Paper DollMature

The lives of two people, dealing with the grief and consequences of the sudden early death of their partners.

It took a few moments for Ewan to realise that he was, in fact, staring at his girlfriend being felt up by someone that was not him. The perpetrator was letting his big hairy hand wander free around Clare's back, slowly making his way down. Not wanting to make a scene in the café, and afraid of what this man, who was at least a foot taller than him, might do or say, Ewan looked on. She can take care of herself, he thought, trying to come up with a good excuse not to intervene. Now the man's hand was resting on the small of Clare's back, his pinky slightly apart from his other fingers, as if creeping towards it's prize. She hadn't looked at Ewan once since she had joined the conversation across the room. As he stood there, her pepsi in one hand, his beer in the other, he blamed himself for letting her talk to the man.

The man was Bernard Holman, former principal of Silver Hill High School. He was in his early fifties, tall as a tree and strong as a bear. Thick grey eyebrows nearly covered his eyes, a square jaw with a slight salt and pepper stubble gave him a menacing look. There was little to be liked about the man. Even when he was principal, he wouldn't let go of the girls. There had been many instances in which female classmates had complained about principal Holman touching them in inappropriate places, or making sexually suggestive remarks. Nothing was ever done about it. When Ewan was in his senior year, principal Holman left to pursue a career in business. He hadn't seem him for quite some time, until he and Clare and some other friends from high school stepped into this particular café, where, by the looks of it, Holman and his associates were celebrating.

Holman's hand moved down, and came to a halt on Clare's bottom. This was one step too far after many steps in the wrong direction. Clare looked over her shoulder and locked concerned eyes with Ewan. Angrily, he made his way through the crowd of people, trying to think of a way in which he could interfere without turning the situation into something nasty. He bumped into Alan, one of their friends who had come along, and had just returned from the restroom.
"What's happening, buddy?"
"Holman." Alan looked in his direction and smirked.
"What did you expect."
"For him to have at least the sense to keep his hands off someone's partner."
Ewan walked closer and reached out, letting his arm slide between Clare and Holman.
"Hey, honey," he said to Clare, separating her from Bernard. "And mister Holman," he faked a smile. "It's been a long time."
Holman looked at him with disdain. "Indeed it has. Listen, we'll catch up later, I have to take a piss." He turned his considerable weight around and disappeared.
"You allright?" Ewan asked Clare.
"Yeah, fine."
"I'm about done here," he said, handing her the pepsi he was still holding.
"We've been here for, what, half an hour?"
"I don't like this place. Let's go home."
"Are you serious? We haven't seen Alan and Mary-Ann in two years."
"I know, I just want to get out of here. We could take them to our place."
"Half an hour, Ewan. Then we'll go, okay?"

The End

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