I found this site- Storytelling Sunday through my friend Mitra's blog and thought I'd try my hand at a story. It has to be about something precious this week.
The sharp wind whipped around her legs as she stood waiting by the Rotunda in Birmingham. She felt the chill of early evening, dressed in her 3” stiletto heel, gun metal grey shoes, barely black stockings and a pencil black skirt she’d made that weekend. The wind pierced through her black and white dog tooth check coat and she was wishing she’d put her knee high black boots on too. Grateful for her black leather gloves and black beret to keep her head and hands warm she walked up and down while she waited, looking in the shop windows. There was a 2 week art exhibition advertised in the window of one of the empty shops and the lights were on to show they were still open.
She checked her watch again; Di’s always late she thought, I’ll wait inside the exhibition if it’s empty. Opening the door slowly she glanced around. There didn’t appear to be anyone there. Great she thought, I can wait in here out of the cold and still see Diane, when she arrives.
A voice suddenly disturbed her thoughts. Hi there, have you seen anything you like? She turned quickly, embarrassed that she’d been caught out. Sorry, I’m just waiting for my friend to meet me, she said, gazing into velvety brown eyes, set in a rugged face and topped by a knitted hat revealing long unruly black hair. He smiled at her, a warm sunny smile which reached his eyes and made her feel warm inside.
She smiled back, then caught her breath in surprise when she saw an unfinished charcoal drawing on an easel, behind the young man. The image was so striking, a young woman with a black and white check coat and a black beret. Her hair was blowing in the wind but she had a sad, expression in her eyes.
Is that supposed to be me she asked haltingly, not believing what she was seeing? Yes, he answered, I hope you don’t mind, I was watching you through the window. He’s a lucky bloke, who ever he his, and he’s late? You are too pretty to look so sad.
She laughed, Oh no, I am waiting for my girlfriend, we always go dancing to the Locarno on Tuesday, straight from work. We meet here and walk the rest of the way together, her boss must have delayed her. He is nice, she thought, not a bit like her boyfriend, Ken, to look at, he had blonde hair in a quiff like James Dean, and steely grey/blue eyes. Ken had been angry that she was going dancing again. He didn't dance and didn't like her going out with her friend. It was only once a week and he did what he wanted all the time so she had disobeyed him. She was still worried he'd find out.
He watched her as she checked out the paintings near the window, saw her pull off her glove then find her hankie from her bag. As she put it back the glove dropped to the floor. He bent forward to pick it up noticing her bare ring finger. Good he thought she’s definitely not spoken for. Standing, he reached towards her with the glove, he was about to ask her to go out with him, when something slipped from the glove and tinkled to the floor. She heard it fall too, bent quickly to retrieve it, then thanked him. Thank you so much for finding my engagement ring, she said. It’s loose and keeps falling off into my glove. The smile died on his lips as he handed back the glove. That’s ok, your friend has just arrived, you’d better go.
Jean Green 2013
That was 50 years ago when I was a young girl in the early 1960's.
I still have the black leather gloves and often wander about the young man with the velvet brown eyes!