Andrea stared at the stranger on her doorstep. He wasn't hard to stare at.The things that stood out the most were probably his clothes: he was wearing a very ‘nerdy’ sort of suit; a checkered pink shirt, with burgundy-coloured trousers, all under a brown velvet jacket with a little, vibrant, violet handkerchief pocking out of the breast pocket. He was wearing Russell-And-Bromley-style brown shoes, polished to perfection. All in all, those clothes suited him, but they didn’t suit each other; he was wearing the strangest combination of colours possible!
Though they were the next thing for Andrea to notice, his features stood out too. His hair was brown and ruffled, its parting in the centre, with the hair smoothed out straight over to the left. His face was soft and round, giving him the slight appearance of a young boy, his lips were pointed in an mysterious sort of way and his eyes were neither blue nor green; Andrea couldn’t define their colour without peering closer, a thing which she would not do at this moment.
His age was not clear, but Andrea guessed that he could be around her age, although his youthful skin confused her.
“Um…you’d better come in…?” Andrea didn’t even know what she was trying to say. For some reason, it was as though taking in this sight had taken away her breath, and the normal functions of her brain.
Keith walking in as Andrea walked back into the lounge room, followed by the man.
“Who is it…honey?” He said, trying to put his task of doing more effort in a relationship into action.
“I’m not sure…” Andrea muttered, stepping aside to let the new guy through, “Do you want anything to drink…um?”
“Just a coffee, black, please.” He slotted himself down into the tattered emerald armchair, whilst Andrea placed herself carefully into the paisley sofa, as always. Keith hurried back to kitchen to get the man his drink.
“My name is Lucas Gorge,” said the man turning to Andrea, “Do you remember it?”
He studied the contours of the woman’s face: the slope of her broad nose, the crinkles around her eyes that seemed to exist even in the irises and the pupils, the smooth, sleek curl of her amber hair. Andrea shook her head, she frowned; where had she come across that name before?
“Middle name?” Keith asked, bringing in Lucas’ black coffee.
“I…don’t have one,” Lucas said sheepishly. To Andrea, it was as though he was ashamed of the fact.
“Not to worry, not to worry,” Andrea trailed off, unsure what to say.
“So…are you two flat-mates?” Lucas asked as Keith slumped into the sofa beside Andrea. She looked at him, and the man could see that there was something. He couldn’t be sure, in fact, he wasn’t sure at all. Perhaps the light was playing tricks. Where Lucas lived, the lights were all carbon-neutral and had lampshades that faced West. It was just a little something that Lucas liked. He liked order.
“Well…sort of…” Andrea replied, still uncertain of how her mind was working at that minute, “I am planning to move in with Keith soon.”
“Oh?” Lucas muttered. He hadn’t planned on this.
“So,” Andrea said, “What can we do for you?”
“Well, it was you, really, who I wanted to talk with. But in one moment. Keith is there a newspaper I could look at?”
“Yes, here. It’s today’s, I think.”
Andrea looked over the new man again. She was seeing him for the second time, but nothing had changed, she could see no detail more of his unusual personality or of why he would want to contact her.
He handled the newspaper with utmost care, and lightly turned the to the romance pages. After studying it for a second or two, Lucas threw the paper to the floor by his right arm, (and Andrea’s favourite little end table), forgetting the care that he had used beforehand.
“Are you a lone wolf looking for love?” Keith chuckled, “We’ve got all the love we need here!” He wrapped an arm around Andrea but she wriggled away, frowning at the visitor. Lucas himself frowned, but shook his head.
“No, I…” He trailed off as he turned to look towards the couple, but mostly towards Andrea, “Perhaps…”
Andrea jumped at his long gaze; those eyes of turquoise were magnificently deep and intriguing, but she felt that they were inspecting her…
“Excuse us, Keith, but I do believe that I should see Mr. Gorge out,” she said it as politely as possible, trying not to glare at Lucas, “We may have things to discuss, but now is not the time.”
Andrea got up and moved to the door. She watched Lucas get up, his movements jerking, as though he was mechanical, and yet, strangely fascinating. He saw her watching him and smirked, the right side of his mouth tilting just a little more than the left, with deep dimples appearing in both cheeks. Andrea was surprised at how much she noticed; at how much there was to notice. With Keith, it had just been: guy with black hair, brown eyes and a goatee. Tall but kind, and a nice kisser, but someone who was slow to progress in a relationship.
Andrea kept ahead of Lucas, making sure she had as little physical contact with him as possible. Her hands shaking slightly, she unlocked the door and held it open.
“You know, don’t you?” Lucas whispered gently into her ear, as he passed by.
“I’m a very busy woman at the moment, you should understand,” Andrea tried to break into a smile, but it all felt forced. She tried to be angry, but other feelings kept getting in the way.
“Well…” Lucas smiled, albeit his smile was a sad, forced one too, “If you need anything, just call me. This is my number.” And, as though he had it written down especially just for her, Lucas pulled out a little piece of paper with a number scribbled down onto it in dark pen, a colour that was not quite black or brown, but not quite red either.
“I can’t,” Andrea sighed.
“Just take it, Andrea,” Lucas closed her palm over the little note, “And smile. Hey, things are going to get better.”
Andrea wanted to snap: things are already at their best! But something was calling her not to. Instead she became unusually humble.
“Yes, Lucas,” Andrea replied, studying the floor-tiles intently.
She didn’t want to look at him. She had remembered where the name came from. Something was blooming inside of herself and she was ashamed; it hurt, and she didn’t know why.