It’s Your Round
The woman sitting next to me is distracted. I thought my luck might be in at first, until I realised her eyes were flicking past me, to something over my shoulder.
I was absorbed in the music when she arrived – she had to ask me twice if the seat was free. And when I turned my head to reply and saw her for the first time, the music lost its hold on me.
Why a woman like that was to be found here, in this tiny, practically secret bar, under a disused shop, with mean little seats and rough red wine, God only knew. She was extremely attractive, with hair the colour of fire firmly coiled into a neat up-do, large dark eyes and perfectly made up porcelain skin. What a beauty.
So we sat, both of us ostensibly sitting alone, listening to the music, concentrating on the band, but she was always framed in the corner of my eye, and her glance darted constantly to another corner of the room.
I topped up my glass and surreptiously followed her eyeline, which led to a doorway, with a narrow flight of stairs just visible. Where did it lead?
After another half hour, she became almost agitated, the long elegant leg hooked over her knee jiggling, her black pointy shoe tapping into the leg of the table. She had given up any pretence of concenrrating on the stage and stared at the little doorway.
Eventually, as the band reached a crescendo, a woman came out of the doorway, somewhat furtively, with a quick glance around the room and fast little steps across to the exit which she hurried through.
The woman next to me watched her go, then, looking slightly sick and as though she was working herself up to something unpleasant, slipped out of her seat and went to the little doorway, flitting up the steps as though she knew them well. I couldn’t help but follow her into the gloom, away from the sound and colour of the band, up the curved, worn old stairs.
At the top was a red door with a glass panel. I was about to turn the handle, with excuse ready about being lost on the way to the gents, when I saw her through the glass, her arm outstretched, a gun in her outstretched hand, and blood on the floorboards.