One Night

I met her as she was just about to leave. One arm in her jacket, the other holding a plastic cup full of gin. She scanned through the smug mass of partygoers for a table to rest her drink, when she couldn’t find one she looked for a friend but she couldn’t find one of those either. I saw the look of quiet rage on her face and she saw the same look on mine. So she chose me.

“Hold this.” She demanded. No hello. No please. Just an exasperated command barked out under duress. I had my hand out at once. She thrust the gin into it while I tried to think of something clever to say. She swung her jacket onto her shoulder like a matador and jabbed her arm into the remaining sleeve. I caught a glimpse of an old book curled over her jacket pocket. I got a little thrill when I recognised the title.

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