Copyright© Arthur Shadwe, 2007
Sally arrived at the university with a void in her heart that was eating away at her soul like a malevolent cancer. The emptiness manifested as a hunger that drove everything she did. It was relentless and affected every aspect of her life. The insidiousness of the hunger was that she wasn't even aware of it. All she knew was that there was a restlessness that drove her to continuously seek out approval. It never occurred to her that there wasn't enough approval in the world to sate her hunger. There was no pedestal tall enough on which she could be placed.
The sad thing was that it didn't matter who approved of her. It was the applause that was important and not who was clapping. The credentials or successes of her admirers meant nothing to her. Praise from a homeless man meant as much as praise from a Nobel Laureate. She didn't care why they approved of her; she just needed to hear praise from them.
You're so beautiful. You're so smart. You're so graceful. You're so elegant. You're so fashionable. Those were the words that Sally needed to hear. On hearing them, she would feel satisfaction for the barest fraction of a second before the emptiness swallowed it whole. Unfortunately, it would leave her even more dissatisfied for having felt that fleeting sensation of satisfaction. The merest hint of disapproval would tear open the void and make the hunger a thousand times worse.
The need to hear praise was sad enough, but it was made worse in the sense that she didn't even care about the form in which approval was delivered. The erection of a horny young lad on seeing her naked body was just as meaningful to her as a national prize for a well written essay. They both represented a form of approval and it was the approval that her insatiable hunger craved.
The hunger could have been used to propel her to success. Throughout high school, good grades had never been a problem. Her hunger drove her to make good grades in the hope of earning the approval of her fellow students, the teachers, and her parents. Her teachers gave her awards and honors, but they weren't enough for her. Her parents praised her accomplishments, but their words didn't fill the void.
Enrolling in the university had been motivated by her hunger rather than any real desire to learn. It had whispered in her ear that there were thousands of people at the university and surely one of them would approve of her enough to satisfy her craving. Upon her arrival, she had circled the Student Center like a shark searching for its next meal. She was seeking the person or group who could heap enough praise on her.
In an attempt to spread her net far and wide, Sally joined every club on campus. There wasn't a single campus event that she missed even if it meant that she went from one to the next spending as little as five minutes at each. Her schedule was so tight that she occasionally had to miss classes. Her grades suffered, but praise for good grades was rare on a university campus.
It wasn't long before she realized that her initial strategy of joining in with socially active people wasn't working. Smart people weren't impressed by the shallow claims of cleverness that often popped out of her mouth. The ambitious wouldn't lavish praise upon her for her accomplishments but would point out where there was room for improvement. The beautiful wouldn't praise her modest good looks. Trying to be around them had only increased her hunger.
Sally would return from parties devastated at her failure to achieve sufficient praise. Out of five hundred people there, only a handful would even notice her. Maybe one or two people would compliment her for some reason or another. It was never enough. She wanted everyone to turn and applaud her entrance. She wanted the men to be overwhelmed by her beauty, intelligence, and wit. The hunger dreamed of a thousand men groveling at her feet and begging for her favors. She wanted the women to turn green from envy. According to her hunger, even envy was a form of praise.
Unsatisfied by the results of her hectic social life, she changed her strategy. Sally decided that the people she would pursue in her search for praise would not be the best and the brightest. She would chose the easy path and go after the dregs of university society. The losers, deadbeats, and dropouts would praise her. She was sure that they would have to see how much better she was than them.
Even the dregs hold parties and Sally managed to be invited to as many as possible. The morning after one of those parties, Sally woke in her bed with the taste of sour wine in her mouth. Her stomach boiled in memory of all the wine she had consumed the night before at the lame excuse for a party. She ran to the bathroom barely making it before her body tried to purge the toxins produced from consuming too much alcohol. Her ass burned as memories of the previous evening returned to her.
Sally arrived at the party ready to be the center of attention. Of course, this party could barely be considered as such except by someone with a generous nature and an overactive imagination. Four guys and a girl were sitting around the living room of a decrepit house drinking beer out of long necked bottles. There wasn't even any music playing in the background. Conversation was little more than trading insults.
Sally knew the four guys, but she didn't recognize the girl. She automatically compared herself to the girl. The girl was wearing blue jeans and a tube top. With her greasy brunette hair, Sally pegged the girl as trailer park trash. In comparison, Sally was wearing white thigh high stockings, a short skirt that ended three inches above the top of her stockings, and a shirt that stopped well above the top of her skirt while being cut low enough to show off the swell of her breasts. There was lots of opportunity for praise in this situation.
Derrick, smelling somewhat from not having bathed in three days, raised his bottle of beer and said, "Hey guys, Sally is here. Now the party can really begin."
Sally smiled at the suggestion that it wouldn't be a party until she had arrived. It was faint praise and her hunger wanted more. Hoping for a little more attention, she asked, "You were waiting for me?"
Joe grabbed the crotch of his ratty blue jeans and said, "God damn girl, you look good enough to fuck."
"You think so?"
Joe licked his lips and said, "Definitely. You're prime meat, woman."
Bobby, with his low sloping forehead and hairy body, looked like a throwback to caveman days. Rolling his head so that he was looking at the greasy haired girl, he said, "Janet, get that bottle of wine for Sally."
"You get it," Janet said irritated at being ordered around by Bobby.
Bobby threw a pillow at her and said, "Get off your ass bitch and do as I say."
"Why does she get wine and I'm stuck with fucking beer?" Janet asked throwing the pillow back at him.
Holding a joint in his hand, Gary answered, "Because she's got more class in her little finger than you've ever had in your whole life. That's why."
Sally didn't notice the crudeness of their behavior and their rude treatment of Janet. All she cared about was the praise even if it was indirectly aimed at her. It still wasn't enough.
Gary lit the joint and took a drag off of it. He held it up for her, but she waved it off. She didn't need that kind of drug.
Janet climbed out of the chair bitching as she headed to the kitchen. She grabbed a jug of cheap wine from the refrigerator and snagged a glass with the logo of a beer company on it. She dumped them both on the battered coffee table in front of Sally before dropping back into her chair.
Sally took a seat in the cleanest chair in the room although cleanliness was a relative term. She poured herself a glass of wine pleased that they had been so considerate to accommodate her in that manner. This evening would satisfy her hunger; it just had to satisfy it. She raised the glass and said, "Here's to a great party."
Tim looked across the room at Sally and swore he could almost see her panties. He took a swig from his beer, belched, and then said, "Fuck, you are one hot looking bitch."
"Thanks," Sally said wishing they wouldn't be so crude in their compliments. She drank down the entire glass of wine and refilled it.
Joe said, "I bet you're a real good fuck."
"The best you'll ever have," Sally said enjoying being the center of attention. It was a shame that there weren't more people there to appreciate her.
Gary laughed and, curling his fingers as if grasping a cylinder, made a gesture like he was jacking off. He said, "The best fuck Joe has ever had is five fingered Mary."
"Shit, speak for yourself asshole," Joe replied waving his bottle of beer around.
Sally drank some more of the wine enjoying how the men were arguing over her qualities as a sex object. She looked over at Janet feeling very superior. That the men were ignoring Janet in favor of her was another form of praise. Her hunger wanted more attention and Sally wondered if she could get the greasy haired girl to admit her superiority.
Getting pissed at the men, Janet said, "I'll fuck you, Joe."
Taking the joint from Gary, Joe looked over at Janet and then at Sally. He took a toke on the joint and held his breath. When he released it, he said, "I'd rather fuck Sally."
"That prissy bitch doesn't know the first thing about fucking," Janet said with disdain.
Sally smiled at the obvious jealousy that Janet was demonstrating. The evening was turning out very good. She had five people focused on her. She took a drink of wine and then said, "Joe doesn't seem to agree."
.... There is more of this story ...