I wasn’t sure what I was doing there. I should’ve been in my hotel room analyzing why the deal I had put together had just fallen apart.
I’m a mediator (a very good one, I might add), which means I help individuals and companies work through their differences and come to an agreement before the courts and lawyers get involved. That didn’t happen this time.
I had flown out to Silicon Valley to finalize an agreement between two tech companies. Everything was on track until one of the CEOs got cold feet and withdrew the company’s offer. Now we were back at square one.
What did that mean? I had no idea. That’s what I should have been trying to figure out. But I needed to blow off some steam, which is what brought me to this bar a few miles from my hotel.
It wasn’t anything special, but good enough for me to sip a jack-and-coke in a corner booth. I had planned for a quiet and lonely night, a few drinks, and then I’d tackle my problem tomorrow.
Then she walked in.
Wearing a simple sleeveless black dress that stopped just above her knees and cork wedge sandals, she still managed to look exotic. I think it was her almond-shaped large brown eyes, long dark eyelashes, and high prominent cheekbones. Her small mouth looked like it was constantly puckering for a kiss. Her skin was tan and her dark brown hair was tinged with a subtle purple. Adding to her allure were the piercings in her left eyebrow and tiny nose. There was a long flowery tattoo that ran up her thigh to disappear beneath her dress, and another that ran across the length of her left arm. Her calves were shapely and her thighs thick, her ass pushed up by her wedges.
She sat by herself at the bar and pulled out her phone. I watched her scan and scroll for a few moments, then she frowned, apparently annoyed at something. “Fuck…” I heard her whisper under her breath. She set the phone down in front of her, looked straight ahead, and sighed heavily.
I felt bad for her even though I had no idea what just happened. I had toyed around with the idea of approaching her before, but now she was likely in a bad mood and it probably wasn’t the time. Then again, I reasoned, she might need the pick-me-up.
I went back and forth until I decided that since I was planning on leaving soon anyway I might as well say “hi” on the way out. If she wasn’t interested, no harm done.
I stood from my seat in the booth and walked to the bar to stand next to her. I set my drink down, leaned my elbows on the bar, and turned my head to her.
“Excuse me,” I said, getting her attention. She still looked annoyed as she glanced at me. Nothing to do but follow through, though. “I’m too exhausted to be trying something like this and I’ll probably screw it up. But you are absolutely gorgeous and I’d like to sit here and buy you a drink if you’d let me.”
She sighed again and glanced down at her phone. “I guess so.” An ominous start, to be sure.
I pulled out the barstool and sat. I got the bartender’s attention and she ordered her drink. As we waited, I said, “I don’t want to come across as creepy or anything, but it looked like you just got some disappointing news.”
She shrugged her shoulders. “You could say that. I just got stood up.”
Who in their right minds would stand this beauty up? “I’m sorry,” I said, somewhat sincerely.
“It’s ok,” she answered. “It was just a tinder match.”
“Well, whoever it was is an idiot for passing up a chance to meet you.” Not my most original line, but what the hell. I was tired.
“Thanks,” she answered. “I’m Zatianna.”