I shrugged, uncomfortably moving my shoulder to cover as much of my face as I could. It did nothing to stop the man staring across the room at me, his eyes batting and tongue stuck out the corner of his mouth. Oh god, I think as the man winks at me, his whole face scrunching into a clumsy mess. I turn further away, my back completely to him now.
The tall, dark handsome man, sipped on his martini as he chatted casually to the man next to him. The cheaper suit of his friend didn’t compare to the gloriousness of the tailored made, Italian suit the love of my life wore. I don’t know how I haven’t seen him in person until now. He had filled my dreams and fantasies for years but there he was, in the flesh, my prince charming.
I twisted the straw of my drink with my tongue seductively, waiting for the moment he turned back around to catch my gaze. I opened my eyelids wide to let them sparkle in the dim light of the clubs chandelier. I couldn’t wait for the moment he took me from this club for a night and off into a lifetime of passionate embraces. I would wait for him in his penthouse, my lingerie hanging loosely off my toned body and two martinis in hand.
My glass emptied, the last of the sweet cocktail teased my lips. I let the last of the liquid hiss up the straw, notifying my suitor I’m ready for him to make his move and claim me as his own.
‘Dave,’ I said to my mate next to me, ‘don’t look now but there’s this weird guy staring at me from the booth at the end. He’s creeping me out.’
Dave shot his head up instantly, his neck craning obviously. I shook my head. Of course he would make it obvious.
‘Oh yeah, I see him. What about him?’ Dave answered.
‘I think he’s trying to flirt but it’s really weird.’
Dave glanced over again.
‘I think you’re right, he’s really struggling with his straw there. It looks like he’s trying to tease it with his lips but it’s not working. Whoop, and there is the last of the drink gone.’ A wet gurgling hissed across the noise of the club. ‘I can send a drink over to him if you like.’
‘Don’t be a dick,’ I fired back.
‘Come on, it’ll be fun.’ Dave leant across the bar before I could object further. ‘Could you please send a drink to that gentleman over there on our behalf?’ He asked the bartender. The bartender smirked his response and nodded.
‘I hate you so much right now,’ I said. I shifted uncomfortably on my feet. Pain from the tight shoes shot up from my heel, the sudden ache quaking through my legs. I hovered back and forth on my legs, willing the pain to stop.
A waitress beamed in my direction, a fresh drink in hand.
‘Compliments of the gentleman at the bar,’ she said, nodding toward the man of my dreams. Her bouncy golden locks shimmered with light as he returns to clearing tables. I gripped lightly onto the icy cold glass, stroking it seductively. The chill of excitement coursed my blood, the thrill of the encounter rushing through me. I was his, and he was mine. Me, a plain unexciting man, with glasses and daggy clothes. I couldn’t believe he would notice me. I hoped for it. I prayed for it. Yet now that a drink arrived I felt like I has been whisked into a fantasy land.
I waved at prince charming, his friend smiled for him while he played coy, his back still to me. This was going to be my night. The thoughts of the trips we would have flooded my mind, the cruising, sailing into the sunset with champagne and strawberries as our sustenance. We would make love, lit only by the moonlight and dance around a bon fire on a remote beach, just us together, no fears in the world. We would make the world our oyster.
‘He waved didn’t he?’ I complained. Dave nodded, a cheeky smile consuming his face. ‘Whatever happens now I blame you.’
‘Sure, sure. I’ll cop the blame for it.’
‘When I need you to fend him off it will be your fault. I expect you to step up.’
The pain in my legs intensified. Tingles ran up my legs threatening to cut off feeling all together. I twisted around, easing myself onto a bar stool for relief. I caught his eyes glaring at me. I choked back in my throat to hide the cringe forming on my brow. He smiled back, teeth bared, lips stretched ready to split.
I took an extra moment to absorb details on the man. He had fair skin and light hair with rather delicate features. In his motions the awkwardness pulsated out. The shuddering between movements and the seemingly inability to drink through a straw distracted from anything happening in his booth. I smiled back quickly and turned my back to him again.
‘You know I’m not into this,’ I said to Dave.
‘Why? What’s wrong with him?’ Dave laughed, knowing I can’t cope with awkwardness.
‘You know I’m straight,’ I replied. ‘Stop stirring shit up. Someone will get hurt.’
‘Come on mate, I’m just having a laugh.’
He smiled at me. I couldn’t believe it. Me. Of all people in this bar he smiled at me. It was fate. Glorious beautiful fate. I patted my hair, correcting any strays. I lifted the drink up in my hand, my heart pounding as I prepare to lunge off the deep end. I stepped forth ready to be whipped up in his strong embrace and carried off into the sunset.
‘Oh god, he’s coming over here,’ Dave said. He spun around on his seat to leave me to my fate.
‘I hate you,’ I hissed to Dave’s back.
‘Excuse me,’ the man said behind me. ‘I just wanted to thank you for my drink.’
‘Oh, that’s no trouble at all,’ I said in response, my gazed locked downward toward the grotty floor.
‘Is there anything I could do to properly thank you?’
‘No, no, that’s alright. It was no trouble at all.’
‘Are you sure I could help you destress and ditch this place?’ He stroked a finger along the shoulder of my jacket.
‘No that’s okay,’ I stated again. ‘Sorry for any confusion.’
‘Sorry for any confusion,’ he started to say. My heart sunk, he was going to break me. I steel myself, preparing for the worst. ‘I’m not interested in that way. Sorry if there were any mixed messages. It was actually Dave here who sent you the drink.’
I grimaced at the shrunken man who was snickering into his jacket. My face dropped. I knew he wasn’t going to be the one for me.
‘That’s no trouble at all,’ I forced a smile back. ‘I’m just having a bit of fun.’
I tapped the side of his arm in a matey smack. I walked off, head held high, refusing for a man like him to break my heart again. You’re going to be fine, I told myself. There are plenty of fish in the sea.