Riggwelter #22

Page 40

Fault Lines

She comes into the store dressed in a fuchsia flowered dress. It’s the first thing you notice about her. The second thing you notice is her hair – corkscrew curled and strawberry blonde. The dress ripples as she walks past the till. You finish up serving the customer in front and then step out from behind the desk to follow her. A young man is trying to reach a jacket two hands too high. You ignore him. Three children are hiding from their parents, their Velcro-shoe feet sticking out from under a fixture full of trousers. Usually you would crouch down – tell them to come out – not today. She is browsing the stacks of walking boots and you wonder for a moment what she would look like wearing wool grey socks and leather brown boots in her fuchsia flowered dress. Strange? Pretty? Both. She has eyes for a nubuck leather pair. They’re some of the best in the store. Not a bargain but a worthy buy. You ask her if she needs any help. “Just these, in a size 8”, she says, softly. She doesn’t look like she has big enough feet for a size 8. Her wedged sandals are arched high, everything but her toes and ankles covered. Perhaps they might fit. You nod and have a look through the collection of coloured boxes out back. No size 8. Company policy states you have to offer to order them for her. “Free postage. Pay today in store and they’ll get sent out to you at whichever address you give us. You can bring them back if they’re not quite right.” She’ll order a size 8. It’ll take 3-5 working days. Today is Saturday so ignore Sunday. Nothing happens on a Sunday. “They should be with you by Friday at the latest.”