An Old Fool is an April Fool
By T. Foolery
Disclaimers: Any resemblance to anyone is purely unintentional. This is simply a formulaic story of good humor and romance and is not intended to infringe on any copyrights. However, the characters are mine, mine, mine, though anything they say cannot be used against me in a court of law... I hope.
Love: Of course and it involves two women, so abandon ye who enter if this ain't to your 'cup of tea.'
History: for a little info on April Fool's check the following links
The alarm heralded the new day... April Fool's Day to be precise... a day that Val distinctly disliked. "Oh joy! A day FILLED with practical jokes and pranks," she thought glumly. Now Val enjoyed a joke as much as the next person, but playing practical jokes was just not her forte and every attempt she had made as a child and young adult had failed miserably. So she was left with always being the butt of a joke and somehow that just didn't sit with her sense of karma. As a rule, she avoided just about everyone on the 1st of April to keep her exposure to practical jokers at a minimum, but today, she had no choice but to brave the whimsical tomfoolery.
It all started last evening when she trudged home from a long day to find the message indicator blinking ominously on her phone. "Funny how my gut KNEW that was going to be a call I didn't want." she mused. Tony, her brother, ran a singing messenger service and he called begging in a voice more reminiscent of a croaking frog, asking her to honor his appointments the next day... April Fool's Day. Val had spent several moments allowing her mind to invent several creative tortures for her sibling, but in the end her family loyalty won out and she called Tony back, telling him she'd ėdo the deed'. Somehow his enthusiastic whispered praises had done little assuage her sense of impending doom. He'd faxed over the appointments and saw that there were only two. One was obviously meant as a joke ... no one wanted a singing chicken at his or her door, but the second one was meant to be romantic. The details specified top hat and tails, a white rose and a song.
Once again Val wondered why anyone would order a romantic singing messenger on April Fool's Day. She shrugged her mental shoulders and headed for her car, "Next stop Tony's for the gear I need." She folded her long, lean frame into her aging Honda Accord and pulled out of her garage.
"Not bad if I do say so," she mused as she stood in front of the full-length mirror. Being of similar height, albeit slighter build than her brother, she looked pretty slick in the tails. She'd padded the shoulders a bit and wore a pair of low-heeled square-toed black loafers to compensate for their differences. Her shoulder-length dark hair was clipped high on her head and neatly tucked into the top hat. She checked the boombox and made sure the music CD that had the songs she needed was inside. All she needed now, was a stop at the florist Tony was contracted with to pick up the single white rose and she was set. She'd already done the 'chicken' job earlier in the day. Seems sibling rivalry was behind that one and involved 'laying an egg' on the front porch. The recipient had roared and tipped her quite nicely. She thought for sure that with her luck, she'd be booted down the walkway. "Perhaps today my karma will be good," she thought as she turned looking over her shoulder to do one final check of her outfit in the mirror.
Val checked the address one more time and noted she was in a light industrial area; comprised mostly of small shops. The sign affixed next to the door read "ProStaff" and indicated a temporary agency. "Okay... well might as well get this over wit and then I can lay low for the rest of day." She climbed out of her car, did a quick check of her getup in the side mirror and headed for the front door of the shop. She entered into a small reception area and found herself in front of an empty desk. Looking for a way to signal her presence and finding none, she figured that if she cleared her throat, loudly, someone might notice. No one did. She went back to the door, opened it and closed it again harder, making a definite noise. Finally she heard the sound of footsteps coming from the corridor that was adjacent to the reception area.
A petite, blonde-haired and very pretty young woman rounded the corner and took in Val's appearance with a bemused look, her head slightly cocked to the side.
"Can I help you?"
"Uhhhh ... yeah ... I have a delivery for..."Val paused as she checked the slip of paper in her hand, "Emily" she finished.
"Hmmm ... there's no one by the name of Emily here. Could it be for one of our temps?"
Val's rather pole-axed mind quickly tried to reconcile the information. "Huh?" "Brilliant response Winston" her mind quickly added.
"Does your slip of paper give a last name perhaps? I could check our employee listing to see where she might be placed, "the woman stated as she stepped over to the computer terminal on the reception desk.
Val consulted the slip in her hand and mumbled "Sailers ... the name is Emily Sailers."
The blonde stiffened a bit and turned back to face Val as she said, "Uhh, I think someone is playing a practical joke ... Emily Sailers is one-half of the Indigo Girls."
"Shit! Shit! Shit!" Val's mind chanted. Her shoulders slumped and a defeated look overtook her demeanor. Either Tony had played a trick on her or someone had paid for her to look foolish. While she pondered which fate was worse, the young blonde had moved to her side and placed a gentle hand on her shoulder.
"Hey, it's okay... after all it IS April 1st."
As Val's glum expression settled on her face, she took in the gentle smile and the twinkling verdant eyes of the woman standing by her side. Her whole body radiating friendliness and sympathy, the young woman asked, "Can I take a look at the order? Maybe I can see if there's any information that indicates this ISN'T a joke." When Val only continued to stare, she gently pried the piece of paper from her unresponsive hand.
The young woman glanced at the order, her eyes expertly taking in the information. Finally she located the customer's name and a small sigh escaped.
"Seems that you do have the right address after all."
"Whaaaat?" Val managed to get out, her mind still running through various ėdoom and gloom' scenarios.
"The customer who placed the order is Terry, one of our managers, and someone who knows I'm fond of the Indigo Girls."
Val blinked, but it was obvious that she still hadn't caught up to what the young woman had said.
Holding out her hand, the young woman took in the lanky messenger and stated "Hi. My name is Erin." She continued to study the tall dark-haired woman, moving over her athletic frame and settling onto the sky blue eyes that were still clouded with dismay. "Nice looking, but a bit dazed," she mused.
Val slowly took the proffered hand and listlessly gave it a shake. When she caught the questioningly look in Erin's eyes, she hastily found her voice. "Val. My name is Val."
Erin let go of Val's hand and took a small step backwards. When Val continued to stare, she took sympathy on the poor woman and asked, "So do you want to give me the message?"
At last Val's mind seemed to grasp the blonde's words and she even surprised herself when she responded with, "Yeah, let me get set up and I'll begin." Belatedly she handed Erin the white rose.
Val placed the boombox on the corner of the desk, and checked the small piece of paper she'd taped to its top to check what song to play. She keyed in the track that played the Sinatra song "You Go to My Head". The lyrics flowed from the familiar voice
You go to my head and you linger like a haunting refrain
And I find you spinning 'round in my brain
Like the bubbles in a glass of champagne
You go to my head like a sip of sparkling Burgundy brew
And I find the very mention of you
Like the kicker in a julep or two
The thrill of the thought that you might give a thought to my plea
Cast a spell over me
Still I say to myself get a hold of yourself
Can't you see that it never can be
You go to my head with a smile that makes my temperature rise
Like a summer with a thousand Julys
You intoxicate my soul with your eyes
Though I'm certain that this heart of mine
Hasn't a ghost of a chance in this crazy romance
You go to my head
You go to my head
When the song finished, Erin shook her head and muttered, "Oh that's Terry through and through." She paused a moment and took in the silent and still figure of the messenger. "So do you just look good in those tails or do you sing and dance?
Val shot her a questioning look, but responded. "I can sing."
"Okay ... how about a song for me."
"That wasn't in the request."
"Want a good tip?"
"Sure." Puzzled for a moment, Val wondered if the young woman was flirting with her. Relieved to find that a joke wasn't being played on her; she decided why not give this recipient something extra. Looking more closely at the blonde she realized that the young woman was quite appealing and had obviously made an effort to put her at ease. So she looked at the CD and decided on another tune, this time Frank began to croon out the words and she joined in, her soft alto voice accompanying the fabled singer.
You'd be so easy to love
Easy to idolize all others above
So worth the yearning for
So swell to keep the home fire burning for
We'd be so grand at the game
So carefree together, that it does seem a shame
That you can't see your future with me
'Cause you'd be so easy to love
Val found herself beaming as the song ended, her spirits lifted simply by singing. She leaned forward slightly and asked, "How was that?"
"Mmmmm, nice. Much better than Terry could sing."
"Thanks." Val found that she was relaxing and was curious. "So Terry must be someone special?"
"Really. How not exactly?" Val surprised herself by asking. "Cardinal rule number 1: do the job pleasantly and move on. DO NOT flirt with the recipient,"her mind chided. That thought completely erased when Erin moved directly in front of her, placed her hands on her slim hips and turned those devastatingly green eyes up to meet Val's.
"First off, Terry's voice is more reminiscent of Willie Nelson's and secondly not nearly tall enough to make tails and top hat look as dashing as you do."
Val's ego perked right up with that bit of stroking and she found herself wanting to play a bit with the comely blonde. So she leaned slightly forward and asked, "How about Terry's dancing?"
"No Fred Astaire ... think you can match his grace?"
"Probably not, but I can do a nice turn or two."
A wheat-colored eyebrow climbed high on Erin's forehead, clearly indicating that the gauntlet had been laid. Val straightened and once again turned to her faithful sidekick - the boombox.
She knew what song to play, and as Frank began to sing "Night and Day" she moved in a slow sensuous rhythm, circling Erin, her body swaying close and then moving away. Both women were soon enraptured with the music, the lyrics and the dance. When the song ended, Val's body was tantalizing close to Erin's back and she leaned over her shoulder to ask, "Was that graceful enough?"
Erin had to take a deep breath, trying to calm her racing pulse. The messenger moved with the smooth grace of a confident dancer and with the predatory sinuousness of a panther circling its prey.
"I think that'll do, all things considered. Only one tiny thing could make it perfect."
Now Val's dark eyebrow climbed her forehead. "What would that one tiny thing be?" her voice purred at a deeper register.
"A partner... a romantic partner who would dance with me as if I was Ginger Rogers."
For one competitive moment, Val was about to jump in with both feet when her pesky conscience once again chimed in. "Ahh, girl on girl dancing may not be 'exactly' her type." She wanted desperately to sweep this lithe vixen into her harms and swirl her away, but... "Terry probably didn't intend for me to dance with his girlfriend. Normally my brother does the messenger bit, but he's under the weather, and I wouldn't want to misrepresent Terry's wishes..."
"Hey it's okay. Terry's not exactly my type."
"No? ... then why..."
"Send a messenger. Just to be cute... a small April Fool's prank. See Terry's my business partner and loves to periodically tweak my nose." Erin paused and softly added, "Actually you're more my type."
"I am?" Val wondered just what made her Erin's type.
"Yep. I like tall, dark and handsome. Throw in a playful nature, gorgeous eyes and a winning smile and I'm a goner."
"Oh" was all Val could manage her voice suddenly leaving her.
"C'mon let's give it a whirl ... see if we can emulate Fred and Ginger."
Even though her mind kept saying "No, no, no", her body had other ideas and once again her fingers queued another song. This one was her favorite; "It Had to Be You". Turning she gently took Erin into her arms, maintaining a proper distance.
Why do I do, just as you say
Why must I just, give you your way
Why do I sigh, why don't I try - to forget
It must have been, that something lovers call fate
Kept me saying: "I have to wait"
I saw them all, just couldn't fall - 'til we met
It had to be you, it had to be you
I wandered around, and finally found - the somebody who
Could make me be true, and could make me be blue
And even be glad, just to be sad - thinking of you
It wasn't long before both women were caught up in each other and the lyrics, their movements slowing to a gentle swaying. Val joined in on the final lyrics.
Some others I've seen, might never be mean
Might never be cross, or try to be boss
But they wouldn't do
For nobody else, gave me a thrill - with all your faults, I love you still
It had to be you, wonderful you
It had to be you
As the song ended, they realized that they had drifted tightly together during the song and their gaze was locked upon the other, held in one impossibly long moment of yearning. Slowly, Erin disengaged, a satisfied smile gracing her lips.
"That was nice... maybe even a wee bit better than watching Fred and Ginger. Don't you agree?"
In a total sensual daze Val could only manage "Hmmmm."
"I take that as a yes. I definitely think that you are more my type than Terry."
"For sure. Of course the clincher is you're also female. That's DEFINITELY my type."
Val was quite sure that her expression went way beyond incredulous, but inside she was doing cartwheels. Seems this little April Fool's joke was definitely turning out to be beneficial for her.
"Uhhh, I don't have any other deliveries today. I don't suppose I could interest you in lunch... maybe spend a little more time getting to know each other?
"I think I can be had... for lunch and conversation. I would love to find out what your interests are... what other skills may be lurking about." Erin's smile grew downright coquettish.
"Hopefully many skills." Val almost leered. Frowning slightly she added, "What about the business, shouldn't someone be here?"
Erin glanced at her watch; it was 11 AM. "Terry should be in shortly, I think we can leave now. It won't hurt to close early for lunch." With that she headed back down the corridor to grab her coat and purse. When she came back she had a small white envelope in her hands.
"I almost forgot your tip." Rising up on her toes, she placed a gentle kiss on Val's cheek and handed her the envelope.
"You don't have to..."
"Oh no ... you EARNED it, besides, the kiss was your tip."
"Then what's in the envelope?" Val asked puzzled.
"Open it and find out." Erin smirked.
A small shiver raced up her spine, but she hooked her thumb under the flap and gamely ripped it open. Taking out the enclosed sheet she hesitantly read the note.
"Hey Sis .... April Fool's!
Terry is a buddy of mine and has been moaning about a business partner and friend having a tough time meeting 'the right woman'. We talked and decided you were probably her type. So we set up this little gig as a way for you two to meet. I have a feeling that you and Erin might hit it off with the right inducement and I figure ol' Frank is a pretty powerful charmer. Toss in a rose, some classy duds and voila ... romantic magic. Besides this way I get to pull one on my 'stoic' sister.
I know you and April Fool's avoid each other like the plague ... being as you stink at practical jokes. I figure if you have a positive experience, you might get to liking the day.
Your loving brother ... kinda
Stunned wouldn't even be close enough. 'Totally had' would be more accurate Val surmised. Her brother not only came up with the ultimate prank, but for once, one that was actually easy to accept. Amazed, she looked at Erin and asked, "You knew about this?"
"If you mean the messenger... again... not exactly. Terry left this morning and handed me this envelope with the cryptic message that I'd know what do with it when the time came. So when I realized she'd sent you, I figured this was the right time. Is something wrong?
Somehow Val's mind focused on the fact that Terry was female, "Terry's a SHE!" Val exclaimed rather loudly.
"Yeah, we've been friends since college, but she's really not my type. Besides she's been mooning over some guy that she met at a party. So far they've only been friends, but I know she's interested in him." Erin appeared apprehensive and she looked worriedly at the note in Val's hand and pointed a slim delicate finger at it. "This doesn't change things, does it?"
Val took a moment to revel in the pleasure she'd found in delivering this message and she shook her head no. "Not at all. Seems my brother was in on this. Let's just say that this is one joke that's been fun. Ready to go?"
"Yep, just need to lock up."
They both exited and as Erin went about the task of locking up the shop, Val took a moment to muse that she might finally have a way to make a practical joke work. She had the feeling that Erin could help her get Tony and Terry together. "Oh yeah" she thought, "Paybacks can be a bitch... a delightful bitch in this case. Maybe we can double date if this all works out."
When Erin turned her dazzling smile towards her, Val realized that April Fool's just might become one of her favorite holidays.
That's All Folks.