Last night when he’d sat across from her he expected she’d tell him to get lost—he couldn’t believe his luck. Most men go for a woman like her unless she’s been around the block too many times. Some guys get particular about that sort of thing, even these days—but Billy wasn’t one of them. He knew immediately they’d go home together so he tried not to give too much away. He’d found that the more you talked, the more likely it was you’d reveal a deal breaker—a political belief or some objectionable biographical fact, large or small. And you never knew what it was going to be. She’d ordered the meatloaf and Kale dinner with mashed potatoes and beef gravy.
This babe kept it all put together—and would, at least for the time being. Her clean black hair fell down her back and she had one of those crooked parts that seemed all the rage. She had full, natural eyebrows, no bangs, and few forehead lines. Her makeup was well done without being overdone. She drank her coffee while waiting for her food, first pouring in three creamers followed by a stream of sugar from the shaker. He drank his black and decided against dinner.
She couldn’t have bought those clothes recently. Why would someone buy anything that tight—she was gapping between two snaps of her cowgirl shirt and Billy checked to see what kind of bra she had on—she needed well-made underwires to keep those babies up, which were definitely real—he could always tell the genuine articles by the way they moved. He noticed this lady’s boots and jeans were worn. Good at judging ages, Billy put this chick at about thirty-two. When she’d ordered she kept her voice low, breathy. He imagined she would have been an alto if she sang in the choir, but he couldn’t imagine this lady in church—which wasn’t fair, he thought. Before picking up a fork, she closed her eyes and looked down for about ten seconds.
As he scraped the whiskers off he imagined she was divorced, estranged from her family, and that her kids were growing up somewhere else—she had a caesarian scar. Things could only go downhill, fast or slow, from here. The more they knew about each other the worse it would get. Their unhappiness and isolation would seep into anything new they might try to establish. So why shouldn’t he walk out now—in fact, maybe she was pretending to be asleep to give him a chance to make these calculations and was listening for his retreating footsteps.