Ten fingers, ten toes, twenty reasons to avoid his gaze. I counted them with care, assuming he would tire and leave me to my eccentricities. But he waited, a wolfish greed gleaming in his eyes, marking its territory upon me. I was nothing yet everything, another half-pretty face cast away in an ocean of faces, the tides of time hadn’t been kind. No nail polish, I was allergic, it was a small price I had to pay. One, two, three, four…there I counted again, keeping to myself, wishing for sense to prevail…fourteen, fifteen…
This world has no sense to dispense, just a big ball of pretense.
The words interrupted my counting. I looked up. There was no one with me. A young couple two tables across and the ‘staring man’ stationed at the bar, a safe ten feet away.
‘It’s just nerves,’ I whispered.
Reassurance is like insurance. Get some today.
There it was again. That voice. Was it him or me? I deserted my fingers and toes; they weren’t going anywhere. I kept my head down, tempted to a game of hunter and prey. We were an odd, unmatched pair, no rules to abide by, bound by a pointless stare. I looked not once, but thrice, his eyes clung to me like magnets, their possessiveness biting into my skin. Weakness wasn’t my specialty, but somehow, I wanted him to win.
Winners take all, losers will fall, he made that damn phone call.
The voice barely made it past the police siren blaring down the street. One deep breath, ten even steps, those unforgiving eyes followed me to the door. They wanted me to stop. A shaky voice called out to no one, ‘Stop her! She’s wanted for murder!’
I saw my half-pretty face in the newspaper.
Hallelujah! Front page.