That night, after a dinner of roast chicken with fresh green beans and a salad, Jean decided to go out to the local pub around the corner from her high rise apartment. As she entered Jack’s Tavern, the scent of cigarettes and beer greeted her. The usual crowd frequented their usual seats. She spotted a booth in the far corner, walked over to it and sat down. Moments later a waitress friend of hers by name of Jillian, sauntered over to take her order.
“Hey, Jean. Here alone again?” asked Jillian.
“Yeah. I know, I know. I need a man in my life,” replied Jean.
“Remember. You said that. I didn’t.”
“Men aren’t easy to talk to. I can’t just walk up and talk to one. What would I say?”
Jillian creased her brows and cocked her head to the side. “What do you mean, what would you say? You say anything. That’s what you say.”
“It’s not that simple.”
“Yes, it is that simple. You’re too dang shy. Get over it. Besides, it isn’t like you’re going to blow up or something.”
Jean looked at her hands and shook her head then brought her eyes up to look at Jillian once more. “My mind goes blank, and my heart rate increases every time the opportunity comes up.”
“Well, the only way to get rid of that is if you attack year fear of talking to men head on.”
Jean smiled but didn’t say anything.
“You know I’m right,” stated Jillian.
In the time she and Jillian had been talking, Bryson and another woman came in to the tavern together and took a seat two booths down from Jeans. Jean sighed as she glanced in their direction then did a double take.
Seeing Jean’s reaction and change of expression, Jillian followed her gaze. “What?” asked Jillian. “What’s wrong?”
Jean glanced back up at Jillian then back in the direction of Bryson and his date. She waved Jillian a little closer, lowered her voice, and told her about her encounter with Bryson, or lack there of, that afternoon at work. Then she described a little incident she observed, involving a woman who claimed to be his wife, downstairs at the reception desk. “Jill, that woman in the booth with him over there is not the woman who said she was his wife.”
“Maybe it’s a business meeting,” said Jillian.
“It’s some business meeting then,” said Jean flipping her hand in Bryson’s direction. At that moment, Jean observed him bringing the woman’s hand to his lips and kiss it tenderly. As Bryson did this, he met Jean’s eyes. Jean glanced back Jillian who stole a peek in Bryson’s direction.
Jillian, forgetting her customers for a moment, sat down across from Jean. “Wait, that isn’t his wife.”
(To Be Continued)