It was barely four o’clock when she left the doctor’s room. She stood for a moment, wondering what to do, because it seemed she should do something.
There was the river of course, but the kids would be down there by now and she would have to sit pretending she didn’t see the cigarettes hidden behind their backs, she couldn’t hear the flirting and wasn’t bothered by their loud and awkward laughs.
The coffee shop would be okay, but Stella would have a whole day’s gossip she needed to download.
Which only left the pub. The pub was better than you might have thought at four o’clock. No one was in for after work drinks, the juke box hadn’t started, the pool table was empty. If she took the folder of tests and spread them out on the table around her, the rusted on blokes at the bar would ignore her.
She wouldn’t actually mark the tests of course, but she could look down at them every now and then and then stare thoughtfully into space.
‘Usual?’ Pete asked her, but she shook her head and ordered gin and tonic. ‘Double,’ she added as she watched him measure the shots.
There was someone sitting at the table she had planned to use. The one in the corner, but still with a view of the river. A man in a pin striped suit and a buttoned up shirt, but he wasn’t wearing a tie. His long hair was tied back in a pony tail and both of his ears were pierced. A tower of glasses, each of them empty but marked with traces of beer froth, rested right at the edge of the table.
If I knocked the table, Adele thought, those glasses would fall. Such thoughts, once thought, are impossible to ignore.
‘Are you The Poet?’ she asked and she got the accents right. Interested, but not curious.
‘Yes,’ he said and when he looked up at her and into her eyes, his face softened and moved, but he did not smile.