- Vol. 03
- Chapter 09
A long one, same colour as Kristy’s … and a dark ribbon.” He paused to consider, then held his hands apart in rough estimation. “About yay broad … and yay long.”
Tammy retreated delicately behind the counter and pulled a moue. “Should I ask?”
Connor blushed. “It’s nothing freaky.”
“Maybe the manager would be–”
Connor stepped forward and whispered. “Oh come on, Tammy, there may be a heck of an age gap, but I’m not a friggin psycho.”
Tammy’s hand strayed towards the alarm.
Connor stepped back and gave her distance. He’d obviously misinterpreted faux amiability for friendship. He had no idea Tammy was this paranoid or had such a low regard for him.
He’d never really got ‘life’: that no-one was playing “by the rules” but him – or had a different rule book which dictated that his actions be judged by what they would do – and why – in the same position.
It should have been obvious that if he could opt to give the benefit of the doubt; they could think the worst. Physics really, he mused … equal and opposite reactions in equilibrium. But he wasn’t a physicist. He was an idealist who retained all that child-like hope and optimism for present and future. Maybe it was a generation gap thing.
Tammy was eyeing him suspiciously, but still hadn’t sounded the alarm … unless it was a silent one.
Jeez, now she has me paranoid.
He held his hands out in obeisance, hoping she was at least intelligent enough to recognize the gesture for what it was. “Look, Kristy’s a creative photographer.”
“Uh … huh.”
Tammy’s hand still caressed the counter near the button.
“And I love her.”
Her face moulted through a few expressions, none of them favourable.
“And for some reason she loves an old fart like me.”
Tammy bobbed her head in what looked to be bemused acknowledgement.
“I’m going to ask her to marry me.”
“With a wig and a ribbon…”
Connor sighed and dug a sketched concept out of his pocket. He balled the paper and lobbed it onto the glass counter beside her.
It depicted a man wearing a woman’s wig on his face. The broad ribbon held it to him and disappeared beyond the image.
“I’m not feeling in any way reassured,” Tammy said evenly, having examined it … yet she was talking, not screaming.
“It’s to represent the merging of man and woman in marriage.”
“Where's the ring?”
“The Romans would bond husband and wife together with a band or ribbon at the wedding ceremony. It disappearing off the edge is to represent infinity.”
“And beyond.” Tammy eased up a bit. “Weird!” She looked Connor up and down.
“But, then so is Tammy.”
“I hope she gets it.”
“Bring a ring,” she recommended.