Friday 16 November 2012

#FridayFlash - Shallow

Candles burn low on the table, the remains of dinner still clinging to the plates. Music plays in the background, some arty jazz rubbish I don't recognise. We occupy the sofa, all arms and legs. She tucks a strand of long green hair behind her ear, leans in and gives that knowing smile.

"I'll just slip into something more comfortable."

Eight words later, she's decked out in a scrap of black satin and lace, ink on show in the few places it's not covered by Agent Provocateur's finest. She was a good find at the club, one of my best yet. Hardy's doesn't seem her kind of place but I'm not going to question it when she's sat on my lap.

Three months on, we're sat on the sofa. She's telling me about her day, only I'm not really listening. I'm thinking about that slip of a negligee, wondering when she'll get it out again. She tries to get my attention, but I'm too busy ignoring her new black bob. She tries to tell me she's getting a promotion. I smile but I don't mean it. I suppose this promotion means more business suits and sensible haircuts.

She shifts position again, tugging at the waistband of her skirt. It's grey and sexless, but she tells me it's designer. Some Italian guy whose name I can't pronounce. A white blouse covers most of her tattoos, and delicate silver studs replace the hoops and spikes in her ears, now hidden by that awful hairdo. She leans toward me.

"I'll just slip into something more comfortable."

My heart leaps to think of the black negligee and I settle myself on the sofa. She comes back downstairs in a faded sweatshirt and mismatching pyjama bottoms. I take one look at the fluffy slippers and I forget why I'm there. She goes into the kitchen to put the kettle on and I take the opportunity to leave. I won't be back.

I think I might stop in at Hardy's on the way home.


Helen A. Howell said...

Sad - she's matured and he hasn't. That first excitement experienced in a new relationship can't be kept up all the time, its just not realistic, - one day he'll realise - it's obvious he didn;t love her.

See nice piece of writing got me going! ^_^

Larry Kollar said...

Such a promising start, such a disappointing ending (to the relationship, not the story). The title was perfect for this story. The sad thing is, she'd probably have gone with the negligee if he'd asked. Great little slice of life here.

John Wiswell said...

Her last something-more-comfortable made me smile. Don't care what the narrator thinks - she probably ought to dump him with a mind like that, even if he is on his way out with no return, unless he's in an unusual mood - I enjoyed her vision of something comfortable.

Tony Noland said...

Three months from Agent Provacateur to slouchies? Ouch.

Sulci Collective said...

weird I read it first time and had the impression the narrator was a woman... I think it was knowing what Agent Provacateur was that led me to that conclusion. But it works either way I feel?

marc nash

Steven Chapman said...

"faded sweatshirt and mismatching pyjama bottoms" sounds pretty hot actually :D

Great story, Icy.

Anonymous said...

I love some of the descriptions and phrasing you use in here: all arms and legs, 8 words later, grey and sexless. I really liked this one, Icy.

Icy Sedgwick said...

Helen - He's not exactly the mature type.

Larry - Thought I'd do something for a change.

John - That's the kind of thing I slop around the house in!

Tony - Well when you've had to wear uncomfortable business attire all day...

Marc - I know plenty of men who know what Agent Provocateur are. Interesting that you thought it was a female narrator.

Steven - Thanks!

Danni - Thought I'd try something new. I don't often write this sort of stuff.

Virginia Moffatt said...

I knew they were doomed the minute she put on that suit. Beautifully told

Stephen said...

Hi there Icy -- did like the line 'We occupy the sofa, all arms and legs.'

Faded sweatshirt and mismatching pyjama bottoms? Pink fluffy slippers? He/she missed a good night in right there. I sense cocoa and good TV.


Tim VanSant Writes said...

I really like this one and I love the line, "We occupy the sofa, all arms and legs."

Steve Green said...

Nice writing as always Icy.

Maybe if he tried listening occasionally, and being happy for her success their relationship would improve.

Somehow I get the feeling that she won't miss him that much.

Anonymous said...

I suspect she's better off without him.

Anonymous said...

There's something inherently sexy about pyjamas, however I digress. The character's voice is fab, focused only on the physical appearance which you've captured so well.
Adam B @revhappiness

Icy Sedgwick said...

Virginia - I don't think he likes the idea of someone not being at his beck and call.

Stephen - He's missed out on a lot of things!

Tim - Thanks!

Steve - I don't think he'll ever be happy until he's got someone who'll only ever put him first.

Sonia - On definitely!

Adam - Thank you. I don't often write like this so I thought I'd give it a go.

Kath said...

Ah. I enjoyed this. It's a bit of a different kind of story for you and you did it really well. I loved the image of them as they "occupy the sofa, all arms and legs" and I can't help feeling that, even though he's the one leaving, she's the one who's actually moving on with her life.

Cat Russell said...

Guess that they both wanted something different from the relationship. Too bad he just wasn't honest with her.

William Lailey said...

I don't even think he would want someone who "puts him first." The lines: "She was a good find at the club...." suggest that he's mainly in this for the satisfaction of conquest. The Agent Provocateur negligee is just validation. If she gave him what he wanted, he'd also run off. So, she's actually quite a strong character: she gets on with her life, changes on her own timetable, and doesn't conform, despite the fact that *he* thinks she is conforming just because she changed her hair. I enjoyed the depth in this story.

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