The SAS And All The Glam That Goes With It
Sam was late. It was already a quarter past two and she was still half a mile from the health centre, stuck behind a learner driver who hadn't quite worked out how the clutch worked. By the fourth red light she was ready to kill something. Mentally, she cursed the circumstances that had lead her to this, a temporary job in the Welsh borders, covering for some happily married bitch who was thirty-six weeks up the duff.
"For the love of Christ!" she yelled, as the learner kangarooed into the junction and then stalled, again. It was not going to be her day.
She was running even further behind by the time she arrived and was not surprised to find the car park full. She debated for a second about taking the disabled space and decided it wasn't worth the hassle: "Midwife In Car Park Scandal" was a headline she could do without. Eventually, after circling the block twice, she pounced on a space that was miraculously Micra- sized. Heaving a sigh of relief, she squeezed the car into the gap and gathered up her things.
Halfway down the street, as she hurried along in a stumbling half-run, she heard a voice.
"Excuse me, miss?"
She ignored it.
"Miss! Your... breasts!"
She stopped, dead. There was only one possible explanation for those words. Oh God, no! She grabbed the bag from her shoulder and looked inside. Bar a huge hole where the seam had burst, it was empty. She turned round.
Scattered on the ground around her were fifteen knitted breasts.
"Bollocks!" she shouted. The day had officially reached its lowest ebb.
"Look like breasts to me." She looked up at the sound of the voice. Staring back, unperturbed by the bizarre scene, was the most striking man she'd ever seen.
He was tall, taller than she was, with a lithe, wiry body, but the first thing she noticed were his eyes: a deep blue-green, the colour of the ocean, and around them the start of fine lines that betrayed his age. He tilted his head, and the thick moustache surrounding his lips curved into the suggestion of a smile.
Hello! She thought, and then felt herself starting to blush. Then she remembered that she was late, and her breastfeeding aids were littering the pavement. Hurriedly she crouched to pick them up, scooping them up into the bag. It was as she was standing up again that she remembered the hole, as they brushed against her legs, tumbling onto the ground. She wished the pavement would swallow her whole as she suppressed the urge to scream with frustrated embarrassment. Why me? Why now?
The man crouched down and started to gather them up into his arms.
"Oh God!" she said "Really, I'm fine. I just..."
He stood up, cradling the little woollen spheres gently.
"Oh God!" She held her arms out and found herself pressing against him to scoop up her lost cargo. This close she could smell the deep, spicy scent of his aftershave. She felt very odd for a moment, quite light-headed and then they collided, his moustache brushing against her forehead as she stumbled. She felt his strong hands careful touch her arms to keep her in balance and she thought she would faint from embarrassment.
"Are you okay, miss?" he said, looking worried.
She closed her eyes. His breath was hot on her face and she couldn't stop the blush racing to her cheeks. Oh God! Get out of here! She thought.
She stuttered, quickly. "Got to go!" She opened her eyes again and saw him looking at her, quizzically. She could feel her heart thumping in her chest. "Thankyouverymuch!" she said, as fast as possible, turned round, and ran for it
Breastfeeding Group turned out to be a bit of a damp squib. Only four of the regulars turned up, none of whom had any problems and spent all of their time gossiping and wondering how her predecessor was doing. She was quite glad when the first members of the evening diet class waddled through the doors and she could call the session to a close.
"Sister Winters!" shouted the receptionist as she walked out. "A gentleman called. He left this for you!" She giggled, holding out a rather grubby and battered knitted breast. There was a note pinned to it. I found this escapee in the gutter. John.
The receptionist was smirking at her, stifling laughter. "Get your tits out for the boys, eh? Maybe I should try it!" she burst into hysterical giggles.
Sam pursed her lips, trying to work out how to explain, but she realised it was no use. Nothing she could say could make things look less bizarre. She stuffed it into her bag and left, clutching at her few remaining shreds of dignity and walked out the door.
Later, in the flat, with a very generous glass of wine and a take-away, she found herself thinking about him. She'd always had a bit of a thing for men with moustaches, ever since she was young. When the other girls were gooey eyed over baby-faces like DiCaprio and re-watching Titanic for the seventeeth time, she was day-dreaming about being seduced by Tom Selleck in Three Men And A Baby or cosying up to nude Burt Reynolds in his Cosmo centrefold. Everyone else thought she was crazy. She sighed.
There had been something about him, a sort of presence that she had felt. She thought of his aftershave as she had stumbled into him. Christ! You're such an embarrassment! The first attractive man she'd run into in months and she had to make a total fool of herself. Ugh. Pathetic. She took a deep gulp of wine and flopped back into the welcoming embrace of the sofa. Her head lolled and she noticed her bag on the seat beside her, the lost, stained breast on the top. She pulled it out and fingered the note. John. Well that was really helpful. She snorted. He might as well not have bothered. She turned the breast over in her hand: it was stained beyond repair. She sighed and was about to heave it into the bin when she decided that she would keep the note, a reminder not to act like such a pathetic human being in future.
As she pulled the pin out, she stopped, noticing for the first time that there was another note, slipped between the loops of wool and hidden in the stuffing. She squeezed it out and read it, hungrily. You're beautiful. Call me.
Her heart felt like it had stopped, dead in her chest. Trembling, she put the wine down on the table and turned the note over in her hands. On the back there was a number, a perfectly sensible mobile phone number.
Sam's knitted breasts are in genuine use as breastfeeding teaching tools.
The title of this piece comes from a song by Earl Brutus.