“I don’t know how to play pool,” she says.
She doesn’t know how to play. With legs like those and that sensible but fucking great skirt, she can just stand there and watch me shoot balls into pockets for all I give a fuck.
“Play with me anyway,” I say.
And so, with that kind-hearted little look she has going on, she nods just barely, and sips her gin and tonic. Tiny little sips all the way to the bottom of the glass. She raises a finger when the bartender nods toward her for another.
While loading the triangle, I ask her: “Where are you from?”
“Minnesota, originally. I took off just a little under a month ago. Every night feels different now.”
Every night feels the exact same to me, but I enjoy her lips moving. She leans a little over the pool table, one of her legs barely bent, the other almost straight. Almost fucking perfect, most men would think, but I already love her. She misses her target and mutters under her breath. She even glances at me as if hoping to catch me distracted by something not her. She is that nervous and sadly mistaken.
“Where are you from?” she asks me. She picks up the chalk, but clearly doesn’t know what to do with it.
“I grew up here,” I tell her and take my turn. I also miss, but I’m not ashamed. “Well, twenty miles north of here. At least I got out of that place and onto a new one. I tell myself that, sometimes, when I feel like I never went anywhere. I really did go, twenty miles, somewhere. That counts, in the long run, I think.”
“I think so, too,” she tells me and bends over again. She is still shy, because she barely puts any effort into aiming or shooting. “I’m not sure why I thought driving across five states would be any different than going
She is serious, and for once in a long time, a woman doesn’t make me feel like a loser.
“Do you smoke?” I ask.
“I could,” she says.
“Wanna smoke with me?”
She shrugs, but she steps outside with me anyway.