There are enough men present in the bar. More women, but enough men to watch, and assess. Her eyes cast from group to group. The most appealing, for their edges towards urbane, are the men in suits, but they are preoccupied with themselves and a conversation that appears to be about work. She alights on the students, but the groups are large, and laugh too loudly. The administrators are mostly women, and the two men among their company look like she’d take half the night to convince, and that would be a waste. Some of the men glance in her direction, but their attention, mostly shifts back to their own crowd. One of the students’ gaze remains for a long while, but her cutting smile makes him spin around to his friends, put in his place.
She remembers being that age. She is glad that she no longer is.
She sighs, sips at her vanishing drink, when she glances back at the bar, and sees a new figure, leaning there.
He is suited, wearing a long coat, and has dashes of gray just above his ears, shooting back along his hair like lightning bolts. His face is elongated, his nose aquiline, cheeks gaunt but they make him look hungry and ravenous rather than desperate. The single splash of colour is his thick, blood-red tie. The suit is tailor to his long, lean body. His hip rests languorously against the bar, one leg crossed in front of the other, and his expression is half curious, half bored with the room. He appears alone. His drink, a cocktail, darker in colour than hers, sits before his elbow, which rests on the bar, long hand lolling over the edge.
This is not the kind of bar he’d go into of his own choice.
Next: 10. Examination
Image found on flickr, by teresaqin, used under the Creative Commons License.