Rose-Tinted – by Kate Jones

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I’ve always had a thing for guys with glasses.  There’s something about the way they shield the eyes, like putting up a protective barrier.  Something hidden, a bit of intrigue.  Like the tip of an iceberg.

So there’s this guy in the group I hang out with at Uni.  I think he’s a friend of Toby’s who takes English Lit classes with me.  To be honest, I’ve not really taken that much notice of him.  He’s just not really my type.  He has short, gelled hair, wears sports-type gear, trainers.  I like guys who are a bit nerdy, who read poetry and have left-leaning political opinions.  He’s just not my type.

One night, I go to a party at Toby’s girlfriend’s house, and he turns up in these smart, thick-rimmed black glasses.  The nerdy ones that I really go for.  He’s not got his trainers on, but soft brown loafers.  He’s wearing a smart black t-shirt, really tight and black trousers, with a tightly pulled belt.  And he’s done something different with his hair; his fringe is flopping over one eye.

He comes up to me and asks if he can get me a drink, so I say yeah, why not.  We stand around, talking and laughing.  He tells a joke that’s quite ironic about a male politician.  Then he goes and quotes some Kerouac, says he’s a big fan.

And I’m stunned.  I never would’ve had him down for that, I tell him.  Says he’s got hidden qualities, just doesn’t like to show his sensitive side too much.  He holds a cigarette in his left hand and blows smoke rings through his thin lips.

After midnight, when we’ve both had quite a bit to drink, he asks if he can walk me home.  As we walk down the dark streets toward my flat, he takes my hand that’s hanging limply by my side, and I let him.

Because he’s quite drunk, he tells me he’s fancied me for ages, but he thought I wasn’t interested.  He says he thought I’d never noticed him before.  I just smile, looking into his lovely brown eyes partly hidden by those thick-rimmed glasses.

We stop under a street light and kiss.  I have to stand on tip-toe because he’s so tall.  His black t-shirt stretches over his chest snugly.

When we get to the flat, I ask if he’d like to come in for a bit.  He nods.  I can tell he’s hot for me.

Inside, I pull him into my room and kick the door closed.  We kiss, and he slides his hands underneath the straps of my dress, causing it to slide to the floor and pool around my feet.  I’m not wearing a bra, and he slides his inquisitive hands round my small breasts.

Pushing me back towards the bed, he takes his glasses off, laying them carefully on the bedside table.  As he leans down toward me, I whisper in his ear; Put the glasses back on.  He raises his face and gives me a strange look, shrugs and puts them back on.

Afterwards, we lay back, his arm flung across my flat stomach.

Wow, he says, Toby said you really dug guys with glasses, but I didn’t realise it would get me this far.

I turn my head toward him.  What?  I ask, faintly.  He laughs.  It’s a brittle kind of laugh, harsh and mocking.

The glasses, he says, I borrowed them from my brother.  You mind if I take them off now?  They’re kind of hurting my eyes.

He pulls them off and lays them on the bedside table.

Photo (6)Kate Jones is a freelance writer based in the UK who has a passion for flash fiction, with pieces in various publications including Spelk, The Nottingham Review Open Pen and Sicklit, who nominated her for a Pushcart Prize. She’s currently an editorial intern with Great Jones Street and Essayist for The Short Story.

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