THAT WAS THE DAY I clicked with the girl from Clicks. I didn’t recognise her at first. No, that’s wrong; I did recognise her, but I didn’t know where from; she wasn’t wearing her pharmacist’s uniform. And without her uniform...
She was dressed casually, not fussily, presumably for comfort rather than to impress. Her jeans were faded and worn from use—not bought that way—and her top was a bright mass-produced one you could buy at any common clothing chain like Identity or Jet or Mr Price. Her blue shoes were stylish though.
She smiled at me, a good start. I started; stared; then smiled back.
“What’s wrong?” she asked. I was still trying to work out where she was from.
“Nothing... you’re the pharmacist from Clicks?”
“Yes, and you’re one of my customers. How’s the migraine?”
“Oh, it’s gone now, thanks. You helped.”
“That’s my job.” She smiled again.
“Yes, I suppose so.”
It was at this point that nothing happened. No, that’s wrong; plenty was happening, but we were feeling it, not talking, not moving, just looking at each other and feeling.
“Look, why don’t...” We spoke together; realised what we’d done; looked again at each other; and laughed.
“You first,” I said.
“No, you,” she said.
“Well,” I started again, “what are you doing now? From here?”
“Just girlie things.”
“Shopping, you mean.”
“Uh-huh. Do you want to buy me something?”
“Uh, like what?”
“What girls like. Shoes, jeans, an engagement ring...” I tried to ignore the last item.
“Underwear?” I said.
“That’s what men like. You’re always thinking of undressed women.”
“Me? No, I was joking.”
“You weren’t, but it’s OK. I like a man to be a man.”
“Let’s keep talking,” I said.
We went where we could talk. We went to a café and got a drink. No, that’s obviously wrong. We got two drinks: hers was a juice; mine was an appletiser.
Then we talked. And laughed. And talked. And laughed. And got some other drinks. And discovered we liked similar music, had read similar books, and wanted exactly the same thing.
What was that thing? Well, let’s just say that we spent a lot of time together that day. We looked at shoes and jeans and yes, we stopped by the window of a jewellers where we looked at the rings and laughed and then held hands and went to another shop where I bought her a CD and she bought me a book. We hugged. We kissed. We felt we belonged together. We still do. Because we click. We’re tighter than her pair of faded jeans and the childproof-cap on my bottle of migraine pills from Clicks.
© Kenneth Rowley, 456 words, 27th February 2013. [from 'Short Short Stories']