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Short stories

The Beautiful Coat

The Beautiful Coat

The woman with the milky white skin and the small frosty smile had been sat in the bar for well over an hour. She was drinking a gin and tonic and I never would have noticed her, but for the beautiful coat she was wearing. It was really some piece of work and I wondered which one of the great London tailors could have made it. It was undoubtedly British in the same way that certain foods and handshakes were.

It was an incredibly exquisite coat for such a plain woman, I couldn’t help thinking. But, of course, she must have been very rich. The coat was dark black and came down to her calves, with an elegant Jacobean cut. The collar was beautifully shaped and the cloth was of an exceedingly fine and expensive material. The material was hard to place from where I was sitting, so I decided to move a little closer and introduce myself.

‘Hello,’ I said. Wool, I thought to myself.

‘Hello.’ She pushed a shy frosty smile at me.

I told her something about it being a sort of sin to allow a lady to sit in a bar so long by herself.

‘Oh, how sweet of you,’ she said. ‘Actually, I’m expecting someone.’

‘I hope I’m not interfering,’ I said. Size six, I thought.

‘Not at all.’

 

She was a very reserved kind of girl. I am very good looking and I was used to women who were warmer to me. This was not conceit – I would have hated to give that impression. But it was a characteristic of mine to recognise both my strengths and weaknesses. At cricket, for example, I was something of a failure, but with women I was on equal terms with the greats. Undoubtedly.

She said that she was from Derbyshire, but I found it hard to tell from her accent. She was waiting for her brother and he should be here any second. She seemed just a little tipsy. I brought her a few more drinks and said that her brother must have forgotten to come. She laughed, then looked a little sad, so I invited her to my hotel room to try and cheer her up a little.

We went to the room and I fooled around a little bit, but by then she was very drunk, so I let her go to sleep. I took her coat and left her in bed. I paid for the old room and booked a room in a different hotel.

The coat I thought looked very beautiful on me, a perfect fit for a size six blonde. It makes the other women very jealous.

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