Wallflower Girl (Chapter 1, page 2 of 3)

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Kelser was Anne's fat tabby cat. He had just hopped on her lap for some petting. "You're my man aren't you, Kelser, good boy," she said, holding his black and tan striped ebony-eared face and soaking up the love and loyalty in his hazel eyes. She glanced as her brother tossed a chuckle and shook his head.

"You need to get laid, sis."

"You need a bath," she shot back dismissively. She had been laid a few times. It was no big deal. The only men who ever seemed to look at her without sympathy in their eyes needed more sympathy than she did. Dismissing the thought of men, she picked up her set of three short double sided knitting needles and began shaping the leg of a turquoise teddy bear she was making for her co-worker's baby shower. The cat turned on her lap three times and settled down. The heat of his furry body was better than a hot water bottle on the aching muscles of her damaged leg. He purred, kneading her with soft soot-coloured paws.

Graham was not ready to let the conversation die. "What about your new neighbour? He was asking all about you earlier."

"What about you mind your own business?" Anne shot back, though that comment was not so easy to dismiss. She felt the colour heat her neck and cheeks at the thought of a man asking about her. He had moved in across the hall that week. She'd passed him on the stairs a few times but had been too shy to meet his eyes or anything. She'd felt him looking at her. "Asking who about me? Not you?" she enquired of her little brother.

"Nope. He was chatting with that old dude downstairs. Asking what your deal was-married or single or whatever. They didn't know I was right there in your garage."

"Well, what did he say, exactly?" Anne strived for nonchalance. Apparently she'd succeeded.

Graham searched his nose for another booger. "Don't know-exactly! The guy said, 'who's that mousy chick?' or something. 'She married or what?' Then old big ears said you were single, and told him your name."

"What, so the new guy asked for my name?"

"Yeah-something like that. Did you buy pizzas?"

"Yes, I bought pizzas, and there's some decent food you can heat up too. There are two dinner plates all set in the fridge. You'll only have to microwave them a few minutes." She wondered if he would bother with the meatballs in gravy, baked chicken, or vegetable soup. She was sure he would eat the steaks and mashed potatoes.

Her mind drifted. That handsome fellow had asked about her. Anne looked up from her knitting. She felt strangely warm inside, but there was one thing. "He called me mousy?"

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