How much?

Contributed by on 30/11/12

As the rain falls he reads the menu, although that’s a lie, he scans the prices. One must not assume this is because he’s tight, it’s merely a habit picked up from another time, a time when he had little and it was spent freely by another. Besides, nobody reads the menu while they’re outside the restaurant; they just get a feel for the place, the dishes, the prices, the level of pretension.
She says it looks good and they enter and immediately he knows that something is wrong. It doesn’t feel right. It’s a feeling that he finds hard enough to explain to himself and communicating it to her is nigh on impossible.
“Let’s go somewhere else,” he simply says, and she immediately looks confused.
“Why?” she asks, of course.
“It just doesn’t feel right here,” he replies, and that’s enough. They’ve known each other long enough to simply trust each other’s instincts. He tries to explain it further, but he doesn’t have to. Even though it’s still cold, and it’s still raining, she’s happy to leave and seek another place, even though they’re in a strange city, even though they’re both cold and wet and hungry. That wasn’t the place.
Later, after their meal, one of the waitresses stops her and asks her about her hair. She loves it; she wants her hair just the same. It’s just a moment during which someone who is not entirely comfortable with who they are is made to feel special. If he was that sort of person he’d say that the gut feeling he’d had earlier was because this moment was meant to happen.
But maybe this place was just cheaper.

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