She had always been pretty in a black Irish sort of way, always sort of flirty one day and serious the next, trying to be grownup and little girlish at the same time, being serious one minute and childlike the next, and so I wasn't quite sure which version of her was coming to see me. Sometimes she would be dressed in a business suit, and then the next time it would be bib overalls and pigtails. I had always dealt with her in the same businesslike manner, regardless of who showed up, and so, when the doorbell rang, I hastened to answer it.
She stood in the doorway clad in a vintage DVF wraparound dress, white with a shamrock green print, wearing high heels and stockings. Her dark hair fell just to her shoulders, the peekaboo bangs partially obscuring her eyes. She had a trenchcoat incongruously thrown over one shoulder, and some sort of expensive handbag held in her other hand. She flashed me a smile that didn't extend up past her mouth, her eyes retaining a vaguely haunted look, as she brushed past me on her way to the living room, where she tossed the trenchcoat on one of the wing chairs and sat down in the corner of the couch.
I began the conversation by reiterating what I had told her on the phone, that I liked her and thought she was a very nice person, but that I really couldn't extend myself out for a third year without some sort of payment plan or something more concrete than her best intentions. And I watched as her eyes softened and her mouth lost its smile, her lower lip pouting out. She stood up and began to pace back and forth, the heels clicketting loudly on the parquet floor, as she started in on a long tale of mishaps and misdeeds, of jobs that didn't pay her at the end of the week, dead end commission jobs in the garment center, her voice becoming softer and softer as she spun out her tale of woe.
"Please," she said, "don't make me beg."