Monday, September 14, 2009

Adam & Jessie: Chapter 1

She accepted the invitation although it went against every rule in the modern book of women's etiquette. Do Not Accept an Invitation if it is Proffered on the Same Day as the Date is Scheduled For. To hell with it, she thought, I'm going anyway.

Doubts momentarily clouded her vision as she stepped into the Surry Hills pub at which they had arranged to meet. He wasn't there, yet she had planned and executed the perfect entrance – five to ten minutes late, as if rushing from another key appointment. She stepped up to the bar and ordered a glass of house white, determined to look confident and calm even if that was not what she was feeling.

As the barmaid handed her the glass, smiling, Jessie accepted it and handed over a $10 note. A hand on her elbow. A man, crew-cut, t-shirt, unfamiliar said: "Are you Jessie?" "Yes," she said. "Hi, I'm Shane. He's running late. Come and join us."

She walked outside, glass in hand, and sat with the band of strangers who eyed her curiously. She shrouded herself in social charm and made conversation. They were interesting, outgoing – different. A dingo sat on the nearby corner of the street, chewing his dinner of raw meat. Conversation ranged from electronic music to detox diets.

He arrived. He looked different than he had the week before. The shorts and t-shirt had been replaced by an ironed shirt in vibrant hues and snug-fitting jeans. She had forgotten he was so well built. His hair was the same, curly and soft, framing his face as well as his spectacles did. And his generous smile was warm as he sat down on the bench next to her, his thighs bumping against hers as she slid over to make room for him. Her heart surged into her throat but she responded gently, accepting his kiss graciously and enjoying the easy togetherness with which they parried and joked with his mates.

This is going well, she thought.

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