‘It’s closing time’ she said. The old bell jingled as the door swung closed.
‘I’ll only be a minute’
‘Something for your wife, sir’ she said. ‘I could just kick him in the balls with my ‘fuck me’ boots’ Natalie thought.
‘Something like that’ Jim said. The soft cream of her thighs trembled a little as she walked around the display cabinet. Her skirt was very short. He watched her model engagement rings for a young couple pulling out more trays for them to ogle.
‘I thought they’d never leave’ he said
‘We closed five minutes ago’ finally she looked at him.
‘Please Natalie, don’t be like this’ he whined. He hated how she reduced him to this but she was so damn sexy. He reached for her but she stepped away from him.
‘Just give me a chance to explain’
‘There’s no need, really I get it. You’re married. You have kids. It’s fine.’ She walked around the store locking up cabinets and flicking off lights.
‘Look,' she paused her closing up shop duties 'if you really want to get something check out the cases in the window and I’ll even give you a discount, for old times’ she smiled at him then, a sort of lopsided look-at-us smile.
‘You’re the best Natalie. Jim felt foolish but he had to get something or his wife would kill him. He just couldn’t go home empty handed on Valentines. He slipped out to check out the stock in the window and she promptly locked the door behind him. He banged on the door. What was she playing at? ‘Natalie. Open up for Chrissake.’ She walked up to the glass and looked him up and down like some kind of cheap suit. ‘Valentines Day falls on the same day every year, you had twelve months to plan for this but no. You turn up here at the last minute and expect me to look after you. Why? Because you were so good to me? Because the sex was so good? Because of all the gifts and meals out you lavished me with? Idiot.’
She pulled the blind down. Jim waited. She couldn’t stay holed up in there all night and he was going to teach that bitch a lesson. He skulked in the shadows just a few feet from the door. If she thought he was going home with his tail between his legs she had another thing coming.
A tall athletic man in his twenties with blonde highlights strolled up to Natalie’s shop door and rapped. It was a childish type of rat-a- tat – tat. He heard the locks undoing but he couldn’t move. He was glued to his spot in the shadows. Natalie squealed when she saw the flowers Blondie had brought her – she pulled him into the shop. Jim couldn’t help it he just had to watch.
A cardboard display of a newly engaged couple admiring a ring fell to the ground. A tray of sparkling bracelets was swept off the counter. He could see Natalie through the chink beside the blind and Blondie leaning towards her. He was big in every sense and she was loving it. Her panties; a small scrap of lace were thrown to the floor. And the rumble of the stranger and Natalie could be heard out on the street above the noise of the traffic. Jim couldn’t take his eyes away.
His phone rang, it was Fran his wife, he didn’t answer it. ‘Honey, where are you? I thought we were going out tonight? Did you forget to make reservations? Let me know what’s happening’ Jim listened to the voicemail. He was sick with himself. Fran was a good woman. But Natalie was fucking gorgeous. It should be him in there with her sending diamonds flying.
Natalie and Blondie were standing inside the door laughing. He hadn’t noticed the blind going up. Blondie opened the door ‘hey Natalie give the man a break Honey, let him get something for his woman’
‘OK Tom, you’re the boss’ she sniggered.
‘T-thanks’ Jim stammered. Natalie’s knickers were still on the ground. Tom reached past Jim and picked them up. He patted his tight jeans pocket. ‘You don’t mind if I keep a souvenir?’
Natalie giggled and began kissing him very deeply. Jim had to look away. That’s when stepped outside and locked him in. Tom smiled at him through the glass. In his hand was Jims’ phone. It was ringing and Jim could see Fran’s’ face lighting up the screen. Jim slammed his fist against the glass of the door but he couldn’t break it. Natalie gave him a single finger salute before she pulled down the night shutter. He could see Tom talking on his mobile through the chinks in the metal. He handed the phone to Natalie. Jim felt the room spin. His legs grew weak and he slumped to the floor.
‘Could things get any worse’ he thought?
Tom and Natalie stood outside the window laughing and kissing. The phone on the counter started ringing. Jim stumbled over to it.
‘Jim’ it was Fran ‘where are you?’
‘I’m-ah-still in town, I-ah-got delayed, I-ah-wanted to get you something nice for Valentines’ he stumbled out the words.
‘You bastard!’ she hissed furiously.
‘I’ve just been talking to Natalie. She told me everything! How long you were seeing her, how she broke up with you, how you came to see her tonight! Everything! How do you think I got this number to ring you dumb ASS’ Fran screamed ‘I never want to see you again. And another thing you have no kids, you come near us again I’ll get Daddy to kill you.’
Jim sat on the hard industrial carpet looking dumbly at the dead receiver in his hand. ‘Christ’ he thought ‘that was close. She always said she’d get her old man to kill me if I cheated on her.