Eight Ball: Part 3 of 5

Ever since moving west the girl was used to going places, meeting people, and getting stared at. It had become as much apart of her daily living as brushing her teeth. She was a big city girl living in a small western town where high heels were overkill, makeup unnecessary and dresses a rarity. Sometimes she felt like a wine spritzer, a watered down version of herself. Sometimes she had to dilute her personality, her style and mannerisms as to not offend. And still she got stared at. But tonight she doesn’t care. Refusing to pay mind to the aged eyelids turned her way the girl walks confidently up to the bar. “Can I get a shot of jager and a beer please?” She asked the bartender.

As the jager was poured the girl felt a hand on her shoulder. She turned to find a blond haired girl with a vaguely familiar face. Politely the girl smiled back as her brain searched for a name. It was at times like these she was most reminded of her surroundings. In a town of this size there was a good chance to meet a person at the marketplace during the day and run into that same person at the bar at night. It was a cesspool of sorts. It was like a small play with a limited number of actors but a variety of roles to fill. Undoubtedly the same people recycle throughout the script only in different settings, changed costumes and altered accents. The girl was still adjusting, in the city she could get lost in the mix and have conversations that rarely were revisited. In the city strangers remained strangers but in this town there was no such anonymity.

“Congratulations on your new job, you must be so excited!” said the Blondie. This was the first person to officially congratulate the girl whose smile couldn’t conceal her own excitement. It was the type of inhibited smile she tried not to use because it made her cheeks look like two round enormities.

“Thanks. I’m pretty stoked.” She replied.

The Blondie slowly smiled back, a devilish smirk that veiled the white enamels of her front teeth but turned the corners of her mouth up in amusement. “May I make a suggestion? If you’d like to hold on to it, perhaps it would be wise not to be walking around the bar as a billboard for ski school drunkenness.” She said flicking the tassel of the white ski school instructor cap the girl was wearing on her head.

The girl felt a slow burn creep up her neck and into her cheeks. Quickly she processed the weight of the statement as her eyes remained steady. The girl removed the wool cap as the Blondie chuckled to herself. The girl outstretched her beer glass and clinked it with the familiar stranger’s, “Thanks for your insightful suggestion.” It wasn’t until the girl got safely in the bathroom that she allowed herself to get mad. “What a bitch.” She said with slanted eyes as she looked at herself in the mirror. In times of trouble or confusion the girl always went to a mirror to talk to own reflection. She found a certain solace and strength looking in her own eyes. Her lips quivered and eyes filled with water. How could I be so stupid? Why would I wear my ski school instructor hat out to the bar? She wondered to herself. But she didn’t have to ponder long. Many times before her pride had lead to such foolishness.

 

Stranger Danger,

A Warrior Princess

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