She walked into the bar. She knew he was there. It had been two weeks. She tried to see what he was doing, who he was talking to and what he was drinking. He always seemed at ease on his own.
Was he with friends or on a date? What would happen if he saw her? It would look so bad and he would probably suspect the worst. All these questions racing through her mind, all these variables and scenarios, now and in the last two weeks. One thing, vital questions she hadn’t asked herself in that time, and now. Why did she care and why did she need to know?
She positioned herself at the bar to order a drink, as far away from him as possible.
The place, the “Sprinty Mint” was somewhere they used to frequent, and one of their favourites, especially the “Happy Hour” for cocktails. Although positioned far away from where he was, she was sitting close to the entrance to the lavatories. He would have to walk past her to use them.
She checked her phone to see if he was on his way. Glenn, the guy from work she hardly knew, might do the trick. She’d constantly resisted his advances, both during her relationship and since it had ended. His persistence in pursuit of a date had finally paid off, or so he had thought. He was five minutes away. She ordered a glass of Shiraz. Glenn could buy his own drink. She sat by the window, facing the direction she knew Glenn would be coming from.
She pulled from her bag her diary and notebook, a couple of pens and some lipstick. She took a sip of wine that turned into a gulp. Nervous, but with resolve she was here for a reason. Movements and motives predetermined and calculated. She wanted a reaction and she was going to get one, no matter what. She didn’t want to make a scene, but if the situation developed, she would go with it.
There was no grand plan as such, just a determination to seek solace and find, what her friends called closure. She saw Glenn walking up to the entrance and forced on a false smile.
“Hi, how are you doing? I knew you’d say yes eventually.” Glenn put his hand on her shoulder and tilted his head towards her, and lingered, as if expecting a kiss. There was not one forthcoming. Glenn had the smooth mulchy arrogance that some women admire, but many more detest. In sales for most of his life, all he wanted was the deal and the commission. He made everything a game, in to him she was another prize. Someone else he could boast about down the pub. Another he could lure into a bed with tales he’d told hundreds of times, to any women that would listen or whom had consumed too much drink to care or complain. Men who worked with him gave the impression they approved of his womanising and wanderings, the dodgy deals he closed for the company and the cash he threw about. Behind his back he was despised, pretty much by all who knew him.
She turned away as he bent down. To most, this would have been a sign of disinterest, but not to Glenn. “Shall I get you another?” Glenn suggested.
“I’ve got a full glass, get yourself one.”
Glenn went to the bar and ordered. While he was waiting he turned round and looked at her, expecting her to be looking up, gazing at him. She wasn’t.
Mark Scotchford © 19/12/2017