The theme was, from what I had gathered, a Victorian styled masquerade mixed with a circus. All was very strange but right up my alley. I had cut samples of different fabrics and made duplicates of the original sketches and added my own flair to each to present to my new prospective client.
Then I looked at the clock that was at that moment blinking 9:30 am… an hour and a half after we were supposed to open for the day. “Shit!” I yelled and proceeded to run upstairs, stopping momentarily at my nicely made bed, wishing I could fall into and sleep, I forced myself to continue and throw on a bright red t-shirt and a pair of khaki shorts and some flip flops. Alex always did like to joke that as a costume designer I did dress quite plain.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK
“A customer!” I said loudly, loud enough for my cat to look up at me for a second and then fall lazily back into sleep, “lucky Bartholomew, wish I could be that lazy.”
Running downstairs I called out “Coming!” and threw my hair up into a pony tail and rushed for the doorknob, “Sorry for the whole closed thing, overslept,” I began to ramble nervously before I looked up to see who it was – Ryan.
“No problem, glad I didn’t come in earlier then,” he said with a smile and peeked his head inside, “so, you open or what?”
“Yes. Of course,” I replied and moved from the door and flicked on the lights and opened the blinds, “please, come in.” I pulled two stools up to a large sewing table and stacked the papers and fabrics I had been experimenting with the night before to the side, “so can you tell me exactly what you need everything for and by when? That’s a lot of costumes you gave me last night…”
Ryan simply laughed, “Seriously?” he asked and the smile dropped from his face.
I continued getting the store ready for opening – turning on the cash register, my laptop, and of course the radio. The song from the day before had come on, “He took the days for pageants, and became as mad as rabbits….” I let out a sigh and turned the music down and went back to the table where Ryan was sitting.
“What was that for?” he asked as I sat down across from him and began flipping through papers.
Looking up at him confused I asked, “What was what for?”
“That sigh… when you heard the song… do you not like it?”
“Not really. Sounds like whatever the band is they are just trying to rip off the Beatles. Alex is obsessed with them though and is making me go to the concert this weekend. I’m just gonna make sure I bring my phone and I can play games all night…”
Ryan was quiet for a moment and kinda shook his head, still with a smile on his lips he switched the subject, “we’re having a play of sorts and we’ve stupidly left costumes until very late… we open this coming Saturday I would invite you but you already seem to have plans with your boyfriend”
I laughed a little bit before correcting him, “I wish! Alex is short for Alexandria, my best friend who works here part time. She tends to get obsessive with bands and drags me with her because no one else really can tolerate her obsessiveness,” I smiled softly as I handed him a few of the sketches I worked on and some fabric swatches, “That’s a lot of work to do in a couple of days time Mr….wow I never got your last name.”
“Ross. And please, just call me Ryan,” he said quicky, not looking up from the papers. He traced his fingers along the lines and felt the fabric inbetween his fingers, “it’s a lot to ask but we’re willing to pay pretty much whatever is needed to get these rushed.” He looked up to meet my eyes, which caught me off guard, “You’d really be a lifesaver if you could get these ready by Saturday morning.”
I nodded and closed with a simple, “yes” and put all of the sketches together while Ryan and I discussed some of the themes. “I’m gonna need all the measurements,” I said in the middle of the conversation. “I don’t think I have them anywhere and I cant possibly guess…”
“Oh yes, of course,” he said reaching into his jacket pocket he pulled out a folded piece of paper and handed it to me. On it were the measurements of twenty five people and what costume they were going to wear. Just then did I realize how much I was in over my head. “Everything okay?” he asked.
“Yeah… I just have to figure out what the fastest and best way to get all of these done are,” I said timidly, looking up at him I added, “I’ll just need lots of coffee.”
Ryan chuckled a little, “We all run on something,” he cleared his throat again and continued, back in business mode, “is there any time when we can send people in for fittings?”
“We can just go down the list…. Maybe three a day, starting tomorrow? I’ll take four or five the last couple of days to get everyone in but we can just work our way through the list. It gives me some kind of reference order.”
Ryan stood from his seat quickly, like he couldn’t wait to get out of the shop, “Well it’s been pleasant, I’ll send the first group over tomorrow with the first payment, just call the number on the paper for the accountant.” And he was simply gone.
Moments later the door opened again and Alex rushed in, “I am SO sorry I’m late Eve!!”
“Its okay” I said with a smile, still thinking about Ryan. Something about him was just so gosh darn magnetic, I couldn’t help but smile.
“What the hell is this?” Alex asked looking at the huge stack of sketches and fabric.
“My new little project.” I said petting the satin fabric beneath my fingers, looking over at Alex I became serious, “we’re gonna need to put a hold on customizations and you are gonna have to deal with all the customers for the week. Some theater company just hired me to do last minute costumes.”
“Yeah sure, no prob Eve…" Alex said concerned, "can you get all of these done?”
“I don’t know but I’m sure as hell gonna try…”