The rooftop restaurant was on the 8th floor, added when the store wanted to impress the hell out of everyone by building something closer to heaven than any other eating establishment in the region. Now, ho hum, the 8th floor, but it would take a while to ride slowly down on the escalator.
When she got to the 7th floor, she realized the handsome man had not asked about the picture she took with her phone. She popped the phone open and sent it to her email address. Phone-to-email texts weren't included in her cheap data plan.
"Worth it," she said aloud. No one else was on the escalator so she didn't have to make a sweet, purse-lipped face that said, "Oops, ya caught me talking to myself," even though she was pretty sure everyone talked to themself at one time or another and those who didn't had lots of people around all the time or were solidly nuts, so into their own heads that dynamite could not have gotten them out.
At the 6th floor, she thought maybe the giant saw her do take the picture and didn't word it correctly. He didn't add that she was taking a picture of the back of the car, he just said advised that she was behind the car and Handsome bounded out of the car in pursuit. Or Handsome didn't wait for Giant to complete his thought. When he got back to the car, he probably would finish it and Handsome would come looking again.
This put her into a cold sweat and her stomach turned over a couple of times. At the 5th floor, she left the escalator and ran past shoes to the restroom to wash her face and compose herself taking five minutes, which was five minutes more than she had wanted to spend composing herself. She walked briskly back to the escalator and started walking down.
Coats were on the 4th floor and had been placed right by the escalators so everyone could see the value, the selection, the colors and styles. She stopped and then walked toward them from the escalator. She noticed two things: a black, full-length wool coat in a reefer style with oversized lapels, large buttons, and a walking slit in the back and the sign above it that said 50% off, today only.
It was like a vacuum was sucking her over to the rack but the next thing she realized was when she was standing in front of a mirror, the coat looking excellent on her. It was a perfect fit and she had a coupon in ther handbag for an additional $10 off. She spun a little. She twirled the opposite way. She looked to admire herself again and saw Handsome in the background looking this way and that, like for a missing person.
She considered ditching the coat and racing out but this was a bargain that made her look slim and more fashionable than normal. She quietly gathered up her things including the heavy plastic hangar the coat came on and went to the escalator, riding up one floor to women's shoes.
"I am looking for my husband," she lied to the cashier. "He said he was going to try to find me some new pumps and I don't see him. Do you mind if I just pay you for this?"
"Well," said the cashier, "we're on commission and the coat salespeople really hate this."
"Oh," she said, crestfallen. "I don't want to upset the applecart."
"Yeah, sorry, but they get a little annoyed," the cashier countered but added, "Unless you can tell me who was waiting on you. I can call down there and get their number."
"Wow, thanks, I think her name was either Mary or Jo," she lied some more. "Not young."
"Older lady? Steel-gray hair? Wearing a suit?" the cashier asked.
She had fleetingly seen a lady with gray hair in a red suit helping a tourist couple get the woman a jacket.
"Yes, that's her," she said.
"Mary Jo. She's been here for eons. Let me see if she'll answer," as she picked up the phone and dialed four numbers.
Seriously, this woman should have just told me to walk back down there and pay for it on 4 but she knew the store had a customer-is-mostly-right-except-when-the-customer-is-not-right policy and she didn't want to push it but if she had to, she would. Besides, the action was in coats today and not shoes so she had time.
"Mary Jo? It's Kylie in Shoes. Say, I have a lady up here who has a coat she'd like to pay for up here. Can you please give me your employee code and you'll get credit?" The cashier listened. She didn't move her pen to write down any numbers. Kylie looked at her and started speaking again. "Yes, that's right. Uh huh. Yes. I'll tell her. Thanks, Mary Jo."
She hung up the phone.
"Mary Jo said your husband's down there and looking for you," said Kylie.
She paused and tried to not look panicky.
"So you can't ring up my coat?" she asked.
"Sorry, no. Mary Jo said your husband had out a roll of cash and wanted to pay for it right then but she told him we need the SKU number on the coat," Kylie advised. "It's just down the escalator and around the corner."
"I would rather pay for it myself. He's been a little too indulgent with me lately and I want to get something out of my own bank account," she lied to Kylie. "It's a matter of pride," she added as she tilted her head and grinned, her mouth dry from fright.
"I can understand that," said Kylie. "To heck with it. I'll take the heat if someone gets mad."
Kylie took the pricing gun and rang up the coat, took her cash -- Handsome had taught her this fundamental lesson -- and coupon and folded the coat up and apologized for having to put it into a boot bag.
"The nice hanging bags are in the coat department," said Kylie. "I am sorry I have to fold it up."
"You did a beautiful job, Kylie." she said. "Thanks for your efforts. I can wear my coat and hold my head high."
She grabbed the bag -- really quite heavy as it was a lot of fabric -- and quickly made her way to the elevator. Hoping for the best, she pushed the down button and it came quickly. Amazingly, no one was on it. Again, hoping for the best, she pushed 1 and the doors slid shut. The stars aligned perfectly and it went straight down to the first floor. She walked briskly to the exit and when the chilly fall air hit her face, she let out a gasp.
"Woof!" it sounded like she said. She regained her composure, hailed a cab, and told the driver the address of her dermatologist.