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"After Dinner She Came Up" by Julia Ruth Smith

She was not what I’d been expecting; not less but somehow not quite enough. She was a stunner, slim waist, cross-legged now on the rug; a wine glass between her knees, balancing not falling. I was telling her about Caracas; she feigned interest but she was waiting for me to touch her. I don’t know how I could tell but I could. I knew that I wouldn’t and she would make a scene.

I got up to change the record and instead walked into the kitchen to fix myself a whiskey. She unfolded her legs and leaned back on her hands, forming creases that I didn’t want to see.

She wasn’t an intelligent girl but she showed a willingness to please. She had initially scoffed at my apartment then said she loved it. I didn’t like that about her. It implied lack of character. I wanted to tell her so but I didn’t. She could be wrapped up in bed with anyone she wanted. The pretense was ugly.

I wanted her gone. I was tired and I didn’t want her sleeping over. I listened to the clock ticking, finished my drink and went back into the living room.

‘I’m gonna hit the sack now. I’ll call you a taxi. We’ll do lunch, yeah?’

Her face registered disbelief, ‘You piece of shit.” She scraped her coat off the sofa. I envied her for the first time that evening. She felt something. She would take that home with her.

After the doors slammed I vaguely wondered if I’d made a mistake. I cleared up the living room and went to bed. I dreamt something sweet, but the truth is I didn’t want to tell anyone about it.

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