This one doesn't have a name, I half thought of the idea a few months back. Suppose it should be called Banging or Sorted or something.
She’d worn a lot of make up before.
It wasn’t as if she needed too. Clear complexion, what people called a caring, friendly face. Beautiful without make up.
Still, what did he know. He was still off his head. Everyone was fucking beautiful at seven in the morning after a heavy night.
“Coffee okay?” she asked.
“Fine, it’s great,” Rick replied. He nodded his head. The beat from the radio kicked in. Just some rubbish on the local station but his mind picked out the bpm. His head kept nodding, then from side to side. The club had been good last night. Really good. The adrenalin from five hundred people watching you and dancing was still there. Better than any drug that feeling was. Except caffeine of course. He felt his head moving again as the song’s bpm increased. If he wasn’t careful he’d be back up there again.
She’d walked to the counter. It looked like she was on her own today. Only one other customer, so not busy. Then again, who else wanted a coffee at seven on a Sunday morning? Very limited customer base, that’s what he reckoned a marketing man would say. He smiled as she looked over, then he turned away, realised he was probably staring at her.
He wondered where the chef was this morning. A lie in maybe? They were an item, married possibly. That’s what everyone said. Some weeks he’d be in, all smiles and big chef’s hat. Other times he wouldn’t be there. The make up: did it correspond with those days? Did she only wear it when he wasn’t in? He couldn’t remember.
He looked at his coffee. Filter, but as good as something from an expensive machine with chrome and steam. First pot of the day and freshly crushed beans, that was why. Always the perfect cuppa, every week. The perfect way to kill the hour wait between train and bus. That was the problem with Sunday mornings. They threw everything at getting you to London on a Saturday night, but no thought of getting you back the next day. Council was probably to blame. They usually are.
“Thanks, love.” The other customer placed his mug on the counter and left. Dog walker. Rick had seen him before once. A month or so ago maybe? Could be six months. He looked at her again, caught her eye. She turned, back to the pile of muffins and flapjacks. The make up was heavier than he’d seen before, especially around the cheeks. He thought of telling her she didn’t need it, but it would come out wrong. He’d mean it as a brother to his sister but it would sound corny. It always did.
“On your own today?”
He turned, checked she was talking to him and not someone else or her phone. He cleared his throat. “Yeah. I don’t always get free tickets, so you know, they don’t always come.” He looked at his coffee. That had come out wrong. Sounded like his mates were only his mates for the free entry. That wasn’t the case, he knew it. They actually paid their own entry sometimes. Well, they had once.
“Must be tiring, all night I mean.” She polished the counter with a cloth, her eyes on the muffins.
“You get used to it,” he said. He didn’t mention the caffeine or adrenalin, nor the pills that most of the dancers used.
He saw her look at the clock, the hour was ticking by. A quarter of it left. He knew he ought to get going, the bus didn’t hang around. With the next one at ten, he didn’t dare miss it.
Drowning the last of his coffee, he stood. “Better, you know.” She looked at him, nodded. The makeup was heavier on her left side. Much heavier.
“See you next week.”
He smiled as he picked up his bag of records. “Bye.”