The story so far:
A man notices a rather peculiar young lady in distress. He helps her find what she needs in a hardware shop then she promptly disappears from under his nose.
Leaving the shop, I looked up and down the street in case she had slipped out without me noticing.
No sign of her. Oh well, it was a good story to dine out on, and it had only cost me £1. I never entirely forget her, especially when I passed the hardware store; after all she had been an attractive girl with a bubbly personality, even if she was a little odd.
It was nearly a year later that, needing some screws to fix some shelves in my new flat, I popped into the shop. To my surprise the storekeeper recognised me and asked after my young lady. It seemed she had become a regular visitor, although she now carried cash to pay for her own purchases. Lost in a daydream I jumped when I felt a touch on my arm, and turning, found myself face to face with her.
‘Hello,’ she said, ‘I was hoping I would bump into you again. Do you remember me?’
‘Of course,’ I replied, ‘in fact I was just talking about you.’
Reaching into the metallic looking jumpsuit she was wearing, she pulled out a small purse and thrust a one pound coin into my hand. ‘Here’s what I owe you but I’d like to thank you properly for helping me out. Is there anywhere we can go?’
‘Well, my flat is just around the corner if you’d like a coffee or something,’ I mumbled, blushing like a schoolboy. She took my hand as we walked back to my place, and seemed fascinated by my clothes. Once we were inside, her eyes opened wide when I took off my jacket and after tentatively reaching out, she gradually removed all my clothes. It was weird that she never took off her own shiny outfit, although when I touched her it felt as warm and soft as skin. It didn’t even prove to be a barrier when we ended up on my bed making love. Later, when I asked her about it, she told me that external clothes were of no use in her time. Her skin was waterproof and could be regulated to the perfect temperature to suit the environment. She was certainly a strange one, but I was smitten.
She never left, just stayed on in my flat with no luggage, no personal possessions, only her watch, which she never took off. I had to go to work but although I never knew what she did with herself during the day she always seemed to have plenty of money. At first I thought she was joking when she appeared bemused by such things as the washing machine, hoover and even the oven. She was a quick learner and once I had explained she soon had everything running efficiently.
One day I came home early to find the place deserted. I wasn’t sure if she had taken off as quickly as she had arrived or if she was out shopping. There was no point checking if her things were still in the wardrobe; she didn’t have any. I’d just sat down with a cup of tea when I heard a swishing sound, turned round, and she was standing behind me. There was no way she could have come in without me noticing as the front door opened straight into the living room.
‘Where have you been?’ I asked, more harshly than I intended.
‘I just popped home for a few hours,’ she said hesitantly. ‘Sorry I wasn’t here when you got back.’
‘How did you get in?’ I queried, ‘and where is home? You never told me where you lived before you moved in here.’
For a moment I thought she wasn’t going to answer, then she looked straight into my eyes and asked quietly, ‘Are you sure you want to know?’
‘Yes,’ I replied after a pause, ‘I really do.’
‘OK. Come on then. Hold onto my hand and whatever you do, don’t let go.’
Intrigued I took her hand and gave her a kiss. ‘Your wish is my command, Princess.’
She fiddled with her watch, I heard a whoosh and the next minute I had a buzzing in my ears and felt as if I was gliding through thick fog.
‘Well that went OK,’ she smiled as I gazed in amazement at the spectacle before me. ‘Welcome to my home.’
To be continued.
© Val Portelli February 2016