I could have cried
“Stop doing that!”
I’d lost count of how many times I’d told my sister to stop kicking the counter. It was bad enough that I was there cashing in my giro but she still wasn’t paying any attention. Selective hearing my mum used to say but we’d been to the doctor so I knew she could hear as well as I could.
“Elaine, do that one more time and I’ll-“ and that’s when I saw him, so I changed lanes, his was the longest but it was no surprise. And all women except from old Mr Rogers and he didn’t mind being behind him as I meant I got to see ‘him’. He was new, and as we waited – I was ignoring Elaine by now which she didn’t like but I didn’t care.
I did wish I’d put on something pretty instead of my dungarees. And when he wasn’t looking, I pulled the bow out of my hair. Well, bows are for children, aren’t they?
I started making up names for him – he reminded me of Charlton Heston from that Ben Hur movie except he had more clothes on… bummer. But I imagined him all muscley and sweaty, and racing chariots around in circles with people cheering him on. I’d cheer for him. “Go on, Barry!” I’d say. Well, Charlton’s a silly name, isn’t it?
Then it was just Mr Rogers, me and ‘him’. I stood left a bit so I could see over Mr Rogers’ shoulders and close enough to hear their conversation – boring of course – but his voice… Barry’s not Mr Rogers’, was sexy, like caramel, all dark and rich. He was dark too, like he’d been on the beach too long.
Then when Mr Rogers finally left, my heart started beating. I could see Barry’s blue eyes up close. I stepped forward, about to speak when he completely ignored me and pulled his blind down. ‘Closed’ it said, as if to rub it in. Then I watched him walk behind his colleagues – that was back when the post office had more than one person serving – and head out the door… in my direction! He smiled. I smiled. He brushed his hands through his gelled hair. I wished I’d washed mine. Then he opened his mouth to speak. “Hi,” he said and I went to reply but saw he was looking through me. I turned round and saw my teacher, Mrs Evans smiling back at him.
Mrs Evans. She’s supposed to be married, only last month, not long back from her honeymoon. And Barry’s half her age.
Then they kissed right in front of me! I was going to say something but then Barry, or whatever his name is, said, “I love you Mrs Evans.” I couldn’t believe it so I stood there open-mouthed. Elaine was pulling at my dungarees but I still ignored her.
Then Mrs Evans spoke. “I love you more, Mr Evans.”
I could have cried.
Picture above courtesy of morguefile.com.
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