Dinner Engagement

“At last, the infamous James,” Peter announced as the new arrival walked into the restaurant.

He was late. The group had already started drinking.  Sarah had had two mojitos, unusual for her on an empty stomach. Except of course for Peter, they were all meeting James for the first time. Everyone stood up and offered him either a handshake or a kiss.

Sarah thought a kiss would be more appropriate. She was aiming for his cheek and missed. Later she’d wonder if the lip-to-lip smack had been intentional on his part. Pulling away, she felt herself flush, but nobody seemed to notice.

James and Peter had similar eyes, and almost identical noses. James’ mouth was fuller, his hair a bit thicker. They weren’t very different. And yet, Sarah thought, next to his mysterious older brother, Peter looked like a copy made when the machine was low on toner.

There were six of them at the table, including Sarah’s former roommate Samantha, who’d been invited to even out the boy-to-girl ratio, although Peter had warned Sarah that Sammy wasn’t James’ type.

“What is his type?” Sarah had asked.

“Oh, you know. The usual.  Lady in the living room, whore in the bedroom.”

Throughout dinner, Sarah found her eyes going to his. James didn’t speak much. His voice was like Peter’s, but deeper.  Later she’d recall little of what he had actually said.

Between the entre and the coffee, Sarah excused herself to use the ladies’.  It was far from the table, downstairs past the bar.

He was standing beside the door when she exited.

He grabbed her, or did she grab him?

They kissed, this time intentionally, sweetly, sloppily.

She pulled away.  “I… I must have had too much to drink,” she muttered.

He put his hand on her bare arm. It was like he’d flipped a switch and turned on a light she forgot existed.

Somehow they both wound up in the bathroom.  Had she pulled him in or was it his idea?  It was she who bolted the door.

He pushed her against the wall and put a hand under her dress.

“Don’t… Stop.”

“Don’t stop?”

She leaned into him. Her hand went to his zipper.

It was over in a few minutes.

She returned to the table first.

It was Samantha who asked, “Did you see James? He seems to have disappeared.”

Peter said, “He’s good at that. Disappearing acts. He said he was going out for a smoke.” Then he turned to Sarah, “Granted, not the most reliable of men, but what do you think of the putative best man?”

“He’ll do,” she said, a shaky hand grabbing a coffee cup.

Author’s note: Not the type of stuff I usually write, but there was a flash fiction contest with a prompt and this is a slightly modified version of what I came up with. Thoughts and comments welcome. For those of you unfamiliar with my work, please check out my page here or my blog.

~ by yearzerowriters on October 9, 2011.

2 Responses to “Dinner Engagement”

  1. Yes, I like this very much. The implications leave the reader wondering how Sarah can possibly marry the pale imitation (I loved the photocopy image) and yet… ‘It was over in a few minutes.’ Tantalising!

  2. You only get one or two sentences in which to achieve an impact in a piece as short as this, but you do it – the switch she’d forgotten existed? That conjures up a whole world of domesticity and slumbering passion.

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