Short story nominated for “Best Short Story” at the 2011 Creative Communications Media Awards
Tilly strutted through the door and into the party. She closed the door with her knee, her hands occupied with paper bags. Tilly stumbled to the kitchen and plopped down the malleable bags. She delved into the bags and unpacked the cool, sweaty bottles. Tilly then went to the cupboard and reached up, standing on her well-manicured tiptoes, the curvature of transparent lavender material peeking through the bottom of her skirt.
“Um, do you think you could help me,” said Tilly over her slender shoulder that her strappy top had slipped off of.
“Huh?” replied a dazed Tim.
“Um, I can’t reach the top shelf ‘cause I had to take my heels off and like–” said Tilly.
“Yeah,” mumbled Tim staring into his whiskey.
Tim shuffled toward Tilly and brought a frosted martini glass down.
“Oh thank you so much,” she said stepping back and bowing in Tim’s honour.
“Yep,” replied Tim.
Tim picked up his half-empty glass, swirled it, and leaned back on the counter bringing the glass to his thin lips.
Tilly flipped her long hair back, and pushed her chest out as she let out a sigh. “Sooo what’s your name?” she asked.
“Oh cool. So how do you know Shelley and Rick?”
“I work with Rick,” replied Tim.
“Oh cool, well I know Shelley ’cause we went to school together, and then I quit, but then we worked at the mall together for a bit, an–” Tilly trailed off as she concentrated on concocting a fruity cocktail. She looked up to find Tim’s broad pin-striped back facing her. He turned supporting his full glass of whiskey with both hands.
“So yeah, I guess that’s how I know them,” finished Tilly.
“Hey, do you happen to have a smoke I could borrow?” asked Tilly placing her hands on the counter, cleavage rupturing from her ruffles.
“Do you want to go for a smoke?” asked Tim.
“Yeah, that’d be great, I haven’t had one all day, you know I’ve been trying to quit and–”
Tim held up a cigarette as he walked past her with his head down towards the door, and Tilly skipped behind him.
“Light?” asked Tim as he stepped close to Tilly, her bare legs now feeling the front of his pants. Tilly leaned in as she grazed the cigarette along her glossy lips and slipped it in to her mouth. She gazed up through her clumpy eyelashes at Tim as he sparked the lighter with one hand, and with the other blocked any breeze. She then stepped back and rested her figure against the side of the house.
“How well do you know Rick?” asked Tim.
“Well okay I guess, I mean I have known Shelley for a while and,”
“So you just know Shelley then?”
“Yeah I guess then,”
“Cool,” replied Tim.
“You somewhere before this?” mumbled Tim.
Leaning in so she could hear him, Tilly replied, “Oh yeah, I had a few, a couple, mmm probably many drinks just before this with some girls ’cause I’m going out after, hence the outfit you know,” she answered displaying her outfit like Vanna White.
“Nice,” said Tim arching his eyebrows, revealing his deep brown eyes. “You finished?”
“Oh yeah. Thank you so much Tim,” said Tilly with a wide smile.
Tim took her cigarette butt from her hand giving Tilly a slight smile with no teeth, just stretched lips. He threw their cigarette butts aside and motioned his hand forward, guiding Tilly and himself inside.
Tilly grabbed her drink as soon as she got inside and looked back expecting to see Tim behind her. He had his head down, and was heading to the living room.
“Oh hey. Where are you going?” slurred Tilly.
“I just got some friends over here that I need to talk to,” said Tim.
“Oh, okay, yeah, go, I’ll be good over here,” said Tilly holding her martini glass in the air with one hand and pointing to herself with the other.
Tilly turned around and urgently topped up her drink. She pressed into the counter and her shoulders slumped. She caught a reflection of herself in the mirror and stared back into her own glazed eyes covered in shimmer and eyeliner. She smiled, but could not sustain it, as if it was an advanced yoga pose for her face. She fluffed up her teased hair, tugged at her clothes and quickly turned around to face the party again. In her swiftness, she knocked over her fruity red cocktail on to her cropped white skirt.
“Oh shoot. Shoot shoot shoot shoot,” she whispered, attempting to wipe her skirt.
Tilly bounced over to the bathroom to clean herself up. A few seconds after Tilly had closed the door, Tim excused himself from his conversation and calmly walked to the bathroom door, opened it, and entered.
Tilly clambered out of the bathroom. She walked quickly through the party and out the door, leaving her high heels and bottles of liquor. She opened her car that was parked in front of the house with a key she kept in her bra. She looked at herself in the rearview mirror. She tried to smooth her now messy hair, and when she looked down she noticed her top button had been torn off. She ran her fingers under her eyes to remove the makeup and moisture that had gathered. Her wrists ached as she turned the ignition and sped off in her car.
Tim left the bathroom and returned to his conversation.
“Oh Tim, are you afraid of heights?” asked Rick.
“Huh? Oh yeah,” said Tim as he noticed his fly was down. “These things happen,” he said with a grin.