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Dorthea was aced once again by Heidi. Heidi oozes confidence. No one else could have carried off the mask and glove combination with such panache. Without effort, her ability to captivate is amazing. Women envy her. Men are intimidated. Her hair slightly wild, quads firm, triceps and biceps taut, and her sense of color: lush. And her smirk is perfect. It was both inviting and powerful. Lips parted in a way that made her seem to know the answer to any question before it was asked. She is knowledgeable. She knows how apply the right degree of pressure. It is the kind of force that lets one know that she is in charge. And this all comes naturally for Heidi. You could see signs of this when she worked summers at Zach’s Aluminum Sign Shop. When a sign was returned because of a spelling or design error, she would put on heavy duty work gloves and punch the error. This dent was a sign for all. It said; you made a mistake and I am pointing it out. Dorthea was absolutely positive that tonight her look was right. Years of research, preparation and exercise finally came together. There were times when her “look” was almost there. About seven months ago, preparing for an evening of dancing at Little Jo and Big Bo’s, she thought she got it. The skirt was the right length, hair so shiny it looked like old shellac 78’s, her breasts discreetly yet provocatively displayed in silky white, but her expression wrong. It was weak, lacking in confidence. Those who knew her would chuckle to themselves that when push came to shove, there would be no push. It was all in the way her lips bent into a content smile. Not what was needed. Even the lizard green lipstick did not help. She needed and wanted a smirk. The kind of smirk that would let whomever she met know that behind whip lashed eyelashes she knew better. And more. And was capable of more. Maybe because the look did not have the experience to back it up, the smile was not a smirk. But one of Dorthea's best qualities was hard work. When others would give up, she was just getting started. Maybe it was because of growing up in a large family, she was used to competition. She went beyond giving it her best. She gave… excellence. If she lost, well, she tried. So the smile needed to be replaced by the smirk and she was determined to do it. She did the psychical work necessary; stretching, bending and spent hours working on her kicks. The kicks became so precise that she was able to blacken both of Billy’s eyes when he tried to “help” Dorothea clean the garage. Mutual friends laughed when they asked him what happened. He used to say that he got hit by a swinging door. Everbody broke up when Eric said “that must have happened going in and coming out!” Everyone knew the truth which was good for Dorthea’s developing reputation. It was believed by many that this reputation helped get Dorthea her first job as a returns clerk at the local Grand Buy. With naturally strong arms, customers were impressed by her ability to lift TVs and home entertainments units as long as they were packed in their original boxes. It was at this point that her “following” started. Real hi-fi nuts; men who were always purchasing the latest in entertainment electronics. They quickly became recognizable. She would see them about every 30 days as the store warranties were about to expire. They would drag in their units, projectors and receivers and watch intently as Dorthea effortlessly lifted them. Staring as the veins in her arms darkened, they would make little jokes about how the equipment did not match their expectations. That they needed some-thing “stronger, tougher and stylish”. But woe, to the customer who did not have a receipt. And as plans for the evening were forming and Heidi was doing a last minute hair tousle, Dorthea was left to wonder if she really had been giving enough of an effort. The corners of her mouth curled down. There would no smirk tonight.