One dance after another and all she can think is that she shouldn't be here.
That she doesn't need anyone next to her at night and she's better off alone. Of course, better off alone is a mere intention
as her hips melt into another's pelvis and flesh is fused together by the beat of the song and the heat of the club.
told herself after the last relationship that she was out. No more playing the game. She was through with the endless flirting
and the witty charm that always led to meaningless sex or, even better, another failed attempt at a serious relationship.
Another way in which "settling down" became crashing.
But now she's dancing with nameless hips and hands, wondering
why she bothered to come to a place where she could so easily crash again.
Somehow, she escapes the mess of human bodies
yearning for contact and heads to the bar.
"Apple martini," she hollers toward the bartender. It's her first of the
night, and she's hoping to make it her last as well. The evening should have been spent with girlfriends, chick flicks, and
a huge tub of Ben & Jerry's, and each second spent in the club makes it more apparent.
"Put that on my tab."
looks up in exasperation and shoots a desperate glare towards the speaker. "No, thanks."
"Come on. It's the least I
can do for a beautiful girl."
She's already rolling her eyes. "Is that the best you can come up with?"
easily. "Maybe. What's a sweet thing like yourself doing paying for your own drinks?"
She lifts a manicured hand and
begins picking at her fingernails to avoid the brown in his eyes. "I'm single. The end."
"Now that, young lady, is
a crying shame."
A smirk rises to counter the frown on the man's face. "More so than the crisis in Liberia?"
nods solemnly. "Even worse than the nuclear crisis in North Korea."
She is impressed, but knows better than to show
it. "Ah, well. Tomorrow is a new day."
He smiles demurely. "You could always greet it in my bed."
"Or I could
just follow in Lorena's footsteps and get you a free room at the local hospital."
He chuckles. "Feisty, I see. A bit
of spice in the sugar."
She sighs. "And I suppose you're going to tell me you could sweeten me up?"
I was imagining how good my dessert would look on you."
He grins. "Always. Do you come here often?"
She smiles. "As a result, I'm able to avoid slick men like you."
He quirks an eyebrow
appreciatively. "You think I'm slick?"
"As slick as the grease in your hair when you haven't washed it in days."
that doesn't sound much like a compliment."
"What a genius." She rolls her eyes in annoyance and grabs her drink off
the bar. "Maybe hair follicles aren't the only things growing in your head."
He pauses for a moment before furrowing
his brow in her direction. "You know, you sound bitter. Do you want to talk about it?"
"Is 'hell no' clear enough for
He sighs, feigning deep thought. "I don't know. I might need you to spell that for me..."
do you want?"
He shrugs. "Just to tell you that you have the most beautiful eyes I've ever seen."
begins to twirl a lock of hair around her finger, waiting for the clock to strike midnight so she can go home.
"Should I be waiting for the white horse, or do you only do that during
He laughs loudly. "You're funny, you know that? Can't you take a compliment?"
"I can take an original
compliment. I'm not much for lines."
"So you're a girl who likes to feel special."
She chuckles lightly. "I'm
a girl who doesn't need a guy to make me feel special."
"Independence can be sexy."
She arches an eyebrow expectantly.
"Even sexier than originality?"
He smiles demurely. "What if I told you that you move like music and I'm attracted
"I'd ask you to light my cigarette and be on your way."
"A girl so pretty shouldn't smoke."
don't smoke. I sizzle."
Somehow, the conversation has become more a statement of her independence than his attraction,
and he frowns when another compliment falls to its death on the slick black dance floor.
"How about you bypass the
cigarette for a dance and we sizzle together?"
She sighs, finishing the apple martini and tossing a few bills on the
bar. "I think I'm going to sizzle back home, thanks. I've had enough of an evening already."
"I could join you and
we could make it a morning?"
She groans as loudly as his laughter. "I don't do mornings."
"It's a crime to hide
that face from the sun."
"And a crime to let men like you see daylight," she finishes boldly. "Don't you have somewhere
else to be? You know, someone else to harass?"
"Nope. I came here looking for an angel, and I think I've found her."
how sweet. Do you want a quarter so you can call your mother too?"
"No, but we should probably get a condom if I'm
going to follow you outside."
Her features register disgust. "Trust me, you won't be following me."
sorry. I didn't mean to offend you. Let's try this again." With a sigh, he holds out his hand and offers a winning smile.
"Hello, I'm a rock star."
"And I'm not impressed."
He frowns. "Damn. It worked for this blonde friend of mine.
Listen, I'm sorry. Can we be friends?"
Her toe taps impatiently against the floor as she looks him over. "I don't know.
Most of my friends have names."
His eyes widen in surprise. "So you don't know who I am?"
"Would I ask if I
"Maybe. Maybe you're trying to impress me."
She groans. "I certainly wouldn't give it the effort that
you have. Why don't we just shake hands and call it a night?"
"Because you seem like someone interesting enough for
me to want to know."
She laughs. "You know, that's the most original thing you've said all night."
I meant it."
For a moment, they sit staring at each other. Finally, he speaks.
"Hi, I'm Alex."
out a delicate hand after dropping the cigarette to the floor. "Jennifer."
She nods in affirmation.
"For now. If you're feeling creative tomorrow night, you might get a last name."
He smiles slowly. "It's a date."