Seymour sighed. Again. He stared at the ceiling, memorizing the cracks and water stains. Again. He shifted his weight and noticed his bed creak. He thought about fixing it. He sat up and wondered where his tools where, only to remember he let Audrey borrow them, again. He paused for a moment, letting a smile creep to his face at the thought of her. Again. And, positioning his hands under his head, he fell back on the bed. He sighed. Again.
Typical Friday night.
What was he supposed to do on the weekends? Shouldn't he be going out with friends, shouldn't he be dating? Mushnik had grilled him this afternoon with these same questions, and Seymour had no answer for them. It's not as though he DIDN'T have friends. Seymour knew some people. There was Paul, the tailor down the street. Very nice, very smart, but had expensive tastes- Seymour couldn't afford to go dining like Paul did. Seymour suspected Paul couldn't, either. And there was Ted and Daisy, the married couple who often ordered flowers to be personally delivered. Seymour liked them, and their two children. But that was it- they had children, it wasn't as though Seymour could spend time getting to know them, they were busy!
They were his age. And they already were married with children, stable jobs, their own little house…
He sighed. Again. What if that was the life he was missing? He was 27 for Christ's sake. Only a real loser would be sitting alone in his room on a Friday night, staring and sighing. And not even in a house. He slept under his WORKPLACE! He grimaced at the thought. Again. He really shouldn't be complaining. He was being a jerk. Mr. Mushnik took him in, he raised him, and he gave him a place to stay, wasn't that enough for him? Seymour didn't deserve anything else. He had a pretty good deal going for him here. Seymour sighed. Again.
"Shouldn't you be dating? God's sake, Seymour, you're young and you've got a job, that's all a woman has the right to ask for!"
Mushnik's statement had hurt Seymour a little. He knew that he wasn't good enough to be anyone's husband. And even if he was, he knew he'd only want one person for his… but she was definitely too good for him. She was beautiful and had potential to make something of herself. She was kind, funny, beautiful, caring, sweet, and that's the kind of girl that makes the world go 'round. She was everything any man could ever want, he thought. Again. She essentially has the entire world population of men to choose from. How could she even think about him? He adjusted his glasses. He sighed. Again. There was a knock at the door. Again.
Wait, no. Not again. A knock?
Seymour swung his legs off his bed and carefully stood up, adjusting his shirt, which had ridden up a little bit. His legs were tired from standing all week, and his back ached from his uncomfortable mattress. Again. But this out of the ordinary occurrence had made him forget these things. He tentatively called, "One second!" and a voice responded, "Sure, Seymour! I'm sorry to bother you so late!"
He knew that voice.
His heart felt as though it had literally fallen into his shoes. He lunged for the door, crying, "Audrey!" He tripped over a small pot that had fallen off his shelves. But he scrambled up and flung open the door. And there she was. Smiling apologetically, she said, "Hello. I didn't wake you up, did I?"
Seymour had to remind himself to breathe as he responded, "No, no, no, Audrey, no! I was just, uh… you know… are… Audrey! You're all wet, what happened?" He had just noticed her soaking hair and dripping clothes. Her makeup had even begun to run. He stepped aside and gestured for her to enter his room, which he immediately became ashamed of- well, even more so. His bed was untidy, his workspace was cluttered, and his shoes were carelessly strewn on the floor… As Audrey stepped inside, he quickly ran to clean up.
"I'm so sorry, Seymour, but it was pouring outside and I left my key locked in my room… I'm not sure how it happened… My neighbor has a spare, but she's on vacation. Orin has one, too, but I…" She stopped. Seymour understood. A twinge of anger began to build inside of him, but he subdued it, not wanting to appear mad in Audrey's presence.
Wait. She didn't want to go to him. She was avoiding Orin. Seymour knew he was bad news, and Audrey did, too, but she had never done anything like this before. Seymour appreciated the kind of courage it took to do something like this with a man like Orin in Audrey's life. Seymour perked up and glanced at Audrey. She was staring at the ground, shivering. She was about to continue when he said, "Audrey, let me get you a blanket, or a towel, or even some dry c-clothes." He tried not to think of her delicate figure that lied in wait under her sopping dress- STOP STOP STOP STOP
"Um, actually, Seymour… dry clothes sound really nice," Audrey replied. Seymour could have sworn there was color in her cheeks. Wasn't that just blush? Or… was she…? No. No way. Seymour always thought things like this, and he always came to the same conclusion: she thought of him as her friend, maybe a brother, even. Why did he let himself get hurt with things he already knew? He scrambled around and found a button-down shirt in his dresser. He held it out for Audrey to see, and she smiled.
"I've never seen you wear that," she commented. Seymour blushed.
"Well, it's… small on me. Perhaps it will fit you?" He didn't mean to phrase that as a question. He found that his mind kept floating to places he rarely let it, even in private. Somehow, it felt wrong to think of her that way. Perhaps he didn't want to think of her solely as an object of sex. But that's truly not how he saw her. These were basic human urges, were they not?
"Seymour?" a voice called from behind him. He had been lost in his own thoughts! He quickly jerked up and hit his head on the shelf above him. He cried out in pain, and there were footsteps as Audrey ran over to him.
"Seymour, Seymour! I'm so sorry!" she cried as she ran next to him. "Are you all right, are you going to be okay?" She looked intently at him, worry etched into her beautiful eyes. Seymour smiled in spite of himself.
"Of course, Audrey, it's not your fault, I'm just a klutz. Here you go," he said, handing her the shirt. "I, um, will continue to look for bottoms or pants-" he began, but Audrey shook her head.
"That's all right, Seymour," she said, and, without explaining further, she gingerly touched his head. "Is… is it okay if I touch you?" she asked immediately, pulling away sharply. Seymour was unable to say anything. She had refused pants. He felt like he was going to drool enough water to fill a bathtub. She placed her hand on his skull again and said, "Oh, Seymour, that's going to leave a bump. I'll go change and when I get back, I'll help you out with that. I'm so sorry!"
As she walked into his bathroom, Seymour sat down on his bed and tried to piece this all together. Audrey shows up, soaking wet, avoiding Orin, refusing pants, blushing, touching his head? His heart was racing, and his mind was all over the place.
This was NOT a typical Friday night.