'Well, of all the nerve. ' Sharon banged the telephone down on the cash register counter. 'Well, shit!' she added. 'What was that all about?' the shop assistant, Maggie, said, looking up from the other end of the counter, where she was polishing glass vases with a tea towel.
'That was Roger Bailey. ' 'Why does that ring a bell?' Maggie said. 'Oh, isn't that the guy you've said you've run into a couple of times. A real cute guy.
' 'Yes, that's him. He just had the nerve to ask me out. ' 'When?' 'Tonight. ' 'And .
. . the problem with that is . .
?' Maggie left that hanging. Just that morning Sharon had asked her if she knew a guy named Roger Bailey and had proceeded to say he was real cute. 'He had the nerve to tell me he'd just gotten into town and an old friend of mine I'd gone to Atlantic City beach with had told him he should look me up when he got here.
' 'And I still don't see what the problem with that is. ' 'He said he didn't remember her name. He was just fishing and taking a chance I'd gone to the beach at Atlantic City. The nerve of him.
I know what he wants. ' 'You're not making any sense, girl,' Maggie said. 'But I know you're rattled or I guess you have a right to be addled. ' She gave a little snort of appreciation for her clever turn of the phrase and went back to polishing the glassware.
You did go to Atlantic City, didn't you?' 'Yeah, and I remember who I saw there. This guy can't remember who told him to look me up. ' 'Can I go back to noting that you're not making a lick of sense?' Maggie said. 'You wouldn't understand.
This is a hell of a time in the year to be brought up short in product. ' She wanted to change the subject and she sure as hell didn't want to do any more explaining about Roger Bailey. Yes, this morning she wanted him. But that was before he called.
Well, if Roger Bailey was that sort of guy, she didn't want to have anything to do with him. 'You're blushing, girl,' Maggie called out, breaking into Sharon's private snit. 'You're thinking you blew it by not saying you'd go out with that guy, aren't you? And you're thinking of him and what the two of you can do together.
' 'Am not. And pay attention to what you're doing. If you break that glassware, we'll really be in for it. ' 'If you don't make those calls and get your crisis settled, we won't be needing this glassware,' Maggie retorted.
Maggie probably would be bringing it back up to needle me about for months. Her mind went to the first time she'd seen Roger Bailey—the previous Friday when she'd gone down to the Toms River boardwalk for a hot dog at noon. She kept her blush as she remembered the catsup and mustard that had squirted out of the end of that damn thing and how she had marched right off to the public restrooms.
She was standing over a sink, having taken her sweater off to scrub at the stain and standing there just in her bra, and only then had realized that she'd walked into the men's room rather than the ladies. It had been the clearing of a throat in a very deep register off to the side that had made her turn her head and realize that there was a young guy bellying into a line of urinals.
. . . .