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July 10, 2017 / hbrowne4

From a prompt by Brendan Palmer

The prompt was:

Whatever it is you were thinking when you looked at me like that, think it again

The Newbie stands just inside the door of the room surveying the assembled crowd. Its Friday night, the room, at the back of a busy city bar, was booked by the organiser of the fifties plus club to host a meetup for drinks and conversation.

He had decided to arrive forty minutes later than the designated start time, which would allow him to do exactly what he was doing, standing inside the door, surveying the room.

He took note of the first person who looked to see who had entered the room, knowing from experience that the first person to look up when someone new enters a room is likely to be the Queen Bee, the person in control, not always officially but the one who sets the tone of the group. Its not always a female Queen Bee but in this case it was.

The mix of the crowd was about fifty women to ten men, not unusual in these kinds of gatherings. With the second round of drinks being consumed the conversation noise level was getting close to industrial Health and Safety limits.

Divorced for two years, its five years since he had any kind of intimate conversation with a member of the opposite sex and twenty years since he last walked up to a woman he didnt know and said hello. He goes to the bar and orders a pint of Guinness.  His gaze is unfocused and distant as he muses about his next move while looking at but not seeing the two thirds full pint sitting on the bar in front of him, slowly settling as the CO2/ Nitrogen mix of gas bubbles rise to the top.

Looking up, he catches her eye, holding her gaze for six seconds, his confidence boosted when his smile and the widening of his eyes to show interest is reciprocated.

His train of thought is interrupted by the barman placing the now full pint of Guinness on the bar in front of him,Five fifty Sir. Putting the change from a twenty Euro note into his pockets, ten euro, neatly folded with the other notes into the left pocket and four euro fifty into the right pocket, he lifts the pint slowly to his lips and hoping he exudes coolness takes a long slow pull, in his mind a picture of Robert Mitchum playing one of his macho men roles.

Making his way through the crowd he approaches her group and they open the circle to let him in, his Queen Bee identification confirmed as he realises she had made this happen.  Seeing her up close his heart skips a beat and then races as he thinks, Jayzus shes lovely, I want her in my bed.

Never good at hiding his feelings, it must have been written all over his face because as he took her hand and said, Hi, Im Simon, she didnt tell him her name in return just said, whatever it is you were thinking when you looked at me like that, think it again.

The pacemaker hed had inserted the previous year earned its keep.

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