Visiting the Tailor

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Molly needs a dress for a special occasion, and she thinks the green-eyed boy at the tailor shop may be the perfect person to make it.

Submitted: August 19, 2011

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Submitted: August 19, 2011

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Just be confident, she tells herself as she peers furtively through the front window.

She pulls her head back and flattens herself against the brick wall before she takes a deep breath and stands up straight, smoothing the wrinkles from her coat. Her shoulders are squared. Just be confident.

He's sitting in the shop, sewing some new buttons on an old man's coat. Being a tailor wasn't his first career choice, but he's uncommonly good at it. He once, years ago, went to the birthday party of the shop owner's, Mrs. Scheer's, son, and she remembered him as the nicest boy there, so of course he got the job. And besides, he was quiet and polite and never complained when given simple tasks while he was capable of so much more. He sighs, wishing he could use the silence of the shop to read a good book, or at least work on something a bit more advanced.

She opens the door with one hand as the other self-consciously tucks her hair behind her ear, and is immediately relieved and ten times nervier to see he's the only person in the shop today. The door falls shut behind her, making it two.

He looks up, nearly sending the needle straight through his finger. He uses all of a second to take her in - stylish trench coat held together by a belt tied neatly around her small waist, rosy cheeks, apple red lips, big brown eyes and long brown hair which she sweeps elegantly behind her ear - before quickly looking away.

She walks over, hoping her voice will sound steady and poised when she says to him, casually, "Make me a dress?" But he looks up at her again and his green eyes strike her like emeralds, and she falters. "I…"

He stands up, setting down the coat and buttons and looks at her, pushing away the thoughts of her hair and her eyes and her lips, and focuses on being professional like he's supposed to be. "Can- can I help you?" he says.

"Oh, um, yes, yes you can," she says, taken by his height. He's over a foot taller than her. Now she's unsure, doesn't think this is going to work.

No, it will. Just be confident.

"I need a dress."

"Alright," he nods. He swallows. "What kind of dress?"

"A-" she starts. Would it be right? Of course it would. No time to rethink this now. "A red dress."

He nods, the order not unfamiliar. His mouth goes slightly dry, however, as he realizes. "I'm going to have to take your measurements first, if you don't mind."

"Of course not," she says. She begins to untie her coat with unsteady hands that she hopes he doesn't notice.

He watches as she swiftly unties her coat and smoothly tosses it on top of his desk, right over the new buttons and the old man's coat. He stares at it for a moment, then back at her. She smiles at him. His mouth goes even drier. He reaches into his pocket for his measuring tape with an unsteady hand that he hopes she doesn't notice.

He directs her to a stool on the other side of the shop. When she steps up onto it she finds she's as tall as he is. She meets his eyes and they stare at each other for a moment before he looks away, fumbling with the measuring tape in his hands.

She's been coming here ever since she was a little girl, usually to be fitted for special dresses for special occasions, and sometimes just for a treat (a deprived only child, she was not). It was two weeks ago when she came with her mother to be fitted for a dress for her aunt's wedding, and as she was standing high on the stool, like she is now, her eyes wandered around the store like they usually did. They mindlessly gazed upon the familiar wall hangings, the circular lampshades, the same purple dress always on display- until they caught, suddenly, on a mess of curly brown hair across the room.

He was sitting on a wooden chair, sewing what looked like a rip in small blue sweater while simultaneously reading a thick book propped up on the table beside him. She watched him the entire time – as she was measured and fitted and spun this way and that – and he didn't look up once.

She waits now, patiently, as he looks down at the tape measure in his hands. His heart pumps from nerve- but it shouldn't be. This is just another customer; he's measured many women before, and normally he doesn't mind, doesn't let it get to him.

He quickly glances at her again and catches her eye- and the tape measure slips right through his fingers.

She stands up straighter and looks away as he dives down for the measuring tape. Is this normal behavior for him? Something tells her no, and she feels a bit more confident. She smiles at him as he stands up again, holding the retrieved tape measure. His face is slightly flushed and his curly brown hair sticks up in odd directions.

"Right, I'll just," he starts, swallowing. "Your height, then."

"Five foot three," she says as he holds up the measuring tape to measure her. He hastily lowers it and looks away again, flustered, as he grabs a random pen and pad of paper and scribbles it down.

"Okay, uh, next then," he says, bringing up the tape measure a second time. He steps forward, lowering his hands to her waist. He tries to do it quickly but loses hold of one end of the measure and has to plunge for it again. She stands on the stool, seemingly oblivious.

He quickly finishes measuring her hips and moves on to her waist, still not smooth but at least keeping the tape measure in his grasp. And then comes the part he's been trying not to think about, begging himself to stay composed as he lifts the measure higher-

He fumbles again, violently cursing inside his head as it slips to the floor once more. He ducks for it, almost ready to just quit and walk out the door right now and never, ever come back.

But he finishes his work as professionally as he can, which turns out not to be very professional at all, but at least it's over and he can breathe again as he makes a mental note to destroy his traitorous measuring tape as soon as this is over.

"Thank you so much," she says as she puts her coat back on, looping the belt around her measured waist. She pushes her long dark hair over her shoulder and looks at him again. "Do you know when it will be ready?"

"Whenever you need it ready," he says, pad of measurements clutched in his hand.

"Hmmm," she says. Today is Tuesday. "Could it be ready by Friday?"

"Of course," he says without a thought.

She looks at him again. "Will you…be here Friday?"

"Yes." If he wasn't, he will be now.

She smiles again, radiant, illuminating the very air around her. "Thank you," she says genuinely. "Again."

"You're welcome," he manages.

She smiles once more and turns away, the most beautiful woman to ever walk into his tailor shop.

She stands against the brick wall again, hands nervously curled into fists. Five more minutes, she tells herself to wait. Five more minutes. And be confident.

She doesn't know how she pulled it off last time with him and his green eyes and messy hair, so shy and nervous and incredibly sweet. Somehow she managed it, and today she will again. Just be confident.

After only two more minutes she pushes the shop door open, the smell of fabric and gentle lilac perfume welcoming her. She sees he's not the only one working today. It throws her off a bit and she tucks her hair behind her ear. Confidence.

He looks up at the first sound of the doorknob turning, having been keenly aware of the front door all day. His stomach leaps when he sees that it's finally her and he jumps from his chair to greet her before Mrs. Scheer can.

"Hi!" she says as he walks over. She almost winces at herself. Too forced.

"Hi," he replies, stopping in front of her. Same red lipstick as last time, he notices. "Um, how are you?"

"I'm great," she says, smiling. "And you?"

"Great," he says quickly. He coughs. "I mean, I'm great as well, thanks."

They look at each other for a moment, and this time he's not so shy. Maybe it's because he's had three days to mull it over or because he doesn't have to measure her this time. Or maybe it's because he has measured her and there's no going back from that.

He suddenly remembers that he's the professional and the reason why she's even here, and he starts. "Oh, your dress," he says and turns to get it. He comes back with a black covering on a hanger. He unzips it for her.

Her eyes go wide when she sees the dress, a beautiful bright red that matches her perfectly. She reaches out and touches the soft, silky fabric. It slides over her fingers like water. "You made this?" she asks, her eyes parting with the dress to meet the gaze of his green eyes.

"Oh, no, not all of it," he says sheepishly, rubbing the back of his neck. "But I did do that." He points to the intricate embroidery along the neckline.

"It's beautiful," she breathes, running her fingers along it. He resists the urge to snatch them between his own, to feel her skin against his.

"I'm sure you'll look…you'll look very beautiful in it," he says, feeling his neck heat up slightly, but he doesn't look away.

She glances up at him again, thrown off as her heart picks up speed. "Oh, I…thank you."

He smiles at her, and his eyes are so green and his teeth are so perfect she has to look away.

"What's the occasion?" he asks her, not quite ready to let her leave just yet.

"Oh," she says again, looking away. "Oh, it's for a date."

It's as if someone punches him in the stomach, and suddenly he's not confident or nervous but dull with the bitter feeling of disappointment. Of course, what else did he expect? He's only the tailor boy who makes the dress, not the one she wears it for.

"Oh," he says, blinking. She looks up at him, her wide eyes the prettiest shade of brown he's ever seen, and he softens slightly. "He's going to love you in it."

She almost wants to run from the store, run as far as she can and never come close to this shop again. He's too nice, too sweet, it's too hard, she can't do it, she's not confident not confident not-

"Will you?" she blurts out.

He blinks again.

"I mean," she says, her mind going blank as embarrassment takes over. "I mean, what I meant was- you, uh, you- you see- I- "

Just be confident.

She looks back up at him squarely in the eyes. "I mean, you think so?"

He nods slowly. "Yes."

"Well that makes things easier," she says. She reaches into the pocket of her coat and extracts the money for the dress and hands it to him. "Thank you again."

She heads towards the door and he blankly watches her leave, payment held limply in his hand. She pauses as she reaches the handle. "Oh," she adds, turning around. "And meet me in the square at seven."

He blinks once more. "What?"

She gives him a smile. "For our date, of course."

He gapes. "Our -"

"Date," she repeats, and smiles wider. "I'll see you there, Louis." And with that, she opens the door and walks out.

He continues to stare, mouth open, mind whirling, until he's brought back by the sound of a throat clearing behind him. He turns around to see Mrs. Scheer with a knowing smile on her face.

"Little Molly Potter," she says, walking around the counter. "Lisa's daughter. Though not so little anymore, I can see that."

"But- but-" he says. "She just- I mean, I didn't- hardly even-" He breaks off, shaking his head. "I never even told her my name."

"That doesn't mean she can't read," Mrs. Scheer says. She squints at the top right corner of his collared shirt where his nametag is pinned. "Although she might have had some difficulty deciphering it like that, dear."

He looks down and sees, printed in solid black letters, Louis, staring right up at him. He quickly unpins it, humiliation flooding through him as he fumbles to turn it right side up.

"Well, at least I know one thing," Mrs. Scheer says as her best tailor struggles with his nametag. "I can stop wondering why you requested extra hours on a Friday."


© Copyright 2020 Stephlikeswriting. All rights reserved.

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