Yes, I’ve reserved this week for myself. It’s my blog, what you going to do about it? There’ll be more guests next week, but for now I’m serving up a tasty helping of Eternally & Evermore.
In this scene, which follows on from this week’s Six Sentence Sunday, Amy had instructed Will to arrive at her house prepared for the what they’ve got planned. Enjoy.
Come Prepared, she’d said. And Will knew that she meant one thing—condoms. He’d never bought any before and wasn’t exactly looking forward to it. He considered asking his dad if he had any, but only for a second before he thought better of it. And even though he knew that Bobby would give him one, he couldn’t ask him. If he did, then Bobby would know what he and Amy were planning and while Bobby wouldn’t spread rumours maliciously, he couldn’t be trusted not to say the wrong thing to the wrong person at the wrong time without realising it.
So there was nothing else for it. After he’d walked Amy home that evening, he called into the all-night store by the park. It was late and the other shops were closed, but Pattel’s was always open. Run by an Asian family, the store sold all the basics that one might want in a hurry—bread, milk, booze, a small selection of groceries, sweets, tobacco, newspapers, magazines and, of course, condoms.
There wasn’t anyone hanging around outside the shops—He had been worried he’d bump into John Nugent and his gang but they seemed to have found a new hangout in recent weeks. He walked in and thanked his lucky stars that Mr Pattel was behind the counter. He wasn’t sure he would have been able to go through with it had it been Mrs Pattel—or worse, their stunning daughter, Neesha, who’d been two years ahead of Will at school and worked part-time in the shop as she went through university. The Pattels kept certain products behind the counter. Cigarettes obviously, that was the law, but also the stronger booze like the spirits and fortified wines, medicines like cough mixture and paracetamol tables and, of course, the condoms.
Will browsed the shop, aware that Mr Pattel was watching him. The shopkeeper had had bad experiences of some of Will’s peers—John Nugent in particular. He didn’t want to walk up to the counter and just order condoms. It had to be a throw-away line. He wanted it to look as if he’d gone into the shop for something else, and might as well get some condoms while he was there.
He settled on a magazine he regularly bought, some chocolate and a bottle of white wine, which he thought he could take to Amy’s with him tomorrow.
“ID?” Mr Pattel said when Will put the wine on the counter. Will got out his wallet and flashed his provisional driving licence, which he’d taken to carrying around with him ever since he’d turned eighteen and been legally old enough to buy alcohol, even though Mr and Mrs Pattel were the only ones who ever asked to see it. Mr Pattel nodded and rung up the items on the till.
“Five pounds fifteen, please.”
“Oh, and some condoms as well.” He mumbled the word.
“Some what? Sorry, I didn’t catch that.”
“Somecondomsaswellplease,” he said in one breath.
Mr Pattel shook his head. “Sorry, still didn’t get it.” Will wondered if the man was doing deliberately now. Making him suffer.
Will took a deep breath. “Could I, please,” he said, “have a packet of condoms as well?”
“Of course, young man. A pack of three, twelve or eighteen?”
Will shook his head. “Just three for now.”
Mr Pattel turned around, took something from one of the shelves behind him and then turned back to Will. He held out two packets. “Ribbed, or featherlight?”
Will looked him square in the eye. “Which would you recommend?” he said with a smile.
Mr Pattel laughed and put the featherlight pack back. “First time?”
Will nodded. “Can you tell?”
“Trust me, she’ll like these. Six seventy-five altogether.”
Will found the coins out of his wallet while Mr Pattel put the items into a brown bag. “Good luck. And have fun.”