Wednesday, 11 December 2013

At the bar, one night


She smoothens her dress as she perches herself atop the barstool. She lets all the disturbing thoughts from her muddled up head, out through a dramatic exhale of breath and she soaks up the carefreeness and contentment from the air. She politely asks the bartender to fetch her a screwdriver. She toys with the bracelet that hangs loosely around her wrist, as she waits for her drink. She thinks to herself, "I can do this. I can be at a bar alone. I'm wearing this amazing dress. Even if it cost me half my paycheck. And these deeply fabulous shoes. Even though they're killing me. So what? No pain no gain. I've still got my game. I can be single again. I don't need a man on my arm to have a good time." She sighs miserably in self-pity, unsure of her own convictions, as she sips her drink that arrived moments ago. Her fingers drum against the bar absentmindedly. She fidgets with the tan line on the fourth finger of her left hand where once sat a ring. She looks around her, taking in the assortment of people that surrounded her. She scrutnizes each one carefully and starts to make up stories about them, a game she played when she felt alone in crowds, ever since she was a little girl. And then she catches sight of a young man and a girl, huddled in a corner, looking at each other dotingly, their love pouring out of every little gesture, every little movement. "Ah! To be young and in love." she thinks to herself, "Guess its much harder being single than I thought it would be. 8 years of marriage would do that to you. Let me give this a shot another day." She gulped what remained of her drink, paid and left. 


He watched as she sweeped in and sat down in one exquisite movement. She was an unconventional beauty. She did not dazzle you, she intrigued you. He was fascinated by her instantly. He could sense her awkwardness inspite of her perfect mannerisms. He couldn't take his eyes off her. He carefully watched her lips move as she spoke to the bartender. He observed how her face was vulnerable yet hostile, all at once. He wanted to talk to her, to touch her but for once the smooth player in him hesitated. And it beat him, why. For a moment he thought he'd caught her eye. He froze with nerve and excitement, until he realized she was only gazing into nothingness. All these feelings, they seemed so alien to him. He was undeniably smitten. He watched her every move as he tried to work up the courage to talk to her. He downed his drink, and just as he got on his feet, he saw her leave, out the door. He wondered if he should follow her. He rushed outside in the direction she went in. It was a moment's hesitation too long. He stepped out and he'd lost her amongst the swarming crowd. He retreated inside, took his freshly refilled glass and sat back on his chair, disoriented, for a very long time.