Saturday, 11 May 2013


‘I don’t think Xhe has any piercings, actually.’
This was the challenge sentence from a tumblr site called writeworld. I have no title again… sigh. Ah well, I’ll go with piercings. Imaginative, eh?

He was one of her son’s friends. So he was the same age as her son, maybe a touch older. But he was tall; very tall. She had noticed just how tall, when she was walking across the school yard to pick up her daughter from sick bay. He had jogged over, said hello and asked her if was she looking for her son. She had said no, and smiled at him. She was thinking that he was being a good friend.
She had to look up a long way to do it. He was standing very close to her; too close, and truth be told, he was way inside her personal space. As she looked up at him, she realised that he knew it.
And that he had done it deliberately.
She had a moment in which she wanted to step back; away from him.
But she didn’t.
She told him her daughter was ill, and he stepped back and said something about letting her go.
She thanked him. She wasn’t entirely sure for what, maybe just for noticing her. Noticing that she was female. That she wasn’t just a mum.
She thought about that encounter for days. It made her feel … wanted. She had been divorced for years by that time and the whole process had scared her off men and dating.
She made sure to ask her son how Blake was doing. She did it carefully enough not to draw attention, she hoped. He had a big circle of friends. They spent a lot of time at her place and she asked after them all.
And then, Blake had shown up at the door looking for her son. It was raining, and he was soaked through and her son was out. All her kids were out. She invited him in to dry off.
He gave her that same look.
She put his clothes in the dryer. She let him into her personal space.
All of this was going through her mind as she stood at the sink washing up dishes with her daughter.
An endless stream of chatter accompanied her daughter’s dish drying efforts. She was at an age where she had a crush on half of her older brother’s friends. “Blake has been selected on the school basketball team,” she prattled on.
Her mother caught that name among the others and made a small noise that denoted interest.
“Now we can see if he has any piercings. It’ll be really obvious in that uniform.”
“I don’t think he has any piercings, actually,” she said, before she caught herself.
Thank God her daughter didn’t notice.
© AM Gray 2013

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