“Well?” she said.
“Well what?”“A shower. Are you going to have a shower?”“Yes, right.” He turned to the shower. “Are you going to—““Look away? Ewww, yes. Of course.” She turned around to face the same corner as he had. “I’ve got my eyes closed.”He removed his coat, decided not to ask her to place it over her head as she had done to him, and hung it on a peg on the wall. Then he took his shirt and jeans off and self-consciously folded his boxer shorts inside them. There was nowhere to put them.“Would you hold my clothes?”She nodded and held out her arms.He flipped the lever that started the water. It was lukewarm. The soap was in a push button dispenser and he quickly covered himself in lather. He shivered. “Takes a while to warm up, doesn’t it.”“You only get one shower for your euros.”“Oh, thanks. Vital tip that.”“You were the one that jumped in.”He tried to keep his back to her. “This is getting bloody cold.”“Hey, you have a scar.”“I thought you had your eyes closed!”“I can’t stand here all this time with my eyes closed. It’s not normal. How did you get your scar?”“Fell out of a tree and tore up my shoulder when I was young.”“No, not the one on your shoulder. The one on your bu—“He crunched up, covering himself. “Do you mind?”“I was only trying to make conversation.”The water was freezing now. The overhead fan was still blasting away. He could feel his skin prickling with the cold. He swept a blob of shampoo through his hair and rinsed it away immediately, thrashing his hands to clear the soap off his body. He snapped the tap to off and ran his hands over his body to wipe off the water. “God, I’m cold.”“Turn on the dryer,” she said.He pressed the button and nothing. He pressed again. Then he thumped and banged it. Nothing happened. He was shivering uncontrollably. “Oh, god. One shower, one run of the dryer.” He ran his hands over his body, trying to ward off the cold and flicking more water onto the sopping wet floor.She leaned over to the sink and pulled a handful of paper towels from a dispenser. “Here.”“Are you closing your eyes at all?”“Will you stop being a wimp?”She juggled the towels in her hand and backward-passed them to him. At the same moment his clothes fell out of her other hand.He dived to grab them from the wet floor. She did the same. Their heads cracked, his eye socket against the back of her skull. A storm of twinkling lights erupted in his vision and darkness threatened to overcome him. He slid down and sat on the floor. “Oh, god, why’d you do that?”She picked up his clothes from the wet floor. “I didn’t do it on purpose.”He grunted and held his head in his hands.“Wow. You’ve got abs,” she said.He sighed. “Everyone’s got abs.”“Yeah, but not ones you can see.”He drew his knees up to his chest. “That’s because I’ve got no clothes on.”“I meant—“There was an insistent knocking at the door followed by Little’s high-pitched squeak. “You two are wasting time.”Piers rolled his head forward. “Oh, shit.” The twinkling lights swam around in circles.“Go away,” said Sidney, “we’re busy.”“So I can hear. You two lovebirds might be having fun, but you’re wasting time. Get out here.”“Oh, god. Give me my clothes,” said Piers. He heard a burst of schoolgirl sniggers from outside.
About the Author
Nigel Blackwell was born in rural Oxfordshire in England. He has a love of books, a PhD in Physical Chemistry, and a black belt in pointing out the obvious. As a teenager he toured Europe and loved seeing the wonders of the world and the people in it. Since then he has been fortunate enough to travel across Europe, North America, the Middle East, and Japan, and hasn't been anywhere that doesn't have the potential for a story.
He now lives in Texas with his wife and daughter, where they enjoy the sunshine and listen to the coyotes howl at night.
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