Four: A Tall Order


Andrea sat at the squarish table of the darkish room (due to the fact that only two of the four energy-saving light bulbs actually worked) waiting for the microwave to say ‘ping’. It, like many of the other alloy-based appliances cluttered into the space where Andrea liked to make her ‘soup-for-one’ or ‘salad-for-one’, or just the lovely grilled-cheese sandwiches, but which really wasn’t big enough to earn the title ‘kitchen’, refused to work on cue with Andrea’s desires (and occasionally, pleas).

The young woman spun the little business card round and round in her hands. It was a plain white colour on both sides with a navy stripe striking through the side that told Andrea that this employee worked for SVINGU BANKS INCORPORATED.

On the flip-side of the card there were the before-mentioned employee’s personal details: KEITH MURPHY. Telephone number: 07652123480. Branch name and number: Lansdell_Town_42. This was all prettily dolled in with some fancy blue printed ink.

Yes, it seemed all very posh, but completely unlike the Keith Murphy who had reached for the microwave mini-pizza. He had seemed (from Andrea’s psychological point-of-view) to be nervous, embarrassed, bored, and not at all as efficient as his company did make out. And yet, there was something... Some interesting little thing that Andrea couldn’t quite make fit into her first impression of Keith. Normally, this would have scared her, but today, it just made itself out to be a little ‘speed-bump’ which Andrea’s beetle-green ‘Mini-of-the-mind’ would have to flatten. But then again, humanity would be boring if there weren’t things to discover around every corner of life’s full-on maze.

The washing machine gurgled at her as she walked past, fluffy pink slippers slapping lightly onto the ivory and ebony patterned linoleum. Placing the business card next to the juice carton which was waiting to be poured, Andrea’s mind began racing back to Keith again.

He was tall, with a simple air about himself, from the black Russell and Bromley shoes he had been wearing, right up to the wires of his dark hair, and pointed goatee. Until that afternoon, Andrea had always been under the impression that people with facial hair were not to be trusted; they were always concealing sneaky facts.

But Keith hadn’t been like that. He had instantly come to her rescue (showing that he could be gallant), asked after her well-being (polite and caring), and even shared a quick joke with her (humorous). If she created a list for favourite attributes in a man, ‘humorous’ would be there at the top. It was one of the first things that drew her to the newspaper advertisement...

Andrea popped open the microwave door and gingerly lifted out her evening meal. Burnt. Again. This was starting to get on her nerves. She would refuse to eat the third ruined cooked meal of the week. Of course, it would be fine if it were only the microwave that was broken.  But the washing machine and the gas cooker, too?! Bleurg, appliances in flats were becoming so irritating...

But he works at a bank. A bank, for Pete’s sake! That is by no means a sign that he can help... or even be trusted. You never know, Andry, he might just be some freak... And yet he was so nice... Andrea argued with herself on her next course of action. One side needed to win.

Watching her hands tremble, Andrea picked up the telephone discarded nearby and dialled the number from the card, which had now become set into her brain.

“Hey Keith, it’s Andrea. Hi, um, I’m just wondering: are you any good at handiwork around the house?”

After all, he may not be the most gorgeous of them, but at least Keith was a man interested in her.

The End

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