. I dreamt of falling in love with an instructor who looked like that hunk from that cop show where the beaches were always white, the water blue and the girls nearly naked. I dreamt that he’d marry me, and on our wedding night, surrounded by misty white tulle, he’d ravish me sweetly and possess my hated virginity, and all would be right and perfect with the world.
I look at the boot, the shining black leather of the upper as I zip it up my thigh. It squeezes. Fuck, I hate my body.
But they don’t.
I have four appointments today. None of them will look like the television cop. But all of them will look at me like I am their queen. All of them will do as I say, or will risk discipline. And all of them will make my heart ache with the desire that just one of them might look past these trappings of leather and lace, and see a little girl with dreams.
I turn to look at him, kneeling on the carpet, and my mask holds my face.