The Neighbor’s Son
Its Monday the 12th of august and winter is at work; having just completed the day’s most pressing assignment. She’s had a tough day and feels like stretching out on one of the office furniture but doesn’t do it, smiling to herself lightly. She’s upbeat about the remaining five days of the week, already looking forward to the weekend while humming softly to herself.
The shrieking ringtone of her phone cuts her from her imaginary world and she curses loudly. From the desk directly on her right side, Stacy, the office accountant looks up from her work and their eyes meet. They burst into laughter.
Mr. Abdullah stares at them with a puzzled look on his face.
“What’s making you laugh that loudly?” he asks them.
Stacy shakes her head and looks at winter and they burst into new laughter. Abdullah shakes his head and gets back to his work. He doesn’t wait for an answer and they offer him none. Because, quite frankly, they don’t know what they are laughing at. The sound of the shrieking ringtone was enough to elicit such a reaction from them.
Welcome to the world of women.
Where laugher comes so easily to them, anger comes as easily, tears can come at the snap of a finger and generally who can change from one mood to another before you can say the word aha!
Winter recovers from her laughter and receives the call.
It’s her friend lavine.
“Hey, lavine what’s up?” she calls cheerily
“I’ve been good thank you. Just thought to say hi.” Lavine answers happily. “You’ve been too quite.”
“But we only met last week?” winter asks sarcastically and lavine on the other end smiles to herself.
“Yes I know. I was only kidding. Still, it feels like ages. Good to know that you’re fine though. I wanted to inform you there’ll be rugby driftwoods on 24th. Will you be free then? We could attend it together.”
Winter chuckles quietly, knowing they both knew the answer to that question.
Winter chuckles quietly, knowing they both knew the answer to that question.
“Of course I will. I’ll see you there then. Cheers.”
“Cheers,” lavine replies and hangs up.
Its lavine and winter, again.
“I don’t know what I’ll wear to that event.” Winter tells her friend.
“Are you serious? You have a whole wardrobe bursting with clothes! Come on now winter, be realistic for once.”
“Now you are beginning to sound like my boyfriend and I don’t like it. I might be having a few clothes, but I don’t have anything to wear to THIS event. I’m serious.”
“You could wear the blue dress,” lavine offers helpfully.
Winter looks at her unbelievingly and rolls her eyes. “Definitely not that one. I wore it to the other event at msc. Give me a better option.”
“But nobody knows you!” lavine cries, “They won’t even remember you, leave alone that dress. Look at me; I don’t even know what to wear and I’m now confused. That entire psyche is now fading I’m not sure I want to go anymore.”
Winter stares at her friend, surprised by the turn of events.
“Well….I don’t know but… “Winter leaves her statement hanging.
“I know what you’re thinking,” lavine says with a wicked smile. “Let’s do it”
“Do what?” winter asks, feigning ignorance.
“What else? Let’s go shop.”
“Seriously I would wish to but you know-“
“Oh cut the pretense winter I know you want to go shopping, we both know you do. So get your ass off that chair and let’s go buy some stuff. You can’t afford to be looking bad tomorrow what with the entire pretty mama’s that will be in attendance.”
They leave holding hands and behaving like 5yr olds, the idea of shopping exciting them immensely.
It’s at winter’s place and clothes are thrown all over. The phone is ringing and she doesn’t want to see who might be calling, sure it would be her friends trying to ask her if she’s ready.
She goes through her clothes again and now the place is in a big mess.
The phone rings again and she picks it up in a sign.
It’s Erick, their friend who has a ride and was to pick the girls from their homes.
“Hey winter, sorry im late by ten minutes. I might need some more minutes to finish what I’m doing. So don’t fret aye I’ll be there in say thirty minutes.”
“No problem,” winter says, trying to hide the relief from her voice.
She calls lavine.
“Hey lavine where you at?”
“At the salon,” shouts lavine trying to make her voice heard over the dryer’s noise.
“But we were to meet at two,” winter shouts back, secretly happy she wasn’t the one keeping the rest waiting.
“I know and I’m sorry. I’ll be there in like one hour. Let me find you fully dressed and ready.”
Winter still hasn’t dressed. She has taken a shower for the second time due to all the sweating.
She has tried on almost all her clothes in the closet. She puts on the black dress and goes to the living room where Erick is sited, trying not to show his impatience.
“How do I look in this one?” she asks for the umpteenth time.
“Great,” Erick replies, his eyes not leaving the screen. Angry, she snatches the remote from him.
“But you haven’t even looked at it so how do you know it looks great?”
“Because, all clothes look good on you.” He answers sweetly, knowing well he was threading on dangerous grounds.
“That’s a lie. Don’t like to me Erick. Be honest.”
“I’m being honest.” Erick says tiredly.
She storms out and goes to the bedroom, tears threatening to spill. Why is it so hard to choose what to wear? She asks herself sadly. Did the other girls undergo the same? Or was it her weakness.
She removes the black dress and throws it on top of the pile, not sure whether to laugh or cry.
Erick slowly releases the breath he’d been holding and curses silently. He remembers, quite gloomily, about his friends’ tom and peter, already at sports club and having a blast. Ogling at the damsels and merrily drinking alcohol. What the hell was he doing here? He wanted so hard to storm out and join his friends but he resisted the urge. He wanted winter and he would get her by all means.
So he sits there impatiently, tapping on the couch and singing softly to himself. He doesn’t know what to make of the situation. He had taken exactly eight minutes to be ready. Three in the shower, thirty seconds to pick out his jeans, another thirty to select his shoes and the rest applying lotion and cologne. Twenty five seconds to get down the stairs from his flat in fourth floor. He wondered why everyday women would look at their clothes as if they were new ones and take ages to choose which one to wear. Dint they know their clothes? Aren’t they the same ones they wore every day? Plus, yesterday winter had told her she was going to shop for something to wear to the event. So where had the damn clothes gone to??????
He made himself comfortable and closed his eyes, knowing this was going to be one hell of a wait.
She has finally chosen two pieces, from which she would pick one. She again goes to the living room and calls out to Erick to help her chose the best.
“The red one or the purple one?” she asks him.
She moves closer and peeps at him. His eyes are closed and she hears light snoring. She nudges him to wake him. “Red or purple?” she asks him when he wakes up in alarm.
“Purple,” he says aloud, not knowing what exactly purple had to do with anything.
“Aww, she says disappointedly. “I kinda like the red one though. You sure I’ll look good in the purple one?” she asks with genuine concern and Erick can’t help but reach out for her.
“of course I was joking darling, wear the red dress, it looks amazing on you. I just said purple to jest you.” Lavine looks at him with eyes reading pure murder and he wonders what he has said wrong. He evaluates the statement in his mind and almost swears he hasn’t said anything wrong.
He sighs again, cursing why he was born a man.
· * **************
When they finally pick lavine, she bursts into prolonged laughter and winter stares at her murderously. After a while, she finds herself smiling secretly while trying hard to put on a straight face and not join in lavine’s malicious laughter. She can’t help it though, after a while she joins in wholeheartedly.
For winter is wearing none other than the blue dress, the one she wore in the previous event. The one she bashed.
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