Short Story – Strangers

Hi,” I said walking up to where she had been sitting for the last two hours. I had been watching her from my corner of the dimly lit bar crammed with people. Amid the jarring music, voices and the smoke, she had caught my attention. There was a certain quietness about her even in that noise.

Hi,” she replied, looking up from her drink. A crease formed between her brow and in the corner of her chestnut brown eyes.

Are you alone?” I asked. I knew she was.

Are you hitting on me? She said gulping the remaining sparkling liquid in her glass. Then she turned to the bartender and tapped a slender, manicured finger on the rim of the glass.

If it seemed like that I’m sorry. I’m here for the first time. I don’t generally drink alone. So-

“So?” she said before I could complete.

So I thought if you were alone too, we could sit together.

I’m alone because I choose to be alone. I really don’t want to talk right now.” That sentence should have been my cue to back off but I did not. There was something about her that made me want to stay and it wasn’t just the way her floral A- line dress that accentuated her slim frame or how she pulled up the shrug each time it slid down revealing her bare shoulders.

“Suits me. Can I just sit here? Better than sitting next to a stranger,” I persisted hoping she wouldn’t yell and invite attention. She did not.

Instead she looked at me with a renewed interest and said, “Just because we’re neighbors, doesn’t mean we know each other.” I had seen her lips curl a tad bit upwards and a twinkle in her eye, before it disappeared and left me thinking I had imagined it.

“I know. But it does mean we’re not strangers,” I said solemnly.

Give me another drink,” she turned to the bartender who hadn’t responded to the finger tapping. You couldn’t blame him. It was the weekend and the spring break had started for all of us there. “Seriously, can’t anyone have some peace anywhere?” she whispered under her breath, loud enough for me to hear.

Were you saying something?” I asked hoping for an ice-breaker. “You don’t think you’ve had enough, do you?

Will you mind your own business? I’m sick of people treating me like I’m an imbecile. I can take care of myself, for heaven’s sake!” she stuttered, tottering up. The furrow between her brows deepened and she pursed her lips in a way that only added to the charm.

“I didn’t mean to offend you,” I said, apologetic for agitating her. I had been on that stool too. A few months ago but I’d gotten out of it…thanks to someone like her or… was it her? I wasn’t sure.

She looked disinterested. Knocking on the table with her knuckles she tried to catch the attention of the bartender. When it did not work, she raised her voice over the blaring music and said, “Get me the bill, please” before she went down and I was left with a tangled heap curls over my shoulder and a floral dress in my arm that no longer seemed light or breezy.

P.C. from the Net

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This is my attempt at writing a short story. I appreciate any comment on improving my writing, plot, language or style. Please feel free to let me know. Thank you in advance for reading. Have a wonderful day!

Copyright@smithavishwanathsblog.com. All Rights Reserved.

6 comments

  1. I wish you write more of these and have a collection of short stories or rather Encounters. You have a good narrative style. Keep going you will soon have a collection of your own. All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like the idea of ‘Encounters.’ And your appreciation means a lot to me. Its very encouraging. Especially for one who has a lot of starting trouble🙂. Thank you so much. I will try and work on it.

      Like

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