Alone they were, in the room, away from the chatter of crowds. It seemed like the time had come; the time Zeta both longed for, and dreaded. The time for Zeta to find herself all alone with Tony and he with her, without the usual interruptions by waitresses and bartenders and friends leaning in on their conversations. They were alone, at last.
This is a make or break situation, she thought. I could screw it, or he could. She’d wager a bet on who would be the first to burst the bubble. She knew it would be more likely to be herself, but because those thoughts were way too private, she couldn’t talk about them to Tony like she could with so many of her views on matters important and unimportant.
This can’t be happening.
It was all too perfect. A woman in a smoke-filled pub was having drinks with friends. She was about to leave, tired of the fusion beat hammering her nerves. She was spent. But on her way out, she was stopped and introduced to a mysterious figure that resembled a lone ranger in search of his missing stallion.
He said hi, she said hi, and it could have been just that. She was held by his voice. She then stayed, held by his mind. He took her back to her home, dropped her off at the doorstep. They exchanged kisses, and numbers.
In two weeks, the man confessed he liked her. She laughed, inside.
In just ten weeks, they decided to get away from the city and spend the weekend in the country. So they chucked their overnighters into his fancy blue beemer, left the city and headed down south, hundreds of miles down towards the Great Ocean Road until they reached a magnificent cliff overlooking the testy waters with an exposed moon. There they held each other, tottering over a precarious edge in drunken stupor.
There, bathed in the full moonlight, he held her face in his hands, and kissed her spirit. Her knees crumbled. He was about to say something, but before the voice could formulate any word, she bit his lip.
His arms tightened. Hips adjusted. Eyes narrowed as an eagle would towards an object of desire. Mouth melded into hers.
How so predictable.
What happened next? Read the rest of this short story when She Never Looks Quite Back by Mallika Naguran is out in 2022.