I have one good bra left. It has one hook that’s holding on by a thread. The other hooks fell off at some point, never to be found. I hand wash and hide the bra in the basement to dry so no one will ever see it up close. I wear this horrible looking bra every day despite my fear that the last hook will break and the bra will just fall off while I’m standing there talking to someone.
I’ve hidden the bra from my husband for as long as I can remember. But then, Goddammit, I slipped up. We had friends coming over, I was running late, and I accidentally left the bra unattended on the bed.
“What the hell is that?” my husband asked when I came back into the bedroom. I was caught completely off guard, and I’ve never been good at thinking fast under pressure.
“It’s a cake mold,” I said.
“Why is it on the bed?” he asked, poking it with a hanger to make sure it was dead.
“Okay, fine! It’s my bra.”
“That’s your bra?” he asked.
“Why are you so surprised? Haven’t you ever seen it through my clothes?” I asked, wanting to kick myself. I’d hid it for all those years and then this!
“It looks different in person. Why is it…like that?” he asked.
“Like it should be thrown away.”
“Because I can’t replace it. It’s been discontinued.”
“What a shame.”
And then it hit me, I don’t need a bra. I never needed one. I don’t go anywhere where going braless is considered a crime. It’s a free country. Why should I live in fear that an article of my clothing will suddenly plummet to the ground?
I took the bra and threw it in the garbage while my husband watched from the corner of his eye. I was finally going to live the life I always wanted. A life without fear and bondage.
“Are you sure you want to do that?” he asked.
“Yes, I’m sure. I’m tired of living like this. I have a right to be free! And that thing is slowly killing me and my self-esteem. I’d rather die than be a slave to that one hook and eyed monster for one more day. It’s time to show the world who I really am. A person who is not afraid.”
Just then our friends pulled into our driveway.
“Looks like we have company,” he said.
“Tell them to wait outside!” I said, and fished my bra out of the garbage.