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They wandered around, trying on cosmetics, spraying themselves with perfume, tasting all the freebies that were on offer in the supermarket. Belinda loitered outside the Body Shop while Lisa went in to steal some moisturizer, and found herself watching a portrait man in the reflections in the glass.
He was old and scruffy, and she wondered what his life was like. It must be boring, sitting on a folding stool in a shopping centre, sketching strangers in exchange for a few pounds, being nice to old women and little kids. Not that Belinda's life was happy or anything. She suffered through school, had no friends apart from Lisa, and spent all her time lying to her mother.
The portrait man wasn't sketching anyone, he was just sitting there, sketchpad on his knees, doodling, and it took her a moment to realize he was staring at her. She flicked her skirt a little, giving him a glance of thigh, and moved across to gaze in the window of Monsoon, pretending to be coveting the gypsy skirts there, but actually watching the portrait man out of her peripheral vision.
He wasn't really unattractive, with shaggy blonde hair down to his shoulders, and a couple of days' growth of beard on his face. He looked tanned, as though he'd been somewhere that actually had summer, and when he stretched, his legs were long and lean in denim. Belinda kind of liked older men, at least at a theoretical level, so she turned her head and smiled at him flirtatiously.
He smiled back at her, and she lowered her glance for a moment, then looked at him again and licked her bottom lip.
She was good at this, at teasing the straight guys, it was the only fucking fun Belinda ever got tohave, and it wasn't like she could follow through, was it?
Lisa strolled out of the Body Shop, kissed Belinda's cheek and slid her arm through Belinda's. "C'mon, let's go share an ice cream."
Belinda kissed Lisa carefully, so as not to smudge her lipstick, and nodded. They could afford an ice cream between them, and still have enough for the bus fare home.