It was a slow Saturday afternoon, no cricket, no football, no rugby. I sat up at the bar, in the corner, reading the paper.
I heard her before I saw her – the tapping of heels on the wood floor. She parked up on a bar stool , crossed her legs and within minutes was surrounded by five or six men who hadn’t been there before. The banter came and she dealt with it, giving as good as she got.
“There you are,” said Joe, putting the plate in front of her. “ The house special, toasted cheese sandwich. And I washed my hands before I made it an all.”
She demolished the sandwich and asked for another. The men drifted away. I waited till she was on her own before making a move, with a smile and a nod to start off.”
You’re great with the sandwiches,” I said.
I wondered what she did. A cabaret singer maybe or a torch singer in one of those new faux French places in town.
“ I work in the bar down the street. This is my tea break.”
She set to work on the next sandwich then looked up.
“ You’re judging me,” she said.
“I’m not. I’m filled with admiration. Two cheese sandwiches in as many minutes.”
” I was starving. I’m on a diet. No this shite no that shite.”
“And I’m jealous.”
“You’re only in here two minutes and you’re surrounded by men.”
She shook her head and bit into the last corner of the sandwich: “You’re still judging me.”
“ I’m not.”
“ You are.” And then she delivered her coup de grace: “ You’re judging me with your eyes.”