The surface of the tabletop was smooth, varnished wood. Taking the glass goblet from the top, she turned slowly to face the light coming from the corner lamps that lined the outside lanai. Stars peeked inside seemingly to catch a glimpse of her. She walked slowly, exiting the ceiling line into the deep dark night. Lit with only the lamps and a thinly crescent moon, the lanai camouflaged her dark red dress. To others, she had vanished, but to me, she was there. She was always there. Every time there was a gallant affair or a social meeting, she could be caught by the eyes, and many an eye of other men. She never made a move on others of the opposite gender, nor did she accept any offers, but she’d stared at other women plenty and that seemed to be her orientation.
She stared down towards the beach where people had been going about their business, eating dinner by the waters, singing by a campfire, playing in the sand, walking and other revoltingly mundane things to do on a getaway week. I didn’t follow just yet. I held my glass of whiskey and waited, staring into the drink. Thunder rumbled in the distance and lightning cracked its warning of the coming storm, but the people still pressed on with their activities. Some people around me stopped to look towards the thunder for a brief moment. In that moment, I analyzed each one of them. I took their faces in and found resolve right before they returned to their unified murmur. It had taken longer than I anticipated, since by the time I looked back, I could no longer see her.
I dashed, leaving my drink on the table. As I reached the lanai, I caught her by the corner almost by the dark side of the door, just out of view from where I was. To her left was the wall and door and to her right was the open sea. She’d left her glass on the far end of the lanai, on the stone rail guard. The walls right below the guard were lined with ivy and through the lights from the lamps one could see the blood droplets next to the glass. I approached her.
“Are you alright?”
“Yes” She said with a sniff.
“You’re not. You’re crying. May I ask why?”
“No.” She said without turning.
“Oh, okay, then. May I help in any way?”
“You won’t let up, will you?” She finally turned.
“No, not really.” I say.