Deep blues (fiction)

It teases her.

Hanging in the communal drying room, nearly dry. Deep blue satin with black lace skimming its edges, the chemise calls to her.

“You have nothing like me,” it whispers. “Touch me, I’ll be light against your skin. I’ll float in the barest of breeze. Take me.”

Entranced by the silk and lace chemise everything - the chug of the colossal washing machines, the whir of the dryer and the roar of the nameless machine that blows hot air through the drying rooms - is forgotten.

Sheer and sinful, she sees herself in its floating fabric, padding through her unfurnished white corridor in bare feet, someone waiting for her.  He is unknown, a faceless yet erotic form strewn across her bed, he would end her years of loneliness. 

The sudden beep of the machine tells her its chore had ended and brings her back to life, to emptying the machine of her own laundry in various shades of grey, burgundy and black, in wool, denim, corduroy and cotton.

She is captivated.

Forsaking her own washing, she takes the camisole down from the washing line. It belongs to someone else, a woman of daring and self-assurance. It’s not lost, it’s not left behind, it’s surrounded by socks and woollen tights, white shirts, sports bras and jeans.

No one would know. She assures herself.

The other two drying rooms are full, any one of them’s owner could be mistaken for the culprit who, when taking down her washing, pilfers an item she knows doesn’t belong to her.

That won’t be her. Stealing underwear is too far beneath her – too desperate.

She hangs it back in place, smoothing it down, leaving the satin chemise as she found it. She packs her laundry and opens the door to leave.

Abruptly, she halts, drops her bag to the floor and surreptitiously glances around. She dashes into the drying room to where the slip hangs.

She snatches the yellow and black sock beside it, stuffing it in her coat pocket, picks up her possessions and is gone. 

Picture via flickr

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