Written by: roseyn
“So much for your promise, Frank.”
An unwanted flush burns her skin. Frank assured her he would never wear his fire-fighting garb around Ruth. Yet there he is in his best ‘Mr October’ outfit, one thumb hooking the pocket of his khaki pants.
Kathy may be the mere alto in the group, always in the wings, but as yet nothing suggests she is blind. Two choir practices ago she realised Ruth has her sights on Frank.
Kathy is not impressed. Not just because she wants Frank for herself, but also because she knows Ruth Belvedere’s less than honourable intentions – scavenging for the perfect baby-maker.
That thought snaps Kathy from her self-obsession. She didn’t go to the trouble of convincing Frank to join the choir just to oblige Ruth’s pressing needs. Kathy has needs of her own.
She opens the car door and slams it behind her as she strides towards the group taking comfort from the rain drizzling cooling drops on her skin.
When they see her the choir erupts into a cacophony of discordant sound. Everyone is either concerned or relieved that she is there. That is everyone except Ruth. When the ruckus settles, Kathy asks, “Is my voice really that bad?”
Ruth steps forward and balances on her toes. Attention seeking instability as only a true highly-strung soprano can achieve. She leans into Kathy and holds her eyes with her own. “What do you mean?” she demands.
“You were ready to think me dead.”
Gasps trumpet from everyone but Ruth is silent as her eyes shrivel venomously. Kathy issues a victorious smile. With outstretched arms she says, “I’m joking. When did you all get so serious? Why don’t we all just sing “The First Cut is the Deepest?”
She laughs; no one laughs with her.
Frank closes in on her as the others go indoors. “What’re you doing?” he hisses.
“Protecting you,” she hisses back pulling his suspender and pinging it.
Frank gasps then stares back at Kathy with a knowing frown. “I’m not wearing the uniform for Ruth,” he mouths.
If not for Ruth, then for Kathy? The idea ignites her vamp buttons and she senses her body impulsively drift to his. He catches her, and like some gallant knight [dressed as a fireman] he offers her guidance back to his home, the one with its loyal lights of comfort, its welcoming warmth to those deserving to be welcomed. He then steers Kathy to a well-worn settee positioned before the TV.
“Helloooo,” someone sing songs from the door.
Frank leaps up dumping Kathy into the settee. When Kathy eventually gathers her senses, she grabs for a wooden arm of the settee and swivels towards the cause of her dumping. A woman, attractive in a mousey sort of way, is pressing herself into Frank. According to him she is the newest recruit to the choir.
But that isn’t what bothers Kathy.
What bothers her is what the woman wears.
A nurse’s uniform.