THE LONG AND THE SHORT OF IT.

23 Jul

THE LONG AND THE SHORT OF IT.

pansies photo: Maresfield Pansies DSC00940.jpg  Jobelia was a tiny woman with blonde hair and an intriguing nose. Standing a mere two feet seven and a quarter inches tall there never was a smaller woman anywhere. Yet, despite her diminutive proportions, in just about every respect she was perfectly proportioned.

You must know what I mean; quite a lot of people blessed with shortness are short for a reason, maybe because they have legs that never grew properly, or a short torso or something obvious and physical. Now, I don’t want you to think I’m trying to say anything about such people because I’m not. My concern is Jobelia, who was tiny in every possible respect.

Except, that is, in her choice of lovers.

Now, it must never be assumed that a tiny person has tiny expectations, especially in the love-life compartment of life, and Jobelia’s appetite in this respect was large. And because her proportions were ideal, albeit diminutive, she could see no reason why she shouldn’t receive the same range of physical affection as any other person. It was, she assumed, her human right to be caressed by whosoever she felt right being caressed by. Love, she explained to anyone interested enough to listen to her, is a universal verity.

And with that thought teasing the edge of her mind she met Shaun and took an instant and powerful liking to him. Most people did. He was a sportsman who excelled in several disciplines though he favoured the game of cricket because his sharp mind and teasing attitude to spin bowling meant he was virtually unbeatable. And to help him in his domination of such a cerebral sport he was fiendishly tall. In fact, he was all but an inch short of seven feet tall! He towered over everyone!

Jobelia met him one summer’s afternoon in July whilst she was sitting in her garden (she lived a very ordinary life, she had a garden that she was immensely proud of and when she wasn’t weeding it she enjoyed crocheting with her feet up on a stool in the sun, which she was doing at the time.)

“What a lovely bed of pansies!” he boomed at her from the other side of her garden fence. “I doubt I’ve ever seen such a fine display of colours so cunningly woven together into an eye-blistering delight as that! You are truly clever!”

She looked up, and sighed.

What a handsome figure of a man – and how tall! She had never seen a head so far from the ground before – it was almost as if he was on stilts. And that hair, waving free like a young man’s hair should be, teasing his ears and scuffling down his neck – but not too far! Not so as to look scruffy! And when he spoke to her he smiled a broad white-toothed smile, and it seemed to send arrows straight to her heart.

“Oh, what kind words!” she blabbered, hardly aware of what she was saying she was so overcome by the sight of the man.

“Do you think it would be too much for me to ask … would you mind if I came through your gate and took a closer look? I’d like to have a garden like yours…” he asked.

“Please…” she stammered in reply.

Her gate had no arch or anything to impede a tall person, but she noted that he instinctively ducked slightly as he walked through it. She stared at his face and agreed with her initial instinctive decision, that he had never seen such a handsome face before. His eyes were spaced just right for her – she put a great deal of trust in the spacing of eyes – too close together and they were deceitful and too far apart and they were mean. And his mouth … she had theories about mouths as well, though she’d never put them into words until now when she decided this tall man had the most perfect mouth.

It was a mouth she’d love to kiss.

It was a mouth she could linger over. It was the nicest and most alluring of all mouths. In short, it was sexy.

“Tell me,” he said quietly (his voice was practically perfect, his modulation warm and alluring), “Tell me, did you grow these from seed yourself, or did you buy them from a skilled gardener?”

“I bought the seeds,” she murmured, “I always buy seeds when I can…”

“And you arranged the colours just so?” he asked, his eyebrows raised.

“They turned out like that,” she confessed. “There’s no better arranger of flowers and colours than Mother Nature,” she added.

“Will you marry me?” he asked.

Out of the blue! Just like that! Her heart fluttered and she leapt to her feet, all two feet seven and a quarter inches of her.

“You what?” she asked, hardly daring to hear the reply.

“I said, will you marry me?” he repeated. “Any soul who has such a garden and is in possession of the skill to allow Mother Nature to strut her colourful stuff without interfering, and who ends up with such spectacular results must be the most perfect soul in creation and would surely make the perfect, most loving wife!”

“But … we are a mismatch…” she almost protested, “you being so tall and me being a dwarf!”

“That is insignificant,” he grinned, “now answer me … will you marry me?”

“It’s a question I’ve never been asked before,” she whispered. “People like me don’t get asked that kind of question very often, you know…”

“But will you marry me?” he persisted. “I can care for you. I can provide for you. I can take you to bed with me and make love to you all night long if that’s what you want! I can dance with you in ballrooms with romantic orchestras playing special tunes for us, I can hold your hands under the moonlight, I can kiss your perfect lips…”

“We would look … odd,” she sighed.

“I hold no truck with odd! I’ve been odd all my life, little lady! At school I was mocked for my height, called names by grubby boys because I was different bullied because they had to look up at me. I know all about looking odd! So will you marry me?”

She smiled a radiant smile at him. “Then I’d best reply,” she whispered, “and the long and the short of it is … We’ve only just met here under the sun but yes, I will!”

He laughed aloud. “And in between our kisses, sweet lady, you can tend my garden,” he laughed, “but I warn you, there may be very little time for weeding!”

She sighed.

And the two of them went off down the street together, she sitting on one of his shoulders for ease, and by the time they were out of sight an old man with a briar pipe who’d watched the whole affair from his bedroom window cackled to himself and shook his head.

“I guess it’ll never last!” he croaked.

But it did because, despite all pessimism – and there’s plenty of that in the world – good things come in all manner of packages and really can stand the test of time…

© Peter Rogerson 23.07.15

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