Casual Specs by Carla Kovach
Tap, tap, tap.
She looked up at him over her glasses. They were black-rimmed vintage. She had a glossy Forties ‘Victory Roll’ hairstyle and a blood red pout.
Standing, she swayed over to the filing cabinet. As she bent down her pencil skirt clung tightly to her rear. He imagined himself walking up to her, grabbing her and stumbling back in a flustered mess into the Manager’s office and – slam… She closed the cabinet and smiled as she turned. He was sure she winked. Rosalind – or Rosie as she preferred was at least forty five but she was hot.
He tried to call Angela one more time – no answer. Where she was he didn’t know. It was these disappearing acts that had pushed him over the edge, fuelled his distant fantasies. He had texted her several times that day but she hadn’t replied. It started with the new clothes, then the matching underwear at forty quid a set. She hadn’t even worn matching underwear on their wedding night!
Only last night she’d returned home smelling of another perfume. It wasn’t her usual ‘Poison’, the one she’d worn since nineteen eighty nine. It was something sexier. It was a smell he recognised as half of the women in the Company wore the same perfume. He’d searched everywhere for the box but she’d hidden the evidence well.
“Rosie.” She looked up, removed her glasses and placed the end of one arm seductively in her mouth.
“Yes?” she replied
“May I ask what perfume it is you’re wearing? Only I think my wife might like some. It’s her birthday soon.”
Rosie took the glasses out of her mouth and put them back on.
“Chanel Number 5. Is that all I can help you with?” she pouted. He stared at her. Why wasn’t his wife answering? What had gone so wrong that he was drooling over his new co-worker in such an embarrassing way? Several times that week he’d been rendered speechless in her company, several times. When was the last time Angela had kissed him goodbye in the morning or spoke to him about anything other than their spoilt, money sucking, grown up kids? He’d cooked a shank of lamb and bought her a new vegetable steamer the previous week in order to spice things up. But steamy it did not get. In fact she declared she’d been vegetarian for months – so the lamb was a bad move too. Since when had she packed up eating meat?
“Jack? Are you alright?”
He immediately sat up straight and wiped the drool from his chin. Blushing and hot, he picked up a Purchase Order and held it against his face in an attempt to cool down. “I’m good. All good. Just a bit warm in here,” he called back as he fanned the paperwork in front of his face. He glanced at the clock, it was nearly six. They were the only people left in the building. He wondered why Rosie hadn’t left at five. Then he wondered why he hadn’t.
“If you’re a bit warm why don’t you take off your sweater?” she said as she took her glasses off and smiled. He stared as she toyed with the arm once again in her mouth.His hands shook as he unquestionably pulled his sweater over his head revealing a crumpled shirt and Simpsons tie.
“Oh look at you,” she said as she walked over to him and ruffled his hair. “You’re sticking up. We can’t have you going back home like that; your wife might get the wrong idea.”
“Yes, she might.” he said with his eyes closed. He continued to feel her touch long after she’d stopped. He still felt the light scratch from her long nails. The skin on the back of his neck prickled. She started to stroke his hair and then rub his neck. Was this just another of his fantasies? Would he open his eyes to her staring at him whilst he was drooling again? If it was a dream, he didn’t want to open his eyes. The fantasy would be over then. He needed it, he needed an escape. “I need it,” he mumbled.
“You do?” she whispered. Jack opened his eyes abruptly to see her sat directly in front of him on his desk, playing with his hair. He looked up at her expectantly, hands shaking. She slowly took off her glasses and placed them in his in-tray before leaning down and kissing him passionately on the lips. He responded immediately by stroking her back as he stood.
“I need it too,” she whispered as she nibbled his ear.
He drew her face toward his and kissed her red lips hard. He looked back at her and her lipstick had smeared around her chin. He wiped his mouth and the back of his hand was stained deep red. She kissed him and dragged him across the room toward the Manager’s office. How had she known? How could she have known? She was his perfect woman. He inhaled her smell, her perfume reminding him of Angela’s lies, making him feel justified in his actions. He deserved this – he wanted Rosie. He’d never wanted anyone so bad.
As they stumbled through the door she undid his tie not once averting her gaze. Then she unbuttoned his shirt.
Nervous, he hadn’t really prepared for this. Was he sweating? Was he too hairy or did she like more hair? She slowly undid her blouse to reveal a lacy cream bra. They fumbled and laughed like a pair of naughty teenagers until they found themselves on the Manager’s desk, cloths peeling off and been flung everywhere. First to fall was the desk tidy full of pens, then the stapler. Then the Manager’s wedding photo, followed closely by his stress balls. The ‘daily waste report’ stuck to her back and a bulldog clip hung from her hair.
Bang. The door burst open and Angie stood there. As he pulled away from Rosie, his unbuttoned trousers dropped from his thigh to his ankles. Rosie grabbed the other half of the report and held it in front of her chest. What to do, what to do. Flustered, Jack readjusted his pants, stepped away from Rosie and forced his trembling hands to grasp his waistband and pull his trousers back up. Picking up his jacket he awkwardly flung it in Rosie’s direction where it neatly hung off her head. Angrily, she wrenched it off and flung it to the floor.
He could feel heat rising up his chest, up his neck before it finally reached his face. He stared at Angie, she stared back. She stared at Rosie, Rosie looked away. “Angie, I didn’t mean-” He started to say. His sentence trailed off, he’d never seen such fury in the eyes of the woman he had married.
Without warning, Angie swiftly walked across the office, rage in her eyes as she drew her hand back. Jack flinched waiting for the slap. With tightly closed eyes he waited and then he heard it. Ouch. It didn’t hurt. How come he hadn’t felt it? He opened his eyes and Rosie stood there with a burning red left cheek. “How dare you do this to me Rosie, I thought we had something special?” Angela yelled.
Jack held his head, confused, mouth dry. So that’s what his wife had been up to. No apologies to be made. He was a cheat, she was a cheat; even Rosie was a cheat. He stood, did his trouser buttons up and walked to his desk whilst the two women argued.
Angela then stormed towards the door, “And as for you,” she pointed, “don’t come home tonight or I’ll steam your balls with your stupid steamer and feed them to our non vegetarian dog,” she yelled as she stormed out.
Rosie shrugged her shoulders as she walked out of the Manager’s office. She never said a word as she dressed. She shut down her computer, touched up her make-up and walked towards the exit. “You forgot your glasses,” Jack said as he picked them from the in-tray and held them out.
She casually took them from his hands and started to suck the arm, “Sorry Jack. It was a fun afternoon, wasn’t it?”
He grinned, it was too much to take in. “I suppose it was. I found out the truth about Angela too.” He paused as she stood there, waiting to be dismissed. “You know I actually liked you but I suppose all we ever had was ‘casual specs’.” He smiled, then he chuckled, then he howled with laughter. He carefully took her glasses from her hand and placed them neatly on her face. His hysteria settled back down and his smile vanished. “Thank you. You’ve made me feel alive. I haven’t felt like that for a long time.”
She smiled as she did up her jacket before kissing him gently on the cheek. Picking up her bag, she then left.
Rosie never went back to work the next day. She got a job modelling glasses for Specsavers; the brochures are meant to be out later this year. Jack took a year out from work and decided to stay in Kerala, India in a bid to boost his self-confidence. He now works in a café making Bubble and Squeak Patties which are talked about all over the resort. Angela has gone back to smelling of poison so the kids say. They sold the steamer on E-bay before Jack left for £13.59 and the feedback rating was average. The proceeds from the sale were passed on to their money sucking grown up kids.
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