It was Hilary’s cherubic pate that did it for Joanne, so soft and pink, like the head of a baby, and yet at the same time it was dusted with fine downy hair. Alison snorted at that; like a teenager’s ball sack she said, and that was a bucket of cold water and no mistake. Yet the thought of it lingered in Joanne’s mind: slowly licking squirty cream from that pink patch of skin. Would Hilary’s bow tie spin, or would his eyes roll so far back in his skull she’d need to take him down to the emergency eye clinic?
Alison kept on telling her to get her hair done, buy herself a push up bra and get on Tindr, because Hilary, from the Planning Department? Really? That flapper??
He was a myopic podge of rainbow knitted sweater, white socks, sandals, cheap watch and cheaper shoes, and nose hair doing its damnedest to make up for the paucity of coverage up top. He was a ten, on the dork scale, while she, Joanne, was at least a six, well within range of say an Ian, from accounts. That was Joanne’s problem: could she be bothered with all the faff that came with trying to snare a guy who was almost good looking? But dopey old Hilary, well, she’d never have to worry about his straying eye.
But the man, he was a total Wolf. She plonked her lunch tray on the other side of the canteen table and sat herself down. She had to bang it a few times to get his attention, and after he’d blinked several times and swallowed several more she managed to convey to him that yes, she really was interested in what he was up to that evening.
She sipped at her coke and choked on it when he told her he was planning on working on a pair of small yet perfectly formed breasts, with actual nipples. Joanne gulped, and folded her arms beneath her small yet perfectly formed chest. She could not say anything, yet Hilary warmed to his subject, a glow coming to his cheeks as he told her that once he was done with his finger work then there was nothing left for it to but to mount such a radiant beauty.
It didn’t matter that Hilary didn’t seem to have made much of an effort when she went round to his place, so long as he made an effort where it counted. He almost seemed surprised to see her, yet ushered into his front room all the same. He beckoned Joanne over to a large work table lit by many angle poise lamps, and proudly swung his arm in a wide downward sweep to unveil the large model ship that had pride of place. Joanne squinted, and yes, there it was: a tiny wooden figurehead lying beneath the large magnifying glass surrounded by miniature woodworking tools.
But Joanne, she was not a girl without a Plan B. She stepped aside to allow Hilary to take up his seat and his tools, and then from her handbag she took the can of squirty cream and began to shake it.