No Cover Up

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Hair today gone tomorrow

It wasn't even windy the day Doris had her wig blown off. She'd just emerged from the alleyway between the cemetery and the park, when a juggernaut thundered past and her beautiful brunette hair was sucked from her head and gambolled down the road. She'd tried to hold on to the wig the moment she felt it move, but was too late. The thin wisps of white hair left by the missing hairpiece were caught up in the tornado as well, and were swaying around like a belly dancer. Doris bellowed an unladylike curse at the rapidly-departing lorry and tried to run in pursuit of the wayward wig. As the heavy vehicle disappeared round a bend, the hair slowed and rolled into the middle of the road. Doris stepped out to retrieve her pride and joy. As she did so there was a screech of brakes and a blast from a car horn. She jumped up as a car skidded to a halt a few inches from her outstretched hand, its left-front wheel coming to a stop on the wig. She stood frozen, mouth open and eyes wide and a scream stifled in her throat. A sun tanned face with silver hair and deep sapphire eyes leaned out of the open window.


"What the bloody hell do you think you're doing? Instead of trying to rescue that hedgehog you should watch where you're going. I could've killed you."


Doris began shaking her head and pointing at the front wheel of the car. She tried to speak but the words wouldn't come.


"Are you going to just stand there pointing at a dead animal, or are you going to get out of the way?"


Doris swallowed hard and shook herself to gain some composure. She felt her face flush as she realised the elderly driver was looking at her head. She reached up and began smoothing the strands of untidy hair and mumbled.


"I'm sorry...I never meant to run in the road without looking...but I...I dropped something and it rolled off the kerb. Would you be kind enough to pull back so's I can get it?" She used the time asking the question to study the man a little closer. He was clean-shaven and had a weather-beaten rugged look. He had a bit more hair than Doris and it was combed back neatly. He didn't say anything as he reversed his car away from the by-now bedraggled hairpiece. Doris picked it up quickly and stuffed it into her shopping bag.


"Thank you," she said.


The anger faded from the man's eyes and he smiled.


"Look I hope you don't mind me saying, but it's a bit dangerous walking along this stretch of road. Perhaps I can offer you a lift somewhere?"


Doris's immediate reaction was to say no. After all it was also dangerous to get into strange men's cars. She hesitated and stepped back.


"Oh I'm sorry," the man said. "My name's Geoffrey...Geoffrey Hammond. I have my drivers licence if you want to check me out?"



Doris shook her head. Just then another huge lorry sped past, creating another swirling wind, it made her mind up and she opened the car door and got in. She mumbled her thanks and tried to control her rapidly reddening face.


"Where would you like to go?... The high street probably eh? Out shopping for hubby's dinner are we?" He laughed, and it reverberated around the inside of the car.


"As a matter of fact I was on my way to The Rosy Lea for a drink."


"I know where that is. If you don't mind a bit of company I'll buy?"


"That would be nice." She said, then turned and looked out of the window. She began thinking of Len, her husband of thirty-three years. It was only two years ago she'd cradled his head to her breast as he'd died. She thought of him every day and missed his morning cough and his moaning about the newspaper being late, even though it was always delivered before seven thirty every day. She began to worry about whether she was being reckless and silly accepting this man's offer of a lift. She felt her heart begin to beat faster as she thought about the possibility of sitting across from him drinking tea at the café. What would everyone think? If Mavis Pritchard saw them, she'd be talking about her for weeks. She'd make it her business to tell her son and also spread it round the Friday whist drive. As these questions flashed through her mind, Doris turned and looked at her dashing driver.




Ten minutes later Geoffrey was holding the back of a shiny wooden chair while Doris sat down. He lingered for a moment as she made herself comfortable. She'd got another surprise when they'd got out of the car, her companion turned out to be quite tall.


"Penny for them.."


"What...Oh sorry...nothing," Doris said. She suddenly realised Geoffrey was offering her the menu.


"A pot is it?"


"Mmm... yes, thank you."


Just then a pretty young girl glided up to the table, a notebook and pencil in hand.


"Hello Mrs Grant. I nearly didn't recognise you without..." her voice trailed off as she saw the look of abject horror cross Doris's face.


"A large pot and two cups please," Geoffrey's deep voice boomed.


"Yes sir." She said before turning and hurrying away.


Doris felt the blood, which had drained from her face, begin to return. It seemed to flood back into her cheeks at such a rate she was unable to stop it. Within a few seconds she'd gone from a pale, almost white pallor, to a red, rather hot feel.


"Well you know my name. Shouldn't I know yours?"


"Oh... of course, how silly of me. It's Doris Grant."


"Well Doris... may I call you Doris?" As she nodded her head and lowered her gaze, he continued. "We don't seem to have got off to a very good start. Running people down in the road isn't my normal method of getting to know someone." Doris covered her mouth with the back of her hand and chuckled.


"You missed me anyway." It was her companion’s turn to laugh. Geoffrey made to wipe a pretend tear from his eye and missed. Instead he poked his finger into his eyelid and jumped from the sudden pain. At the same instant his well-groomed silver hair toppled from his head and fell into the sugar bowl.


For a moment there was a complete silence, as the two stared, first at the mop of hair deposited over the sugar bowl like some creature from a Sci-Fi movie. Then as Doris's eyes widened in disbelief, Geoffrey tried to cover his bald head with the inadequate palm of his hand. Doris tried to stifle a snort then their eyes met, Geoffrey's seemed to twinkle, then the corner of his mouth began to curl into a smile. Doris couldn't control the guffaw that was straining to be let loose. Then, like a burst dam, the two exploded into gales of laughter. The other customers looked at them wondering what all the noise was about. But by this time they were almost uncontrollable. They were throwing their heads back and roaring Geoffrey was hitting the table with his fist and holding his stomach. Doris was pointing at the table and then at Geoffrey's head. Every time she did, it seemed to renew her outburst of laughter. Geoffrey was the first to control himself. He wiped the genuine tears from his cheeks with the back of his hand and picked up the wig. He looked across at Doris, who was also calming down, and shoved it into a pocket as he would a used handkerchief.


"Oh dear Doris... I haven't laughed like that in years..."


"Nor me...not since...well a long time anyway."


Geoffrey reached over the table and took Doris's hand.


"I don't think I want tea any more...I fancy something about you?"


Doris was still smiling. She was enjoying the feel of a man's warm hands on hers. She examined his sparkling blue eyes and admired the jovial lines creased around the contours of his cheek bones. Suddenly she felt at ease and the confidence missing for such a long time began flooding back.


"Yes," she said. "We deserve a really strong drink after what we've been through today... I've got just the thing gathering dust in my drinks cabinet at home."



Submitted: May 17, 2020

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