Crestfallen, I shift away, consoled only with the cancellation of that dreaded exercise program. I’d probably need two paddle pop sticks and a roll of duct tape to get an erection after all the drugs I’d taken anyway. Oh. Hang on, talk of the devil, someone who knows he’s being talked about stirs.
Kristine examines my face. I melt under those beautiful, green eyes. Her intuition explains my change of mood. Instead of getting angry she takes my hand.
“My sexuality shouldn't get in the way of us being friends.”
Friends! That kiss of death as well! Does the woman have no concept of the fantasies she’s destroying? Fantasies a lonely man has spent seasons perfecting and anticipating. Come to think of it, being gay, she may not have a well rounded concept of how men think at all.
What a waste. At around twenty five she’s the same age as my dream girl. The one with the pert arse and big tits.
I gradually acclimatise to the shock. Showing acceptance instead of thinking about lost screwing possibilities would be more mature, but I can’t help the way I’m wired.
One last hopeful chance springs to mind. Maybe she meant ‘friend’ as a come on. Yeah. She could still be a friend to my penis.
“You’re not Bi are you?”
My disbelieving brain throws down useless mouth reins and sits back to watch the show. This unlikely scenario is outside its most extreme probabilities. The cerebellum harries me to the bitter end, scoffing at the desperation. ‘She’s not into you fatty. Get over it.’
Fuck you, brain.
A gentle smile and short laugh from Kristine is confirmation enough. Her face resumes its sad countenance.
“I don't hate men, I'm just not attracted to them.”
I silently berate myself for trying too hard and restart the video to cover an embarrassing silence. Kristine scrubs colour into wet cheeks and pours neat gin, downing it like medicine. Another shot sloshes into the glass. She sinks that one so fast I have trouble matching her. Was this a drinking race? I should warn her I’ve had plenty of practice lately.
No, not a race. Just bracing herself to continue the tale. She waves a tipsy hand at the TV when she’s ready. I mute it.
“We shoodna gone back to the city but it’d been a year and nobody saw a Creep. Never even saw one after the first few months. Shanna and me decided to get our stuff and bring it back. Everyone said we shouldn’t go but George came with us to ‘chaperone’ he says. He’s pretty cool for someone over seventy. We couldn’t talk him out of it. He’s a very nice man was old Georgie.
He had a four wheel drive. We got around the traffic jams. Boy thass was a lot a cars with no drivers. Shumetimes we had to tow stuff out of the way. We got to our house without seeing a Creep. Not even an itty bitty one. Shanna named them Creeps. You know why? Cos they creep around. And they’re creepy. Creepy Creepers.”
She laughs then hiccups. I raise an eyebrow.
“We were packing our shtuff. George was funny. He carries our bags but they’ve got wheels. I liked him. Silly old George. They killed him you know? Did I tell you that already? They killed him and ate him in front of me. I called and called to Shanna but a Creep came out of the house instead of her. She was s’posed to come out...not a Creep...she shoulda come out. They must have...gotten...her. I ran away and hid a lot. Then I met you, Sammy. I met you and here we are, sitten here.”
She slaps my shoulder hard like an old pal.
The massive anti-climax with my name attached startles me out of a semi-doze.
She locks her gaze on the TV. I think she’s done. After a few minutes I turn up the sound. Her head nods and rolls loosely before the movie finishes. She’s out, curled against the arm of the couch like a child who’s stayed up past her bedtime. A full glass falls to the carpet, a spill I’m likely to be blamed for tomorrow. I chuckle to myself at her alcohol intolerance.
I stop chuckling. Her robe has slipped down one shoulder, revealing more than cleavage. A delicate silver nipple ring shines in the light from the TV. The temptation is unbearable.