PRIEST OF SALES
D. Scott Cole
Based on characters and ideas from
Priest of Sales
By D. Scott Cole
Copyright 1993, 1994, 1998, 1999
Dorian Scott Cole
Contact: Primary Contact.
Gina is sitting at her dining area table, morosely moving the food around on her plate. Her mood tells it all - the normally irrepressible, always effervescent Gina is finally overcome by life's misery - dismal, dreary life, relentless, wearing you down, trying to tell you something but never getting around to saying the answer. Her dream is largely unravelled, but there is just some gaping hole in it that she can't close. Will she never find the answer? Is life just an infuriating puzzle with a piece missing?
The end of her relationship with Mark is finally sealed - destructive to the end. Never again. Never - she will not even say hello to that man again. Not if he begs, not even if he falls apart in front of her. They cannot have a good relationship.
Travis? Could he be the right one and she doesn't recognize it? Should they just ignore Kenrick and have a fling - see where it leads? God knows, the passion is there in both of them. But passion isn't love. but she denied Mark - what will happen if she continues denying Travis. I want him. I know he wants me.
Kenrick? Why don't I just walk out on him, leave my job, find something else? Kenrick knows how I feel about him - how the entire organization feels about him. Do I have to be run over by a truck to see the answer? Do I secretly want to be buried in my work? Is that the only thing that I find meaningful? If she was a guy, would she have the guts to do it? Has she learned to be a doormat? Surely not. I can't think of myself in those terms.
Why does this remind me of my father? Unlike him, I have a secure job.
The doorbell rings. Gina opens the living room door. Margo is there. "Hi, Margo." She says without flair.
Neither is Margo smiling. "I just saw Mark. I thought maybe you could use some company."
Company. That's girl talk for let's talk about it. "Please come in. I don't really want to talk about it, though."
"That's fine. I wanted to talk to you about some other things anyway."
They both sit on the sofa.
"How is Mark? I haven't been to see him."
"Physically, just broken legs. He's pretty messed up mentally though. He's complaining because he couldn't even kill himself right." Margo shakes her head in amazement.
Gina smiles at that. "Lucky it was only three stories."
Margo gets right to the point of her visit. "Have you ever considered leaving Beau Monde? For something better, I mean?"
"Not really. I haven't had any real reason to." Gina answers blandly.
Margo gives her a look of disbelief. "Beau Monde.... I've seen this year after year - works the life out of people then casts them off like used food wrappers. I have some money saved up, and I'm going to start my own beauty business. Like Beau Monde, but without the.... inhumanity. I want you to come work with me."
Gina sighs a sigh that is very tired and pained. "Oh, Margo. I'm really honored. But I have a lot of responsibility at Beau Monde. I'm needed there, and it's not so bad."
"Not so bad?" Margo incredulously exclaims. "I can't believe you said that."
Gina smiles weakly, and replies like a martyr, "It's up to me to make it better. That's my responsibility."
"You can't make anything better with Kenrick running things," Margo replies, contemptuous of her position.
Gina pauses to think of a reply. "I find ways to outmaneuver Kenrick. But I haven't tried hard enough. If I had, Mark would be OK. I have to stay and make sure Kenrick doesn't kill everyone."
Margo is angered now. "This sounds like the usual Gina logic. Saving the company! Saving Travis! Saving the people! Saving Mark!..."
"But don't you see, Margo. I took myself away from Mark in every way. Sexually. I took away companionship, affection, caring. His last words were, 'why don't I rate?!' But Travis does care. He went to Mark and tried to help. Not me, I've grown callous - I don't try to help anymore - I'm just the sales slut that seduces everyone into working themselves to death. I have to stay and find answers for these people."
Margo's eyes stop flashing anger and begin to show sympathy for her friend who is being crushed under the weight of guilt for Mark's death. Mark attempted murder for her, and then tried to kill himself over her. How could she not have realized that Gina would feel responsible. But she can't let her continue to feel that way.
"That's very commendable, Gina. I admire you for that. But - What more could you have done to save Mark? Been a prostitute for him? married him? You didn't belong together. It was a selfish love, Mark wanted to own you, that's all he ever wanted. You didn't owe Mark your soul any more than you owe the company your soul."
Her friend's logic is impeccable. But she won't leave Beau Monde. "You could be right. But.... I just can't Margo. I don't know why, but I can't give up Beau Monde."
Margo is stoic. Patient. A doctor waiting for a disease
to heal. "Well, think about it anyway. A year from now my offer will still
Gina suffered through her friend's speech, mentally blocking it out. "It's the wrong time to talk about that."
"I know, I know. All I ask is that you remember what I said. If it wasn't really really important, I wouldn't bring it up."
"Thanks, for caring." She smiles warmly at her.
Margo is a true friend.
GINA'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Gina is asleep. The telephone awakens her.
"Hello," she replies, tiredly but not groggily.
"Gina, Travis. I just got back into town. How are you?" Travis's speech still sounds like a business conversation.
"I'm in bed at eight o'clock. Does that tell you anything?"
"Can I come over." Travis asks, like a salesman setting an appointment.
"Yeah, sure," Gina agrees, like a customer letting the fox in the door. "Maybe we could work on my dream or something," she rationalizes. "It might cheer me up." Another rationalization - she doubts that it will.
GINA'S MEDITATION ROOM - NIGHT
Travis and Gina are sitting on the floor. Gina is still in her nightgown. It's a defenceless way to dress, she knows, but she knows she either doesn't care or maybe she wants to tempt Travis. But, oddly, the thought fails to excite her. Maybe Margo is right, her brain is her biggest sex organ and it is now suppressing her sexually. She is too dragged out to think about it or even care. Will she even be able to do this dream meditation?
"What have you figured out about your dream?" Travis asks, bright, rested, seemingly on fire.
Gina recites what she knows, almost as if in a stupor.
"What about the open casket and open grave?" Travis asks.
She continues in the same monotone. "That emphasizes my
aloneness - at the last moment, no one came.
"It sounds like you have it all figured out."
"Not really. I don't understand why the people who finally
came in later dreams couldn't save me. And I have this nagging feeling
that I still don't really understand the dream. You know, the night Mark
stayed here, the night before he.... jumped, I had a nightmare that I was
escaping from Kenrick and he raped me and filled me full of his evil. Kenrick
told me I had given
"Am I?" Travis asks softly in return.
Gina knows that Travis works harder than any of them, on the road for weeks at a time, work/entertaining many evenings, hardly a minute for a life. But it is his choice... for now. Each of them does what he agrees to do. It is some comfort for her.
"You're too hard on yourself." Travis comforts. "OK, let's meditate on your dream," he commands.
Gina turns on the computer and a myriad of images from her dream are displayed, reflecting off the mirrors.
Gina shudders. "How can sex be evil?"
"When it's used for the wrong things," Travis replies simply.
"I am aching for sex so badly," Gina confides. "But I can't give in to it. But I've managed to make relationships a way to destroy my company. Travis, I can't do anything right," she says, then realizes she has repeated Mark's infamous statement. Is she as bad as Mark? She looks away, her thoughts her own.
Travis ignores her guilt trip. "What is sex?"
She tries to get back into it. "Margo says it's a vital biological function, something we all need to stay healthy." She wonders if echoing her friend's frequent admonitions is the best she can do.
"Beyond that," Travis says patiently.
"It's a communion between two souls... A celebration of life," she replies.
"That's beautiful," Travis exclaims with admiration. "What else?"
"What do you want?" Gina asks, frustrated. "I don't know. You know, two people come together and make each other whole."
"You mean, like hot and cold come together and you end up with something just warm. Like these two people are made for each other and when them come together, they fulfill each other and that's it."
"No! That's selfish love...." She considers the implications for a minute. "That's what Mark and I had. But that isn't the full meaning of sex, of love. People come together like pieces of a puzzle. They make each other whole so they can become what they are supposed to be."
"So, where are you going wrong?" Travis asks.
Gina winces and glances at him, wondering why he is accusing her of wrong. But in her heart she knows the answer. "I.... never complete a relationship. I'm too busy working to let anyone take that much of me. You know, Margo is right. I can't go on this way, I'll just continue tearing up the company.
She speaks directly to Travis. "Sex has been bashing at us like surging flood waters battering at a dam. I tore myself away from Mark - it was wrong. If you want me, then.... I'm not going to hide myself from you anymore."
Travis stares at her, wide eyed, speechless. Gina says
nothing more and the silence uncomfortably waits for Travis to answer.
It is an obligation he can't ignore. Finally he replies, "This is.... This
is too much. Never in my wildest dreams.... I only
Travis moves quickly out the door. Gina goes hurriedly after him.
"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have sprung it on you this way," she calls after him.
She falls just outside the bedroom, hurting her arm. Travis picks her up and kisses her arm. Suddenly he takes her in his arms and kisses her, jerking her forward into him, squeezing her much too tightly, kissing her too hard on the lips, hurting her. She pushes him away forcefully and both stand looking at each other, breathing hard from the exertion, squared off like fighters holding each other at bay. After a moment, she pulls him close and they hug gently. He begins to hold her gently and stroke her hair and back. He pecks her on the lips, then again, then a full tender kiss that becomes prolonged into a passionate series of encounters. They part and the bed beckons in the bedroom.
They are both hesitant, uncomfortable.
"I had another dream," Gina interjects. "There were several of us at in Margo's salon and we were removing one of your testicles. We were fighting over it, like we all wanted a piece of you. But then Tracy came in and she began to cry. She was the only one who really wanted just you. If it was me or Tracy, which one would it be?"
Travis laughs. "Now I see how you destroy your relationships. Forget Tracy, she gave up on me. She's gone."
"But who would you chose?" Gina demands.
Travis is unable to hide his feelings. "You know how I feel about Tracy."
"So I'm the wrong puzzle piece. If I was the right piece, we would be in there making love, not warming up to it. Travis, are we just going to shake up the company and hurt ourselves again?"
Travis shares her feelings. Sexy and tempting she is, but he knows what he wants, and bows out gracefully. "You know, making love to a woman as sexy as you would probably kill me anyway."
Gina smiles. "Get out of here, you smooth talking Casanova, before I realize what a collossal mistake I'm making."
Travis pecks her on the cheek and walks toward the living room.
As he walks through toward the outside door, Gina is following him, but giving him space.
"I had better go visit Mark," Travis says. "God, what a thing.... Didn't your father commit suicide?"
"Yes, he never made it as a commercial artist. He was like Mark, he felt like the world had no place for him." With these words, Gina experiences a moment of enlightenment.
"Oh, no! Travis, don't you see. My father felt like the
world didn't have a place for him. Mark felt like the world had no place
for him - he felt like he wasn't good enough. Now look at me, clinging
to Beau Monde like it was the last job on earth. Travis, that's it. That's
what I didn't understand. That's why I surrender to Kenrick. That's why
none of those people in my dream
She throws her arms around him in celebration. "Thanks!" she says exuberantly, and kisses him on the cheek. He gives her a hug and leaves.
MARGO'S SALON - DAY
Tracy is finishing with a woman in a beauty chair. Gina enters. Tracy nods to her courteously, then looks at the woman's hands.
"You need a better softener for your hands. What are you using on your cuticles?"
"A cuticle trimmer," the woman replies, her voice unsure if that is the expected answer.
"Only on hang nails," Tracy explains. "Just soften them
and push them back and you'll have better luck. See you next
The woman thanks her and leaves.
"Can we talk?" Gina asks.
"Not about Travis," she warns. "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."
"He just turned me down. I threw myself at him, and he
said no. I asked him who he would choose, me or you - he said you.
KENRICK'S OFFICE - DAY
Kenrick is talking to a business candidate, Paul. As he talks, Gina walks in and stands before him.
"Paul, I can give you a real sweet deal on this," Kenrick is saying. "We literally have no competition and we want to have the entire US sewn up before we do have any competition. I want you to come to work for us - " Kenrick stops, disturbed by Gina's disruption.
"What is it, Gina?" he asks, his voice impatient.
"Kenrick, you work people to death. You couldn't care
less about anyone's life, or death, all you care about is making money.
Well, I quit. In fact, almost everyone here at headquarters is quitting
today. They all asked to be part of Margo's - our - organization and we're
open to them all. By the way, it's an employee owned business so you'll
never get your hands on it.
Gina smiles and lifts her eyebrows as if saying, "How do you like that," and leaves without waiting for an answer.
The candidate quickly gets up and follows her, saying, "Hey, uh, will you have any openings in the near future?"
She feels better than she has in years - refreshed, alive,
alive, alive. She shouts, "Hey, Kenrick, I'm alive!" As she begins to skip
and jump down the hall. "I'm alive!"
TRACY'S APARTMENT BUILDING
Tracy checks her mail at her apartment building boxes, then takes the elevator upstairs. She then enters the hall from the elevator. Travis is standing in front of her door. She hesitates, looks back toward the elevator, but it is gone. She walks purposefully to her door to unlock it, but Travis stands in the way.
"Please talk to me. I know I'm the world's biggest jerk, but I really haven't seduced another woman since I met you."
"Get out of the way or I'll call the police."
"I'm not going to give up on us," Travis asserts. He sits down in front of her door, resting on it. Tracy opens the door and Travis falls in, on his back, his feet still extending into the hall. Tracy goes into the apartment. A moment later she returns with a half gallon carton of milk and a jar of orange juice and pours them on him. Travis gets on his knees.
On his knees, dripping milk and orange juice, he pours his heart out to her. "You're the only good thing to happen to me in thirty years. I can't do anything to deserve you. But I love you, Tracy and you're the only woman I want."
Tracy cannot help but be moved, but she stubbornly refuses to be hurt again. "Have it your way," she says complacently. She moves behind him and gets hold of his feet and tries to pull him from her apartment. She jerks him off his knees and he falls and turns over onto his back. Residents are beginning to look into the hall. She continues to jerk on his leg but he doesn't budge and she loses her balance and falls on top of him. She begins pommelling his chest with her fists and finally sits on top of him and punches him in the chest. He doesn't resist. She looks in his eyes and softens.
"Did you know orange juice and milk are good for your
complexion? I gave you a facial and you didn't even thank me."
GINA'S HOT TUB - DAY
Gina and Margo are enjoying the hot tub. Gina's eyes close and she looks calm. Margo becomes intrigued with her and watches her closely.
A PLEASANT MEADOW - DAY
Gina is standing in a meadow, in chains. A woman, who is slightly radiant and wears a hint of a nun's habit, appears before her.
"Hello, Gina," the woman greets her very pleasantly, as if greeting an old friend.
"Hi, Sister Abigail," Gina replies efforvescently.
"Just Abby," she says, smiling at her. "You have learned well, Gina."
"Have I? I feel so confused."
"You have acted very responsibly." Abby looks at Gina's chains. "Do you still need your chains?" Gina pulls the locks apart and discards her chains.
"Is this all there is?" Gina asks.
Abby is delighted. "Still irrepressible! You were always so hungry for life. You have just begun. Enjoy!"
BEAU MONDE HEADQUARTERS
HALL AT KENRICK'S OFFICE
Travis, Gina, Margo, Tracy and several others are in the hall. Travis removes Kenrick's name from the door and replaces it with Margo Beauchesne, Presiding Co-owner. They applaud.
"Congratulations, Margo, on the coup of the year," Gina says, still clapping.
"I couldn't have done it without your support," Margo defers.
"I wish I had been there when Kenrick crawled in and asked you to buy Beau Monde," Travis says.
"I wish I had seen Kenrick's face when Gina quit in front of that candidate," Margo exclaims. "That's when Kenrick caved in. OK, everyone, it's five o'clock. Go home. Get lots of rest so you can hit it hard tomorrow and we can pay off the loan for this place."
"I'm going to the beach," Gina replies, as if there were no better place.
Tracy gives her an odd look. "Isn't it a little cool for the beach?"
"It's personal. Kind of a celebration."
"Does this have anything to do with your latest vision?" Margo asks wryly, a smug smile on her face.
"A vision? A real vision?" Travis asks, excited.
"Tell us, Gina!" Tracy demands, excitedly.
"Well, it's not endorsed by religions, you know. They have qualifying rules for... quality control." Gina hedges.
"Tell us your vision," Tracy demands more emphatically.
"Well, you see, I just couldn't get into this idea that God keeps narrowing down your life until he squeezes you out and only He is left. If God is all, then what am I?" Some are hanging on every word. Some are wary. All are fascinated.
She continues, "Everything in me kept saying, 'NO - this
isn't Gina. Life is growth; not restriction, it's expansion.' But I thought
that was selfish, so I ignored it. So, in my vision, I was in chains, and
some angel friend came and I unlocked the chains. It means, I faced my
responsibilities and it's freeing - expansive. Each of us at Beau Monde
took over the company. We took our responsibility back and we got our lives
back. And we're going to have more fun than ever." Some smile at her. Some
are confused. No one fathoms exactly what she is saying. But she doesn't
care - she has her answer. And there is one more thing that she must say.
CLIFF OVERLOOKING BEACH - SUNSET
Gina walks away from her car to the edge of the cliff.
She extends her arms wide and says, "Here I am God, and I'm ready for life! But watch out, I'm Gina; and sometimes I bite!"
If you enjoyed reading this story, or didn't, please tell the author Primary Contact.
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