Mauve. (3)

When I couldn’t stay in the bathroom any longer I grudgingly returned. I found it surprisingly sparse and realized that almost the entire crowd had migrated into the adjacent room for a tribute video and circulating hor’dourves.
A young couple stood in the corner, ignoring me, and a group of old ladies shot me glances that painstakingly reminded me of high school.
Fed up, I uncrossed my arms and walked across the room as confidently as I could. Apparently, it wasn’t such a huge success because I almost collided with the open casket trying to pull up my strapless bra.
“Holy shit!” I muttered to myself, covering my heart as I just stopped myself short of toppling onto Trish Hurley’s worm-food grandfather.
As my heart returned to it’s normal pace, I found myself staring at the old guy. He looked like he had been a nice guy, with tufts of shockingly white hair around the back of his head and deep laugh lines creasing his temples. His was the first friendly face I’d seen in an hour, the first face to hint to me that my idea to fashion a more modest dress out of toilet paper was the crazy notion that it was.
I found myself wondering about his life, he didn’t look like the type of guy to dump the love of his life because of a stupid misunderstanding.
“Are you gonna cry? Because if you are you could use the toilet paper on your shoes to dry the tears,” said someone in a messy British accent about two centimeters away from my eardrum, sending me into my second mini panic attack within ten minutes.
I turned quickly to see a guy in a dark green oxford, clutching a flask and staring at me. I looked down at my shoes and sure enough there was a trail of cotton squares attached to it like a train. I scuffed the floor furiously to dislodge it from my stiletto heel.
“Might I ask, how did you know old chap Edgar here?” he asks, his breath searingly alcoholic.
I stutter for a second, wondering who the hell this guy is and why he’s talking to me. “I didn’t,” I finally say.
“Well that’s a bit odd, were you his hooker at least?” He smiles as if he’s said something dreadfully funny.
I feel an indignant look of contempt contort my features, but after a second I let it fall away and wished I were anywhere in the world but in that funeral home.
“No.”
“I’m sorry, love,” he says, his eyes sparkling, he sways a bit, “But I’m afraid I’ve had one too many slugs of this stuff.” He holds up his flask and takes a sip, I hear the glug glug of the liquid as it scrambles to wherever gravity leads it.
I lean my head back and feel a startlingly powerful wave of self-pity. “Why are you talking to me?” I ask, wishing he would go away.
“Quite honestly it’s because you’re cute,” he says casually, smiling, “However, I hate the dress.”
Bold. Flattering. But unnecessary.
“Hey, you got enough of that stuff to share?” I ask him, motioning toward his flask.
“Mi cerveza es su cerveza,” he says, sounding convincingly Mexican.
“That’s beer?”
“Nope.”
He’s smiling still, like he’s just the funniest guy in the whole damn world.
I grab it from him, fed up, and he follows me out the door.

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~ by Jade Elizabeth on October 5, 2011.

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