The Enigma of Gary

by Bruin Fisher

I didn't know quite what to make of it; we'd got on so well at first.

We met for the first time in the coffee bar on the corner between the bank where I worked and the trendy clothing shop that employed him, I suspect as much for his looks as for his selling skills. Both of us were in a hurry, snatching a mid-morning coffee before returning to work. He was ahead of me in the queue and I was staring at the back of his neck, admiring the way his hair lay sideways across the nape of his neck. For an instant I forgot myself and, wanting to stroke his hair my right arm actually twitched before I came to my senses and shook myself back to reality, and to the knowledge that such actions are forbidden.

When he was handed his coffee in its paper mug with the plastic snap-on lid, he turned to ease his way through the queue with his hot drink held in front of him, only to come face-to-face with me, and our eyes met. I melted, he was more beautiful than anyone I'd ever seen, and his broad shoulders under the sharp business suit filled the space in front of me so that I had to squeeze up against the buxom middle-aged woman to my right in order to let him past. She didn't like being jostled and promptly shoved me in the small of the back, which propelled me up against the Greek God I was still gawping at, slightly crushing his paper mug between us and ejecting a spurt of hot coffee upwards and towards me, where it decorated my white shirt with a pattern of brown.

“I'm so sorry...” he started, although it clearly wasn't his fault, and I tried to reassure him.

“Don't worry. It was my fault entirely. Let me get you another coffee. How do you like it?”

“No, no, you don't need to do that. This one's only lost a very little bit, still plenty. Look, Can I get you a new shirt?”

“A new shirt?! No, but thank you for the offer! I can rinse it in the staff rest-room and dry it under the blower. It'll be fine. Really.”

“Well, if you're sure... look, will you give me your number, maybe I can take you out for a drink or something?”

I didn't need to be asked twice, he got my number, in more ways than one, and before long we were good friends.

We'd been seeing each other on a friendly basis for a couple of months, when I put my foot in it by suggesting we might move the relationship on a bit. Actually, I asked him if he'd like to stay the night. He'd been round watching Casablanca with me on my big screen and it had got late and we'd both had a couple of pints and I didn't mean anything by it. At least, I could have got away with claiming I didn't mean anything by it if we'd discussed the matter, which we didn't. He just turned me down and left, calling for a taxi on his mobile as he left the flat.

I've seen him a few times since but he's ignoring me. He won't answer my calls or my texts and I've been at my wits' end over it. He's perfectly civil to all the friends we have in common, and everyone says he's fine, but he won't talk to me at all. I resorted to lying in wait for him at the places I know he'll go to or pass by, including the coffee shop of course. Today I spotted him getting off the bus, and followed him, hoping to catch up and force him to talk. But he didn't go home. At a punishing pace he marched straight past his flat and on to the big old building two doors on, that I'd always assumed was divided into flats like all the other buildings on the street. But he walked straight in through the big oak front door and disappeared from view.

I didn't know what to do, but I thought in for a penny, and I tried the door, found it unlocked, so I let myself in. Fortunately the door didn't creak and neither did the floorboards so I was able to tiptoe along the long carpeted hallway towards the open door at the far end, that I thought I'd caught a glimpse of Gary slipping through.

At the end of the passageway I just walked through the open doorway and found myself in a gloomy dusty room with a big stone fireplace and hardly any furniture, just a big black wood wardrobe – and Gary, opening the door and... stepping inside?

I don't know what moved me, but I had a sudden need to hold him back, stop him from getting in that cupboard for some reason. I sprinted across the room and hurled myself at him just as his back foot was lifting off the floor. I hit him squarely between the shoulders and clung to him around the neck, wrapping my legs around his waist so that I was riding him piggyback. I screamed in his ear.

“Gary No! Don't do it!”

I felt a bit of a fool because, whatever it was I didn't want him to do, it was too late and he'd already done it. He walked onwards, apparently not hampered at all by my weight on his back, and it was a few moments before I began to notice that we hadn't hit the back of the wardrobe. For that matter we were in bright sunlight, and on a beach. Also to my embarrassment neither of us was wearing clothes, a fact that forced itself to my attention when I realised that my erection was in direct contact with the small of Gary's back, and how good that felt.

It took another few moments for me to realise that I didn't have to hang on around Gary's neck to avoid falling. I almost let go altogether when I realised the back half of Gary was a horse.

We've talked now, so I suppose I achieved my goal. Gary didn't want me getting involved with him because he didn't want me to know about him, he thought I'd be grossed out or something. Silly man. He's utterly gorgeous – a thoroughbred.

Bruin Fisher May 2013

Centaur

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