A Little Bit of Me

Jottings and Writing, miscellanous misgivings

The Encounter


The restaurant was illuminated by built in wall lighting so that parts were bright but pockets of near darkness were scattered throughout the room. A posse of early evening clientele were seated, talking, and sipping their pre-dinner cocktails. Through the kitchen doors, the faint sound of a busy kitchen could be heard. Delicious smells wafted out from behind the same doors. Paul was seated at a side table and was just finishing his second Manhattan. He had already made his mind up that he would opt for the fish dish tonight. Maybe the salmon. There was just something about the smell of salmon on a hot grill.

The tall, gracious woman glided into the room, her coat flowing behind her, a small hat with a green feather on her head. She scanned the room and her eyes settled on Paul; I small grin crossed her face, a face that bore the unmistakable signs of recent botox injections.

“Hello Paul, how lovely to see you.” Her approach was preceded by a subtle scent that Paul could not quite place. It reminded him of something or someone.

Paul, seated in a dark corner of the room, away from the other diners, rose to his feet politely. He felt rather light headed. Was this the woman of his dreams or maybe he was really, really hungry.

“Er, good afternoon, er, evening.” He pushed his chair back, moved around the table, and pulled back the second chair at the table, indicating for her to sit. The chair made a terrible noise and some of the other diners looked over at who or what was causing a disruption to their deliberations.

She looked down at him, a hint of a smile on her face. She raised her hands and sat down next to Paul.  “How are you doing? How are the roses?” She placed her expensive leather handbag open the table. Paul looked to see if he could see any identifying initials. Who was this woman? But he had identified the scent. It was Opium or some such name as that. His wife had used it a lot. And what the hell was all this about roses. He wouldn’t know a rose from a daffodil.

Paul’s brown frowned. He was unsure what she was talking about. He tried to cover his confusion by a quick response. “Um, er, they’re doing well, thank you.” In his haste he dropped his napkin on the floor. Would it be impolite to reach down for it or just leave it where it had fallen? She might think he was trying to do something else, something entirely different than retrieving an innocent napkin. One of the wait staff dropping a tray of plates interrupted his thoughts. The noise in the restaurant seemed to be intensifying. Now the kitchen noises were raised and it seemed all the diners had started yelling at each other.

The woman seemed to take his response in and snapped back. “Betty well? I haven’t seen her for a while. And how is the new grandchild. It’s a girl isn’t it. Madison – something. What an unusual name. You must be thrilled.” She adjusted her wrap and to Paul it appeared she was actually looking down her nose at him.

Paul was now completely confused. Who was Betty? What grandchild was she talking about? Who was this woman? Now he wasn’t even sure about the perfume. “Yes, yes. All well.” Best, he thought to leave the napkin where it was and just hope that this woman, who was now glancing around the room, would just leave him alone. Seeing no one else she could sit with she noisily drew back her chair, picked up he bag and rose.

“I won’t keep you. Have a lovely day.” She turned on her heels and walked out of the restaurant. Paul, in his haste to be polite and stand, knocked his drink over. The smell of spilt whisky and the woman scent made for a heady mix. His head was spinning and the room started to go in and out of focus.

Paul sat down heavily. He must be getting Alzheimer’s.

Meanwhile the elegant woman looked back into the restaurant. I sly grin came over her face. She quickly adjusted her hat and strolled down the road to the next restaurant on the high street


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