100 days: day 7

08/12/2009

Dining out.

The two pale slithers of crisp chapped flesh audibly parted to reveal an incomplete set dull tobacco stained teeth. Above this, crinkled undulations of folded grey skin very nearly concealed a set of strained bloodshot eyes. The features fused into a penetrating leer directed across the restaurant at Sophie as she attempted to focus on her focaccia.

‘Jonathan,’ she grunted in desperation at the man sat opposite. No avail, he was negotiating with a particularly resistant king prawn shell.

‘Jonathan!’ she persisted.

‘What’s that sweet?’ he responded with a vacant smile.

‘He’s starring at me again, Jonathan, it’s making me very uncomfortable,’ she said through gritted teeth. John, as he was usually referred when his masculine credentials were not being called to the fore subtly glanced over his shoulder at the elderly gentleman who was nonchalantly indulging in his cigarette, eyes fixed to the far wall. John turned back to face Sophie and shrugged.

‘I’m sure you’re imagining it, it’s just some old guy,’ said John in an attempt to reassure. It didn’t wash.

‘Imagining it?’ she responded, angered.

‘No not imagining it, I mean, I’m sure it’s innocent,’ he backtracked, ‘you want me to have a word?’ Sophie maintained a stern expression. At this point the elderly gent stubbed out his cigarette and clambered from his barstool. He walked the length of the room and arrived at John’s shoulder. Sophie attempted to shield her discomfort by curving her hand across her cheek and brow. The old man knelt down to ear level with John.

‘That’ll be all, thank you for your time,’ he said with a reassured smile as he handed John a crisp twenty pound note. John nodded, pocketed the money and swiftly exited the restaurant. The elderly man sat in his place and rested his head in the palm of his hands. He maintained eye contact with Sophie, she rolled her eyes and reluctantly returned his gaze.

‘What did you do that for?’ She asked.

‘I just, I don’t like this role playing thing any more Sophie,’ he confided, ‘it’s just getting too exhausting and you keep choosing stronger and stronger men, it’s not the same any more.’

‘I thought you found it exciting,’ she said.

‘It was never for me Sophie, you know that.’

They sat in silence.

The End.

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