A while ago, last year, I did a stint of volunteering with the YMCA shop in town. All the work I did was back in the stockroom, which was actually fun - even when I was on my own.

So I was returning to this place for the first time since the Great Hiatus, in November. There had been some changes to the personnel - including someone new, called Caroline. Beautiful woman. I smiled the first moment I saw her.

She, however, did not. As a matter of fact, for some reason she froze up on me, her arms crossed, her stance and expression defensive. 'I've heard about you. You have a reputation among the ladies. You're a bit of a Casanova. A womaniser. A seducer.'

She even refused to shake my hand, in case it was a come-on or something.

Now I know that there is always one thing one can do when faced with someone on the defensive, to make them open up. Surprise them.

I surprised Caroline, by ignoring her and turning to the boss. I was to go up to the stockroom and begin helping the staff up there to clear out some of the broken bric.

A while later, in the stockroom, I was sorting out books on the bookshelves when I heard someone approaching me. Caroline. Still with her arms folded, looking defensive.

Apparently, she had been sent up to collect some videos to display on the shop floor; but I could see how uncomfortable she was with the whole business of talking to me, in case I tried it on. And I kept it professional and businesslike, much to her shock and - by the look on her face - disappointment.

I asked her if she had seen the bookshelves. She told me she hadn't. So I asked her for a small favour; as she was taller than I am, I asked her to get a book from the top of the shelves - something she could do with far less awkwardness. As she took to the steps, I went into the staffroom to prep a cup of tea, to show her that I was keeping well away from her, so no shows of grabby hands to worry about.

Presently, I heard her coming up behind me. She had the book in her hands. She'd brought it down; but instead of just leaving it on a lower shelf, she wanted to hand it to me personally. As she passed me the book, I felt her fingers brush my hands.

I put the book down, and stood very close to her to thank her. She had a different expression on her face, now. Not defensiveness. Curiosity. I asked her if she wanted to know what it was like. She asked me "What what is like?"

I leaned closer to her to whisper in her ear. I caught her breathing; it was ragged, heavy, Her face was flushed. I knew that if I felt her pulse, her heart would have been hammering.

And that is as far as I got.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Tell me of your dreams here.