Suzy tries to control herself, not wishing to give in to animal instincts. Yet. Her new ‘date,’ Stephen, gestures out through the Alfa Romeo’s window. “You can see it’s mainly built on one floor. It has a special layout, it’s perfectly rectangular.”
She can’t believe her luck. Her internet date, for once, turned out better, far better, than expected. Attractive, wealthy, intelligent and damn sexy!
He gets out and opens the car door for her. What a gent!
As she gets out her skirt rides up, flashing damp knickers. Did he notice? Better let him make the first move though. She doesn’t want him to think she’s a scrubber.
–They enter a square foyer with a large painting of sunflowers in vibrant acrylic yellow.
“Suzy, come into the study, I’ll get you a drink.”
Books line two walls. On the other two are framed certificates. She examines one – Archibald S. Clarke. First prize. Interschool Mathematics Competition 1976. She sees him looking embarrassed. “Is that you?”
He laughs, taking a book from a shelf, ‘The Fibonacci Conundrum’ by Stephen A. Clarke. “My first book! Yes, I relegated Archie to second place. What would you like?”
“Can I have white wine please, chardonnay if you’ve got it. What’s it about?” She tries to seem interested, her mind anticipating the carnal pleasures hopefully to come.
He pours her a large chardonnay. Scotch for himself.
“Take a seat.” He gestures to a sofa in deep ruby-red leather. “It’s about a very interesting series of numbers.”
“Oh.” She feels embarrassed. She was bottom at maths in school. Still, she had the biggest boobs, so she was popular with the boys. She’d lost count of the number of ‘knee-tremblers’ behind the cycle sheds. She sips some wine. “This is heavenly.”
“Oh good.” He continues, “it’s basically simple. If you can add two numbers together!”
Hmm! She forces a laugh.
“It starts with one, then one again, then the sum of those, two. Then you keep adding the previous two numbers together. So the next number’s three, then five, eight, thirteen, twenty-one and so on.”
She giggles. “If you say so!”
“This house is designed using those numbers! Let me show you round!”
God, I hope this doesn’t take long! There’s only one room she’s interested in.
“So, as you come in there are three small cupboards, one foot square and two foot square. Then there’s a cloakroom and toilet, three foot and five foot square. With me so far?”
“Sort of!” She thinks he might be a weirdo.
“The entrance hall’s eight foot square, and then this study’s thirteen foot square.”
They pass into a beautifully appointed kitchen/diner. “This is twenty one foot square.”
“Oh, Stephen, it’s lovely!” Despite her misgivings she can just imagine serving beef bourguignon with artichokes to his admiring friends there.
“Finally, the pièce de résistance!” He opens the door to a huge room, reminiscent of an art gallery. It has a wooden floor and paintings all around the walls. “I painted some of these myself.”
There are pink and turquoise sofas, and a grand piano.
“Thirty four foot square!” He smiles into her deep blue eyes, as if he’s only just noticed her. In the corner an elegant spiral staircase leads upwards. “That goes to the bedroom and bathroom. Would you like to have a look. I’m afraid they’re not built to Fibonacci series specifications.” He laughs.
“Thank God for that!”
She can’t restrain herself any longer and kisses him on the lips, holding him tightly and letting her tongue intertwine with his.
Suddenly a telephone rings and he answers. “Hello, Stephen Clarke…oh…well, I thought you weren’t…um, not really right now…oh, y-yes, of course…yes, see you later.” He turns, blushing furiously. “I’m frightfully sorry, that was my, er, sister… She wants to stay tonight. I couldn’t say no, she’s, having, um, marital problems right now.”
Suzy feels numb with shock.
“You’ll have to go I’m afraid. She’s very prudish. There’s just time to run you home. I’m really sorry.”
She struggles to regain her composure, desperate to see him again.
“Well, could I borrow that Fibber Nazi book?”
Featured in the book, To Cut a Short Story Short: 111 Little Stories
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