John looked at her as she undressed. He couldn’t believe his eyes.
When he’d walked into the pub, he’d been looking for just some ale to end a hard day at the shipyard. And had seen her sitting there, drinking, chatting up the young bartender. If the young man at the bar was bored, he didn’t show it. There was something about the woman that intrigued John. He sat on the stool next to her to get a second look without prying. And found her attractive. Looking at her, some unknown, dormant desire coursed through his veins. He felt a sudden longing. She had nice blond hair, and despite the crow’s feet around her rather pale blue eyes, her chin was firm and when she moved her hand forward to reach for her glass, he saw how tight the flesh of her upper arms was. He wanted to touch her firm flesh.
John was 55, nearing retirement, and had no children. His wife had died a couple of years ago. He’d got used to a lonely life, and hadn’t really bothered about women. Moreover, women around his age, where he lived, were fat and unattractive, with mottled arms and sagging thighs. So this woman, who seemed to be in her 50s, had attracted his instant attention. He imagined himself making love to her.
He introduced himself.
She looked at him and smiled. “I’m Jane,” she said.
“Oh, that was my wife’s name,” he said, letting her know he was a widower. That he didn’t usually go around introducing himself to women.
“It’s a common name,” she said, her eyes twinkling. “Sometimes I wish my parents had been more innovative in the selection of a name. Do I look like a plain Jane to you?”
She was flirting with him. John felt an immense surge of pleasure run through. He raised his glass of ale and said, “Well, my wife was pretty too, with the same name.” He thought of his wife for a moment and then let the thought go. He hoped this lady would turn out to be wonderful in bed and, maybe later, in life. But he wasn’t going to raise his hopes too much.
“Thank you,” she said. She accepted the compliment without squirming. “I’m visiting here, staying with Thelma May. Do you know her? She’s a friend.”
John shrugged. He knew Thelma May’s husband, who worked at the same shipyard. He was a boor, and John avoided him at the workplace.
“Don’t have much to do with them,” he said. “I don’t hobnob with people here.” He didn’t want to sound uppity, but even if he came across like that, he hoped she would understand.
“Oh, Thelma is fun. You have to get to know her,” said Jane.
And so the evening had passed and somehow he’d invited her home and she’d accepted. He loved the sight of her in her short navy blue dress, with its zipper down the front, when she stood up and picked up her bag to walk with him out of the pub. He was sure a number of hungry male eyes followed her legs out.
The light in his room was dim. She was undressing in front of him. He loved the sound of the front zipper of her dress opening. As he watched her remove her clothes, desire had sprung like a hungry wolf within him.
But then she slowly began to remove the transparent sticky tapes that encircled her upper arms and the top of her thighs. She removed the one from under her jawline. She pulled back her shining shoulder-length blond hair, revealing a short bob underneath.
Suddenly, she wasn’t attractive anymore. Suddenly, he didn’t want her in his home anymore. She walked up to him, sagging arms, sagging chin, sagging thighs.
“Take me, baby,” she said, puckering her lips.
Desire sagged between his legs. This was no youngish-looking, firm-fleshed blond. All he could think of was how she’d deceived him. He’d known all along he wasn’t interested in any good old plain Jane. His wife had been one.
So, he’d fibbed a bit about how pretty his Jane been. But this Jane, she was making a whole life story out of it.
Abha Iyengar is an award winning, internationally published poet, author, editor, translator, and a British Council certified creative writing mentor. She has flash published in Pure Slush, Flash Frontier, Full of Crow, Door Knobs and Body Paint, Flash Fiction Press and others. She was a finalist in the FlashMob 2013 Flash Fiction contest. Her published works include Yearnings, Flash Bites (flash fiction), Shrayan, Many Fish to Fry (novella-in-flash) and The Gourd Seller and Other Stories.
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