“Slip your skin into this.” He said, holding a silk red dress up.
She smiled and shook her head. “Just isn’t me.”
As males go, Eric had been too affected by females for Shen’s taste. It wasn’t that he worked in a department store and had become rather successful at selling dresses. No, it was that the forty-nine percent feminine had taken over the fifty-one percent masculine.
Eric gossiped with women and proved himself to be a little too comfortable in their presence. This gift of his had aided him very well in notching up the conquests. But he was still too young, at 26, to realize he didn’t really like women at all. Liking them had been forced on him by his mother. He’d had to like his mother even when she was barking commands of detailed orders about behavior with women. He’d had to like Shelley. That fat little red head he often played with at the park. Shelley had been mean to him and he’d been drilled silly with commands to never, ever hit a girl.
Even when they hit me? He’d inquired with a red face after a tangle with Shelley at the park.
His mother, that die hard train of no depot had nodded and it seemed crazy, but who was a four year old boy to turn to? His father was absent because he couldn’t live up to the standard.
Eric forgot who he was and slipped his skin into something he’d yet to figure out, which was in a sense himself and yet it was not. However, in the real world sense of survival, many humans will adapt just to survive.
The trick being to not forget who one is.
“Shen would you ever consider going to the movies with me?” Eric asked as he carefully re-hung the silk red dress.
“No, Eric, I would not.” Shen answered forthrightly and quickly as though she’d already foreseen the scenario.
“Why?” He asked looking into her blue eyes.
Shen was good looking. Dark haired and tall. Tough. Balanced. He liked her. Envisioned her as his buddy someday. An ally of sorts.
“Because you are not my type.” Shen said as she looked into his green, twinkling eyes. Not bad looking but so loose! She thought to herself.
“Why am I not your type?” Eric protested with a big grin.
“Because two dogs war within you.” Shen answered.
Eric folded his arms across his chest and stared down at Shen. She looked up at him and realized that her insult was too harshly quick, though the discernment was not.
“Sorry, Eric, I’m in a hurry.” Shen said as she gathered her purse and turned to walk out of the store.
For a moment he thought of Shelley. Smelley Shelley, he’d called her. Eric The Ferret, she’d called him. It had all seemed so innocent. So long ago. So miserable. And he felt the beating of distant drums which called out to his sense of freedom.
A primal bark welled within him and he let it out for all to hear.