‘Blood spurted across the white laboratory floor as the crocodile ripped Geoff’s calf muscle from his leg.’
Wow, what a book I need a break from it, there’s only so much gore I can take in one sitting. I’ll load it onto my cloud app. I can read it again when I’m bored in work. It’s not a book I can curl up on the sofa with over a steaming mug of coffee.
I’ll get up, do a bit of housework and then pick another book, for said coffee break. I’ve got yellow jaundice so on enforced leave from work. I’m waiting to wake up like Marge Simpson. I’ve already got the hair sorted, just need a blue rinse. The only symptoms I can see are my eyes look a bit watery and I’m tired, but I haven’t turned yellow yet. I’ll strip the bed I think, nothing like sliding in between fresh clean sheets. I especially grew fond of this experience, when Malcolm left, one of the few pros of being single, the bed to your self. Why did I have to start thinking of Malcolm? Sweet, poetry loving, Malcolm, I haven’t been able to burn all his offerings to me yet. I was his muse for a time. His first one with my name in the title was ‘Sara My Reason for Living.’ I’ve heard his latest is called ‘Sara My Reason for Dying.’
I hear the roar of an engine. It sounds like it’s going to burst in through the front door. I look out the window and this huge motorbike is in next door’s garden. It’s rider in no way cowed by its size, the bike seems to fade into the background as I stare at the man stepping off it. He hasn’t removed his helmet yet, but his leather clad thighs and muscled tattooed arms have me riveted. He’s the total opposite of what I usually go for but maybe that’s exactly why I’m still looking. I’ve decided to step out of my comfort zone lately, to help me get over Malcolm. Too much alcohol and late nights, are the reasons I’m imprisoned at home, right now. I was a cuddle up in pyjamas, eating takeaways type with Malcolm. I never noticed until too late that I was retiring to bed first, and that he came up hours later. I’d put it down to his artistic temperament, that he needed the time alone to write. It never dawned on me that he just didn’t want to go to bed with me. He told me just before he left that he used to wait for my snores to sneak in. I digress, back to the present and Mr. Leather.
I’m willing him to take of the helmet, so far everything about him screams to me of sex. Ripping clothes off, smash me against the wall, hard, sex. The polar opposite of sex with Malcolm, oh fuck off, he’s invading my fantasies now. I’m biting my lip waiting, excited, slowly he takes it off and I gasp. His hair so closely shaven, nearly but not quite a skinhead, a goatee and I think I catch the glint of a piercing or two. Oops, I jump back away from the window as his gaze looks upward. I never got to see his eyes probably just as well I’m already hot and bothered.
I return to the window and sigh. He’s gone. I dash downstairs and listen for any inkling of this gorgeous man. I’ll risk a walk to the shops later, even though I’m supposed to be in quarantine. I’m apparently contagious. Mrs. Barry knows, everything, about everyone. She’ll fill me in. What to wear? You never know who I could bump into on my travels. I may as well dream here as in bed.
I climb aboard my bike, a nifty two wheeler the most dressed up I’ve been in months. I’ve skin-tight jeans on. Well, they were loose until I ate my way into my comfort zone with Malcolm. High heels, made up to the nines, hair is already bleeding sticking to my lipstick. Who knew how difficult it is to cycle in high heels? The slightest breeze is causing my eyes to water, which makes my mascara run. Mrs. Barry rushes out to greet me. She hasn’t been able to pummel me for information for a while. I must seem like fresh meat.
“Hello, Sara dear. Come on in.”
“Thanks, Mrs. Barry.”
“Here’s a tissue, you look like you’ve been crying. Is everything okay.”
“Oh no I’m fine it’s just a bit windy out there, got into my eyes, on the bike.”
“Hmmm, well you should have worn your helmet dear.”
“Very true, I was wondering if you had the latest copy of ‘Ireland’s Own’, you know now and again, I like to dabble in writing, they’ve a competition this month, I think.”
“Fair play, Sara. I can barely write my name.”
“Oh, Mrs. Barry I bet you could, actually you might be able to help me with something else.”
“If I can of course I will.”
“I noticed some activity at Mr. Brown’s yesterday just wondering do you know who he’s renting it out to.”
“Why yes, some lecturer fellah, into philosophy, or such like.
“Oh really, the person I saw didn’t seem the lecturing type, more like a heavy metal fan.”
Before she could answer the doorbell chimed to let her know another customer had arrived.
I knew before she came back in that the customer had to be male, she was giggling like a schoolgirl.
“Sara, you won’t believe it. This is your new neighbour, Paul.”
I’m afraid to turn around and look, in case anything I see is a pale imitation of what I’d spent all morning fantasizing about. I want to pout and roar as a ravishing, sexy tigress but my head is fluffy and dreamy, like a sheep meek and ready to be taken.
“Hello, Sara. Nice to meet you.”
I look up and meet the most fabulous eyes, hazel with a tinge of green. The longest eyelashes, no amount of mascara I could use would match their length and thickness. I can feel myself melting and to hide my discomfort, answer brusquely, grab my magazine and run out. Two separate men in one day, geez. What the hell is wrong with me? Am I having an early mid-life crisis? Am I desperate for attention from a man, any man, jaysus. Sara you need to cop on and fast.
I cycle home as fast as my high heels will allow me. Cringing every time I think of how I acted. The fact that I found him physically attractive really pushed me over the edge. My mother’s right I’m going to end up surrounded by cats, cats and vibrators. That reminds me my mother’s due with my shopping today she’ll have a canary if she sees me out. No sign of her car, great.
I run in and remove any trace of make-up and tie up my unruly hair, which means grab a mop of curls and twist a band round it and hope for the best. Looks okay, for mothers eyes anyway, I’ll pass. So have I got two dishy new neighbours, oh my, just my luck, there probably together. The hells angel and the philosopher, cool mix, which means I haven’t a hope. Paul had to be the lecturer, clean shaven, no piercings, and a suit. All these strange happenings might help me pen a story. I really did like to chance my arm now and again. Malcolm and I met in a Creative Writing Workshop, but he took it a lot more seriously than I did. It’s one of the reasons we moved to Cork as they had a fledgling community of poets in Fermoy. There was a festival every year. It appealed to him as he was convinced he was going to get published and could see himself reading to a packed pub. Sara, for fuck sake, does every thought you ever have, lead you back to Malcolm. It’s time to let go once and for all.
I’m jolted out of my musing by the arrival of my mum’s car. She means well but drives me batty. She’ll run around cleaning the already clean house, administering doses of motherly advice as she goes. She sweeps in flowers and comics in hand.
“Hello, darling. How are you?”
“I’m fine, mum and you?”
“I’m great, run to the boot and bring your shopping in, my arthritis is playing up a bit.”
I’m overcome with a wave of guilt which I often experience when my mum’s around.
“Okay, mum, sit down and I’ll make you a cup of tea.”
“Thanks, but shopping first, there’s stuff in there for your freezer.”
“Okay but sit down, everything’s fine here. Take the weight of your feet.”
I go out and she’s thought of everything right down to the copy of Ireland’s Own, with a post-it attached ‘write, something dear, it will keep you occupied, and you’re good.’ I don’t deserve her.
I have my keys in my mouth, and am laden with bags when I push myself back in through my front door.
I hear my mum tittering.
“What’s this one? I like it.”
“That’s a chimera.”
Who on earth is she talking to? What about?
“Ah, here’s Sara now, I’m sure she will be delighted. Paul has brought you some food, dear; I’m just admiring his tattoos.”
“Here, let me help you with those. Mrs. Barry was filling me in on your illness, so I made you some chicken soup. She said you have a weakness for chocolate, so I got you a bar or two.”
I’m speechless. I look over at my mum and think she’s hyperventilating. She keeps pointing at me and him and smiling.
“How did you get in?”
“I slipped over the dividing wall and rang the bell, sorry, I didn’t realize you were out at the car. I seem to can’t help startling you, Sara. You’re mum kindly let me in.”
I can feel my self blushing from my hairline to my toes. I’ve just realized the gorgeous man, and the biker are the same person. He just looked completely different in a suit. He’s standing here in a tshirt; it says cyber-punk and goes with his whole biker look. Those beautiful eyes from earlier are smiling right at me. “Sara, it’s no bother we’re properly introduced now. I hope to be a good neighbour, so anything you need, do let me know.”
“Sure, thank you, and vice versa.”
“I’ll leave you and your mum. I’ve taken up enough of your time. I hope you enjoy the soup. Don’t bother walking me out, see you around Sara.”
“He likes you, I can tell and I can also tell Sara dear, that you like him. It’s about time you moved on. Malcolm is long gone and good riddance to him.”
“Mum, he’s just been neighbourly.”
“Mark my words Sara you’ll be sneaking around with him long before you tell me about it. I’m delighted.”
“Okay, mum, keep on dreaming.”
“Well, Sara I’m going to leave you now because you’re going to decide what you will be wearing when you next meet Paul, and sorting out your hair.”
She winks and plants a kiss on my cheek, leaves humming, already picking her wedding outfit, I bet.
When I’m sure she’s gone I let out a high pitched squeal. I definitely think there’s a spark. I have to find the match.
There’s a note on my hall floor. It’s an invite to Paul’s for dinner at eight. It states that we’re both too old for game playing and that he finds me sexy as hell. Knock anytime from half seven onwards.
I’m not offended in the least by the assumption that I just will. I’m already picturing myself in my little black dress.
Sara, let the good times begin.