Bohemia Village Voice  Bohemia Village Voice

For bohemians everywhere

Morgan King

If the Shoe Fits

Penny liked what she saw. She looked every inch the businesswoman. Just the shoes to go. The outfit really called for killer heels, but she wondered whether to go with something a little more conservative.
The telephone interrupted her deliberations. It was Cathy, ringing from the airport before boarding her flight, to remind her not to be late and to put the rubbish out before she left.
“You just don’t trust me, do you? Well, for your information, I’m nearly ready and I’ll do the rubbish as soon as I hang up.”
“Too right I don’t trust you. I know you of old. This is your big chance, Pen. Try not to mess it up. And for goodness’ sake, don’t let him see what you’re really like.”
“Thanks a bunch! Now go and enjoy your holiday. Oh, and thanks for letting me stay last night.” Penny hung up and took the rubbish to the bin out front. A door slammed and she jumped. Looking around, she confirmed her worst fears. ‘Oh no! Please, not today’. She ran round to the back. Everything was tight shut. No time to waste. She ran to the neighbour’s and banged on the door.
Geoff was about to leave for work when there was a terrific banging on the door. He opened it to find a pretty young redhead begging to use his phone. He let her in and watched as she stood with visible impatience muttering into the receiver. She put the phone down.
“No answer?” said Geoff.
“No. She must already be on the plane. Look, the thing is . . .” She explained what had happened and how she had an important meeting in twenty minutes to discuss her designs.
“I can help you there. I’ll drive you.”
“That’s very kind of you, but look.” She showed her stockinged feet. “Doesn’t look very professional, does it?”
“Just a minute.” Geoff went upstairs and came back carrying a pair of courts.
“They’re my daughter’s. She’s away at college. You’re welcome to borrow them.”
“Is it clown college? They’re three sizes too big.”
“Well, it’s up to you. Come on, let’s go.”
Shuffling after him, Penny felt foolish, like a little girl dressing up in her mother’s clothes.
“I’m Geoff, by the way.”
“Penny.”
“Penelope?”
“Penumbra, actually.” Geoff raised his eyebrows, but Penny let it pass. She was used to it and he had been very kind. In the car, he asked her about her designs. She loved talking about her dresses and felt grateful and completely at ease by the time he dropped her off where she directed him.
Geoff watched as she hurried up the steps to the front door and smiled to himself as she stepped out of her shoe. Then he drove off to find a parking space and go to work.
Penny had been waiting ten minutes when the receptionist said, “Mr Prince will see you now.” She showed Penny into the office.
“We meet again, Penumbra,” said Geoff. “I guessed who you were when you told me your name. This needn’t take too long.” Penny was stunned. She’d made a fool of herself in front of the very man she’d come to impress.
“I love the designs you e-mailed us, but I always like to meet in person before I make a decision. Organisational skills are important in business . . .” – Penny’s heart sank – “. . . but it’s a designer I’m looking for. Your work’s erratic brilliance clearly comes from within you. That’s what makes it special.”
“You mean . . . ?”
“I think you’re the just the girl I’m looking for.”

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