Two sleet gray eyes watches Rodney staring at the mannequin. A smile spreads across his face under a shaggy peppered mustache. A tall, lean man in cowboy boots and hat stands up from the wall he is leaning against. He tips his hat at a group of women walking by before making his way to the front of the store. He stops in front of the mannequin and stares into her eyes.
The man tops his hat at her and saunters inside. He looks around at the customers around him until he spots Rodney disappear behind a rack of clothes. The cowboy walks around, pretending to look at the clothes, and keeps an eye on Rodney.
He hums as he walks pass Rodney, catching the young man’s attention. Rodney turns away from his buddies when he hears the humming. The cowboy nods at Rodney then motions for the young man to follow him. Rodney glances back at Bob and Theodore to see they are still talking.
“Hey, guys, I’ll be right back. I saw a cool shirt in a different section, and I want to grab it. I’ll be right back,” Rodney says, pointing over his shoulder when Bob and Theodore look at him.
“Sure, grab it and bring it back so we can check it out,” Bob says.
Rodney nods and heads off to grab the shirt. Theodore and Bob watch him walk off. They turn back around and start shuffling through some swim trunks.
Rodney looks around, having lost sight of the older gentleman. He shrugs and is about to head back to his friends, when he spots him by the men’s fitting room. Rodney makes his way towards the fitting room, wondering why he is meeting up with a stranger.
The cowboy smirks at Rodney and cocks his head to the side. “You’re the one I saw eyeing Riley out there.”
“Riley?” Rodney looks confused. “I’m sorry mister, but I have no idea who Rily or you are.”
The cowboy chuckles. “I’m sorry. The names Bruce. And that pretty mannequin in the front with the blue eyes is Riley.”
“The mannequin…?” Rodney glances towards the front of the store. He can see the back of the mannequin Bruce calls Riley.
Bruce pulls something out of his jean jacket pocket and hands it to Rodney. Rodney looks down to see the man has given him a kitchen timer. It sits in the middle of his hand, staring up at him.
“What is this for?” He turns the timer over in his hands. “What does the kitchen timer have to do with…?” He looks back at the mannequin.
Bruce grins at him. “You’re right. It is for Riley. I was just like you. Alone, frustrated, heartbroken, and felt like I will never have true love. Until I came to this same store years ago and met a stranger who gave me a kitchen timer after I had seen a gorgeous mannequin in front of the window.”
Rodney hands the timer back to Bruce. “Listen, this all sounds insane. No thanks, pal.” He grabs a random shirt in his size and hurries back to his friends.
Bruce watches him join his friends and show off the random shirt he had grabbed. Bruce chuckles and walks over to Riley, standing behind her. He spins the dial of the kitchen timer Rodney had given back to him, making sure that is is spin all the way around.
“All right, darlin’. It’s time for you to wake up.” Bruce watches as the mannequin disappears from the front window.