Friday, 12 April 2013

The retrophiliac

This was an image writing prompt from the tumblr site marked #deathcab.
The retrophiliac.
She may be young but she only liked old things.
Tim didn’t need her to tell him that; it was obvious from her love of second hand clothes. Vintage, Jenny would call them. She wore her long hair in a style that had an arched up bit at the front that went up from her forehead, curled over and was held in place with a comb pushed in the back of it. He had watched her do it one day. It looked effortless and it made her look like an Andrew sister, if that was the name of those girls who sang the boogie woogie bugle boy and other songs of that era.
She held the rest of her hair tied neatly at the nape of her neck with a large colourful bow that usually matched her dress. She always wore dresses. She had slim legs and lovely ankles and he had amused himself for ages one day, imagining what she would look like in pants. They’d be those Gidget style tapered leg pants, not jeans. He could not imagine her in jeans. She was a girl of the 40’s and 50’s.
Today, her hair scarf was red to match the large red flowers of the floral print on her dress. She had a matching green cardigan and red court shoes. She looked perfect; but then she always did. Tim loved her with a silent passion.
He watched her clear out her in tray and wipe off her desk. She did it every afternoon but it was Friday and that gave things an added intensity.
If he stayed after she had left, he hated to put a file in her in-tray; he felt guilty that he had messed it up. He left her a note on a small piece of paper. It looked less cluttered to him. She had chuckled merrily the first time he explained it to her.
She looked… happy and excited.
“Got a date tonight?” he asked.
“Yes.” She gave him appraising look. “Do you want to come?”
“On your date?” he squeaked.
“You can join us for drinks to start. He won’t mind. He’s always asking if I have work friends.”
“Oh.” He was trying to think how to answer her. He really wanted to go, but felt as if he would be intruding. But she wouldn’t have asked him if she was worried about that. “Okay,” he agreed. “I’d love to.”
His desk phone rang and he answered it. She made hand motions that indicated she was going to powder her nose. He nodded and starting writing down the file number. By the time she came back he had found the file and confirmed that the payment had been made.
It was after six and getting dark outside when they left. They walked across the road and down to the nearest hotel. Drinks in hand they made their way to the back bar. It was her favourite; it had a jukebox. She stood in front of it tapping her foot and pressing her selections while he sat at a table, sipped his beer and looked around.
A man stopped next to their table. Tim looked up and then looked up some more. The man was huge. He had long straight blond hair that fell below his shoulders and was parted down the centre. His eyes were a piercing light blue - almost an icy colour. He wore a vest over a bare chest and he was wearing, honest to god leather pants that laced up at the front.
He opened his mouth to ask what the guy wanted, when she squealed and threw herself at him.
“Tim, this is Ragnar!”
Ragnar? The guy looked tall enough to be half frost giant. Tim stood and held out his hand to shake. He sincerely hoped that the usual show of manly strength was skipped; Ragnar would break every bone without breaking a sweat. His hand was firmly shaken and remained uncrushed. The big man smiled without showing his teeth.
Tim had a friend with bad dental that did that.
They bought a round of drinks and then another as Jenny insisted they wait for her song to come up on the jukebox. The conversation was mostly Tim and Jenny talking about work but Ragnar looked perfectly happy with a pint of ale held firmly in his hand. Tim tried to keep pace with him and that was a mistake; doubly so, on an empty stomach.
When her song came on, Jenny let out an excited squeal. “Dance with me,” she cajoled and dragged Tim to his feet.
He laughed and went with her. The alcohol made him think he was dancing well. At one stage he leaned on her too hard and his hand slipped down to her ass. He found himself held off the floor and making an alarming choking sound.
“Ragnar, put him down!”
“He touched you.”
“We were dancing.”
Tim waved his hands ineffectually.
“You said I could have friends,” Jenny argued.
Tim realised he was being held by one hand at the back of his neck like he was a kitten. It made it worse, somehow.
“Not this one,” Ragnar growled. “He is in love with you.”
Tim wasn’t entirely sure what to say to that. He seemed like the kind of guy who would like for his woman to be adored, but clearly not to be touched. There was no real point to denying it, as if Tim could do anything about it. Ah… he had it. “She doesn’t want me,” he gasped. “She’s mad about you.”
“Of course I am,” Jenny crooned to the Viking. “Crazy in love.” She laughed. “You know I adore old things.”
He laughed and it boomed out. He put his arm out and tucked her in against him.
She leaned into him.
He whispered to her, “And I am very, very old.”
“Oldest thing I have at the big two thousand,” she murmured.
Tim blinked. What the? Did she mean he was two thousand years old? He was a Viking?
“Now put him down and let me kiss you,” Jenny cajoled.
Tim woke up with a bad hangover, a sore neck and no memory of the night before, other than some icy blue eyes that told him he would not remember anything but if he could remember the eyes telling him that, then…? Oh, crap. His head hurt. All he knew was that he was really sure that Jenny liked stuff older than he had previously thought, and that was all.
© AM Gray 2013

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