She tilted her head to one side and looked at him with glassy eyes. It made him smirk. She responded to it with a crooked smile and then pinky-hooked the hair she was tasting.
He sat down close on the worn couch of the coffee shop “Are we having fun?”
“Well, right now, I’m dizzy,” she said. “A little messed up.”
He put his hand on the back of the couch with his fingertips against her shoulder.
“It’s okay. I’m a nice guy. I work next door at The Ale House. Most customers are people coming off third shift. Of course, on the last day of classes, we get a lot of college kids like you.”
She smiled and gave him a slurred, “I just got out of my Biology final.”
“I can tell,” he said. “But I think you finished it a long time ago.” He moved himself closer to her when an employee of the coffee shop came up to them.
“Here’s your orange juice, ma’am. Sorry it too so long, but we ran out at breakfast.”
“No, problem,” she said, emptying two sugar packets into her orange juice. Without a plastic stirrer, she sloshed the juice around a little, knocking her bracelet against the glass. “How can you tell? That I’m a college student.”
“I’ve been seeing them all day. Last day before summer break is my favorite day.”
She stared at him while raising her glass in a quick salute and drank the whole glass without lowering it from her lips.
“You were thirsty,” he said.
With a shaky hand, she set the glass on the coffee table in front of them.
As he waited to see what she would do next, he decided that she was not his usual type but good-looking enough with enough alcohol in her already. He put his hand on her back. As he expected, her reaction time until she turned and looked at him was forever.
“I have to go to my car.”
“Don’t go, Baby. I want to get to know you.”
She shimmied her way to a standing position.
He stood up and steadied her with a hand on her back.
“No. I have to go,” she said.
“I’ll just get you to your car.”
He was actually a little relieved when he felt her become more steady as they walked. When she got her keys out in front of a red Honda, he took them and opened her passenger-side door. She slid in without saying anything.
Savoring the moment, he strolled to the driver side and got into the car like a guy about to drive his date to the prom. But then he backed up against the door as he looked over to her and saw her set a syringe and a vial on the dashboard. “What the hell is that?”
“Insulin,” she said with a quick, clear voice. “Now, who the hell are you?”
Photograph by Elena Fidanovska