Almost five seconds had passed before I realized I had been asked a question. I looked at my friend’s face; an expression of concern and irritation on it. She was leaning forward with her hands folded and the centres of her eyebrows arched high. My failure to answer had been answer enough. I rolled my eyes.
"Please." I swept my hand between us to cut her off. "I don’t want your lecture right now."
The concern from her face vanished, leaving only irritation. That’s how I preferred my friends, anyway.
She straightened up in the chair, feigning relief that she didn’t have to mother me, but stirred her drink a little too vigorously to be just ‘fine’.
I put on sunglasses and continued my inspection of a woman sitting two tables down.
"She’s wearing stockings."
"We’re not talking about anything else until you tell me how your date went last night."
"She’s not in corporate, and it doesn’t look like a uniform. She wore those by choice."
"And she’s alone… Not expecting anyone, either. And yet, stockings."
"Was he really that bad?"
I obliged my friend with eye contact. She was wearing the wrong lip gloss, which I only knew because she had explained the criteria to me last week. Her phone had vibrated twice during our conversation and she hadn’t even checked to see who it was. The ice had all but melted in her glass. She stopped tucking fly-away strands of hair behind her ear. This was the most attention I had ever recieved from her. She may just understand…
"I had a transformation last night."
"Well, of course you did! You’re a woman now!"
"Yes! Wait… That’s not… We didn’t have sex last night."
"He called me fat."
"Well, he called Lena Dunham fat. And you know how I…"
"Oh my god."
"… feel about her and he completely… "
"… disregarded my opinions and…"
"We’re not talking about this."
She swept the conversation shut. I glared at her. She ignored my indignation as she scrolled down her notifications. The date was her idea. She had come here wanting to be thanked. Instead, she had been plunged into disappointment and denied validation. Her patience with me was running out and she reminded herself never to do anything nice for me again.
Without looking up from her phone, she said. “This heat is killing me, let’s go to the mall.”
“Lets. I need to buy some stockings.”