Updated: Aug 22, 2021
Her perfume was the first thing he noticed about her as he really hadn’t taken much heed of her up until then. She was just another female body that drifted through a slightly inebriated fog that he seemed to increasingly find himself in visiting bars these days.
Since his marriage had crumbled into pieces some eight months earlier, he’d found it increasingly daunting but exciting as well, he had to admit. Twenty-six years it had lasted, but the pandemic had taken its toll on them both, his wife losing her job in the travel business and he now staring down the barrel of his career as a middle-aged, has-been sales rep.
There was pressure in being constantly in each other’s company – after years of both trotting off to the work environment each day and only seeing each other at mealtimes, which had been a breeze. They’d revelled in it. It had been easy. And then, overnight, having to endure each other’s irritating habits, dull conversations, silences at the dinner table – these had all taken their toll.
He glanced down the bar towards the woman who, like him, appeared to be drowning her sorrow. She looked like any other middle-aged, lost lonely person who was feeling desperate and dangerous. But the perfume was intoxicating. It had a power all its own.
He sidled up to her now. She turned and stared into his face, her lipstick running into the cracks of her ageing skin, her hair dyed an artificial blond. Then she smiled, her eyes lighting up.
He smiled back, drugged by the scent of Chanel No. 5.
‘Hi, handsome, are you doing anything later?’ she murmured into his ear.
‘I’m all yours, honey,’ he whispered back.
Copyright: Story - Meg Mooney; photos - Wix.
This SSOA writers' blog is made possible by grant assistance from the City of Sydney.