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The Man Like No Other - Short Story
‘Let’s go to the Oasis centre, I’m in a mood for some new clothes’ Nina said sipping her coffee. ‘Yep, sounds good to me, I would do with some time spent in shops myself’ Lilly agreed. They were on their lunch break, having a coffee and a cake and just sorted out some plans for the evening.
The girls shopping trip was just what they needed after a busy week at work. ‘We could eat a dinner in this Italian place, they have delicious pastas’ Nina suggested. ‘Oh, and you know what I really would love to ...’ Lilly started but was interrupted by Ricky.
‘Are you going to the shopping centre after work?’ he asked. ‘Yes, we are planning the girly evening out’ Nina answered slowly annoyed by his interruption. She didn’t like this bloke much as he had a tendency to jump in the middle of the conversation and to start talking about stuff he was interested in regardless of the topic. He was also oblivious to any clues that he might be unwelcome.
‘Great, sounds like a perfect idea for the evening, I’ll go with you’ he said cheerfully. ‘Ricky, it’s a girly evening out which means we will spend a lot of time in shops trying out all the possible outfit’ Nina said with annoyance in her voice.
‘Are you going to shops tonight?’ Another voice could be heard. It was Neil, their cinematics guru. ‘Guys!’ Nina was rolling her eyes, ‘We really want to spend a proper time in shops!’ ‘No worries Nina, I’m not an idiot’ Neil said reassuringly. ‘I just need a lift one way, I hope it won’t be a problem?’ he added.
‘At least one reasonable’ Nina murmured. ‘But I don’t mind some time in shops, I also need to buy myself few shirts’ said Ricky not getting the hint as usually.
‘Fine’ girls sighed ‘See you guys after work then.’
Unfortunately it was nice and quiet in the big clothes store they have chosen so they had to incorporate different strategy. Lilly was the one who would normally spend a lot of time in fitting rooms, doing two or three rounds and taking 10 pieces each time. But she would rarely buy anything as she wasn’t happy with her shape so in her opinion nothing looked good on her. Nina was different - she was slim so had no problem choosing clothes, but she hated using changing rooms so she would normally buy tones of clothes, then tried them at home to return later those she didn’t like.
But not today. Today they wanted to waste as much time as possible, so Nina was making her trips to changing rooms and Lilly doubled the number of trips she usually did. After over two hours they were both completely fed up with shopping and had baskets full. They looked around for Ricky hoping he got fed up and left the shop but he was still there.
‘What on earth!’ Lilly gasped. ‘This guy is unbelievable’ said Nina shaking her head. ‘I’m fed up, let’s go somewhere else’ she added. ‘Good idea’ Lilly agreed and suddenly lightened up. ’How about the fragrance shop? I don’t know any man who would last there more than 10 minutes’. ‘Brilliant!’ cheered up Nina.
They walked slowly to the place where they could see Ricky. He looked relieved when he noticed them. ‘Girls, I need your help’ he said desperately. ‘I can’t decide which shirt I should take, the one with the blue or the purple stripes. Help!’ ‘Blue’ ‘Purple’ they said simultaneously. Ricky looked puzzled.
Nina sighed ‘Show me both’ she asked. ‘Yes, take the blue one, it looks better with your jeans’. ’Thanks Nina, you are a star!’ he shouted. ‘Yeah, yeah, have you finished?’ she asked. ‘Almost, I just need to pay’ Ricky answered. ‘So hurry up’ Lilly urged him ‘We have other places to see.’
They moved towards tills and few minutes later were out with bags full of clothes. Even Lilly had a few in her bag as Nina managed to persuade her to buy a few blouses.
Girls headed off to a fragrance store and their mood improved. They wandered what Ricky will say. ’Perfume shop, wonderful’ he shouted elated ‘I just need to choose a new scent for myself’ he added.
Girls couldn’t believe what he was saying, it was just impossible. They wandered around for a while, smelled a dozen of perfumes but after half an hour they actually had enough and started to be really hungry. They came close to the place where Ricky was.
Later on that day when the girls were waiting in the car for the guys to appear, they came up with the plan. ‘I’m fed up with Ricky’ Nina started. ‘Let’s make him suffer then’ Lilly said. ‘How about we spend a really long time in the clothes department?’ she suggested. ‘Yeah, no man can stand it! He will give up and take taxi home, I’m sure’ Nina smiled as she liked the idea.
The Oasis centre was quite empty as it was Thursday night and it was located far from town centre. It was one of the reasons girls liked it as they didn’t need to wait in any queues. They actually would prefer if the centre was busier today, everything would take longer so Ricky wouldn’t be able to stand it for too long.
‘How’re you doing’ Nina asked with resignation in her voice. ‘Well, actually I would do with some help’ he said. ‘I have chosen five different scents but I cannot decide which one would suit me’. ‘Show me’ Lilly said and looked at all of them. There was one called “Nuisance” so she picked this one without even smelling. ‘This is the one perfectly for you’ she said and Ricky was completely over the moon.
They left the shop and went to the Italian restaurant they talked about earlier. Girls knew they have totally lost this battle so they cheered themselves up with panna cotta after a generous pasta portion they have shared. Then they watched with an amusement Ricky shoveling in two huge portions of spaghetti alla carbonara. After shopping like a girl, they somewhat expected him to eat like a girl as well, but it definitely wasn’t the case.