Moments in Time: Needle

“Well, I’m off,” he said, pausing at the wall of her cubicle.

“Do you have the tickets?” she asked around the pencil she held clamped in her teeth. Her eyes didn’t leave her monitor and her fingers danced a jig on the keyboard.

He patted in several places and located them in his inside breast pocket. “Got ’em.”

“Have a good time.” She gave him a wave of her hand and a quick glance, then went back to her screen. Only a split second and then her head turned to him again. She put the pencil down and rose out of her chair with something that looked like horror.

“Wait, wait. What is this?” she said, coming toward him. She picked up the hem of his suit jacket, revealing where the lining had come loose and was dangling. “You can’t go out like that.”

“Yeah, I know,” he said. “It ripped this morning. No one will notice.”

She gave him a withering look from under her eyebrows.

“Or will everyone notice?” he said. He fought the urge to squirm. She had the uncanny ability to make him feel fifteen.

“You’ll notice,” she said. Her voice was quiet but her hand firmly pulled him by the hem closer to her desk. She rifled in a drawer and came out with a small sewing kit, something she might have taken from a hotel room.

“Is it easier if I take off the jacket?” he said.

“Just hold still.” In less than three minutes a needle was threaded and the lining hemmed with quick, competent stitches. She leaned to bite the thread off, then secured the needle in the ruffle on her cardigan before she looked him over.

“That’s better,” she murmured, her strong hands brushing once down his lapels and another brisk whisk from his neck out over his shoulders. “Now you’re perfect.”

He stood up a little straighter.

She put the needle back into the kit, and took out a safety pin which she handed to him. “Take that, put it in your wallet or something. The hem shouldn’t come loose but just in case.”

“Thank you,” he said, strangely touched.

“You look great.” She picked one last bit of invisible something off his sleeve and smiled.  “Go get ’em.”

photo credit: Robert Parviainen