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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Coin and Eagle


*From a prompted writing exercise during my Monday night writers' group, A Cup of Words 

(use:  silver coin, eagle)


Emilie stepped into the dimly lit room and paused as her eyes adjusted to the shadows.  Making her way to the bar, she chose the stool in the corner and ordered a glass of Willamette Riesling.  She turned with her back to the wall, and studied the faces in the darkness.  She wasn’t meeting anyone here, came alone and expected to leave alone, but she needed someone to watch, something to occupy her mind for a while.


An obviously tall, muscular man sat alone in a corner, on his right hand, a golden eagle encircled his finger, and in his left, he held a large silver dollar coin.  It flashed in the amber glow of the track lighting above his table, and he rolled it over his fingers as he nursed what looked like a glass of Crown.

As Emilie gazed at him absently, eying the flash of the coin, the server paused at his gesture, left shortly, and then returned with another glass.  The man’s dark eyes flashed as he laughed. Watching the girl’s hips sway back and forth, as she retreated, he let a smile tug at one corner of his mouth.


Emilie sighed and sipped her wine.  She’d been too wound up to go straight home after work.  It’s not that she wanted company, that was too complicated, but she wanted the comfort of a crowd.  The clink of ice in glasses, the muted voices of others’ conversations would fill her head tonight and maybe she wouldn’t feel so alone.


The couple at the other end of the bar were evidently having a disagreement.  He looked perplexed and she definitely angry.  He was obviously trying…or maybe not.  She reprimanded herself.  Who was she to decide what went on in the lives of strangers.  It’s not like she was a relationship expert.  Yet, in her imagination, she assumed that the woman in the short black skirt and tight ivory blouse was a bitch, who expected her companion to read her mind instead of telling him what it was she wanted.


She watched as the young man reached for the woman, tried to slip his arm around her waist and pull her close.  The ‘bitch’ jerked away and gave him a look that would freeze boiling water.  The young man slumped a bit lower in his chair, and drained his beer glass.  Emily felt sorry for him, and looked away, back to the man in the corner. 


She wondered what this guy’s story was.  He was obviously not waiting for anyone.  Appearing relaxed, he neither watched the door nor eyed the other patrons with that expectant look.  The silver dollar continued its journey back and forth between his fingers.  She watched, mesmerized.  As she fashioned a story for him in her imagination, she realized, he’d been watching her, watching him.  A horrified blush crept over her features, and she grasped her wine glass, gulping down a good swallow.

Before she could look away, he flashed her a brilliant smile, and raised his glass in her direction.  Her heart fluttered, he was ruggedly handsome, and smiling at her.  As terrified as she was, she couldn’t bear to be rude, and so she gave him a lopsided grin, and raised her glass to him in response.  Then, as he rose from his seat, and headed toward her, butterflies fluttered in her stomach, and in her hands, the wine glass shook.  He stopped just beside her chair, and in a low undertone wished her a very enjoyable evening.  Flipping the silver dollar coin onto the table in front of her, he turned back to the man behind the bar.  “Night, Sam.  See you tomorrow.”  In moments, the bell over the door sounded and he disappeared into the shadows.  Emilie picked up the coin, still warm from his hand, and smiled. 

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