At a Party

MAGGIE LEANED AGAINST the wall, the obligatory red Solo cup of warm beer in hand. She had no intention of drinking it. It was a prop, to fend off obnoxious Wall Street boys. Why aren’t you drinking, baby? Maggie fought the urge to smile. The funny thing was they thought they were being subtle.

Across the room, her roommate Evan threw back her head and laughed at something someone said, flipping her long black hair off her shoulders.

Jeez. Maggie rolled her eyes. Evan was cool when she was one-on-one, but get her in a crowd and she could make Barbie look deep.

One of the guys standing near Evan, tall, tanned, bearded but well-groomed, placed a hand on the small of Evan’s back and whispered into her ear. Evan glanced at him, her smile teasing. The man smiled back.

Damn. Maybe I should get hair extensions. Maggie raised her glass, took a whiff of the cheap beer, and lowered it.

“Is something wrong with your beer?”

Maggie glanced to her left. A white guy, tall and lanky, with a large Adam’s apple and wire rim glasses had sidled up to next to her. He kind of reminded her of Shaggy from Scooby Doo, except without the chin hair. She shrugged. “I’m a slow drinker.”

He leaned against the wall, casually enough, except that he was blocking her exit. “Sure. That’s what I thought. I thought, that woman’s a slow drinker.”

Was he being funny? Was he being sarcastic? This was New York; he was probably being sarcastic. Maggie feigned a smile. Sarcastic men were dangerous men. “It’s not my favorite,” she demurred. “I think it’s the smell.”

The man swirled his cup as he considered her words, his eyes never leaving her face. “There’s other things to drink. Can I get you something else?”

“Vodka tonic?” she asked, her tone flirty.

He took her cup. “Wait right here. I’ll be right back.”

Maggie waited until he had disappeared into the crowd, then beelined for the door. Evan was on her own.

Photo by Michael Discenza on Unsplash

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Written for Time To Write: Set The Scene 10 [Creative Writing Prompt] by Rachel Poli

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