“How about that one?” Erica tries, pointing out the open window at a little boutique sandwiched in between a sushi restaurant and a Laundromat. Gail drives, if possible, even slower, and leans over to peer across the passenger’s seat.
It only takes one look at the sign and window mannequins for Gail to decide: “Nope,” and keep driving.
“Because that, hon, is a skinny-person store.”
Erica snorts, adopting that adorable, toothy grin that often comes with her laughter. “Well, we are skinny.”
“Not that skinny.” And maybe Erica would fit into whatever model-esque wares the shop boasts, but Gail probably wouldn’t. Maybe she’s thin in places, but she’s got stretchmarks and flab in others that the more pricey designers never think of. And with their tank full and the sun out, they can afford to be a little choosey. So she keeps her foot on the gas just enough to inch along another block—they’ve found a strip full of women’s fashion.
It doesn’t take long for Erica to absently pat her thigh and insist, “Ooh, that one.” Gail glances over, nods, and stops the car right in the middle of the street. For a while after the virus, she did still bother with parking spaces—more out of habit than anything else. But that was a long time ago, and Gail’s a practical woman.
She and Erica get out their own sides, purses left on the backseat, doors not even shut. Gail pops the trunk for the long, thin sledgehammer. A gun would be easier, but Erica isn’t big on them, so Gail obliges. In the case of glass storefronts, blunt objects work just as well. Erica stands back as Gail does the honours, marching over to shatter the door. That part’s more fun than it should be.
With a loud crack, the glass falls to pieces in the metal frame. Gail takes an extra few seconds knocking the leftover shards out of the edges, and then she and Erica are climbing inside, both in closed-toe heels. Sandals don’t work so well for their new method of shopping. Inside, the small boutique is awash with sunlight, reflected off all the tall mirrors and thankfully devoid of any high shelves. There are candles in the car just in case, but as they have their pick of stores, it’s easier to just hit up the bright ones.
Tossing the sledgehammer to the abandoned counter, Gail beelines for the jeans. Erica automatically gravitates towards a rack of boho-chic summer dresses, as though she doesn’t have enough of them. But they might as well have giant wardrobes—it’s not like there’s much else to have. It’s best to focus on the positives. They can’t order in a fresh pizza from a hot delivery boy, but at least they can fill a whole room with designer handbags.
Not that Gail cares so much about that. A simple pair of comfortable, ass-hugging jeans will do nicely. They might be all alone in the world, but that’s no reason not to look good. Especially when the only person left always looks good.
Erica calls from across the narrow shop, “What do you think?” She’s holding a paper-thin, chocolate brown dress against her chest. It drapes down to mid-thigh, the wafting sleeves swaying lightly.
Gail tells her, “You sure know how to pick ‘em,” because the dress is nice. But of course, Erica would look good in anything. Erica’s full lips draw into another broad smile. That smile, far more than the free and easy clothes, is what keeps Gail going most days.
Turning for the nearest mirror, snuggly hung against a pillar built into the wall, Erica examines herself. She strolls closer, picks at the hem, then hangs the dress back up on the rack behind her and sweeps her dark hair back, shedding her existing dress like so much silk.
Even though she now knows that body off by heart, Gail politely averts her gaze. There’s no sense in changing rooms anymore—especially since those will be too dark to see in. And it’s not like it matters if Gail sees. Except maybe then Gail will get distracted, and she’ll pull Erica down with her, and they’ll make a mess of the place and lose a few dizzying hours in senseless fun. Which would be all well and good, if there wasn’t a certain window of when the sun’s just right for shopping. They can have all their fun when the sun goes down, when they’re back in their fancy borrowed mansion, on a big soft bed with a bottle of wine, and maybe a candle or two just for the hell of it. By the time Gail’s done with her lewd train of thought, Erica’s strolling over in the new dress.
“Well?” she asks again, this time with her hands on her hips, striking a few playful poses. Gail pretends to consider it. Privately, it just reminds her how lucky she is: if she had to be stuck with only one person left on Earth, at least it’s someone gorgeous and sweet.
Sometimes, even though this was supposed to be just a lack of options, she doesn’t even miss men at all. They get along like ice cream and pie. Either of which she’d give her right arm to lick off of Erica’s plump lips—fresh, delicious food, and a partner to share it with.
She tells Erica honestly, “You look like an angel.”
Erica grins like Gail’s all she’s ever wanted. She said she’d never wanted women before either. But she never complains any more than Gail does.
She reaches out for Gail’s hand, slips deftly into it, and tells her, “C’mon, let’s find you one.” Then Erica drags her off for the eveningwear.