I squinted at the bottom of my pint glass. I'd been stoned for three hours, drunk for two, yet couldn't seem to shake the restlessness that had latched onto me for days like a bad odour. I glanced around the bar, trying to make out some sign of life. Nothing, just a sea of empty smiles and plastic hearts. I gulped the last of my beer and returned the glass to the barman with a look. He returned the look, and also the glass, now full. Or waiting to be empty, as the pessimists would have it.
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As I prepared for more damage, a flutter of movement caught my eye. She sat down on the stool next to mine. Pale, delicate skin, luscious red hair. Eyes you could get lost in for a year. Red eyes. Always the red eyes. Somehow it seemed wrong, like she shouldn't be here, a spark of life in the city of the dead. Everyone around was cold and mechanical; somehow, her presence seemed wrong.
I guess she noticed me looking at her. Subtlety isn't my strong point. I twisted, did my best to get some kind of focus. "Hi," she said. Like she was just some person. Calm as could be. If she was an angel, her wings were tucked away.
"Hi," I replied, trying to sound casual. Not fooling anyone. "How's it going?"
She smiled. That beautiful smile. It made me go weak at the knees. Talking to her was like talking through a ketamine orgasm. Somehow nothing made sense. "It's been a long time."
I dragged myself away from those beautiful eyes for a moment, fumbled with my glass, managed to raise it to my lips. "Too long."
She smiled again, a hint of sadness this time,, a bitter lemon in strawberry fields. "I love you, you know. I always have and I always will." She got up, cradled my head in her arms for a moment. I could smell her, feel her breast against my cheek. She was consuming, every sense overwhelmed. She looked into me, those crimson pools giving away nothing, and kissed me. Once. Softly.
And then she was gone.