Glenn stepped into the darkened bar, pausing to let his eyes adjust to the low lighting.
Two men stood up at the bar, talking and pulling on tall bottles of beer. The bored bartender was absentmindedly polishing and stacking glasses.
Off to the side sat a couple, leaned in close, young. New and budding love surrounded them, they seemed oblivious to all around them as their hands and fingers brushed across the tiny table.
Glenn ordered a glass of red wine, the bartender's practiced hands were pouring the drink almost before the words left his mouth.
Glancing around, he stepped over to a nearby table, as the soft sounds of some instrumental group teased the room.
Then he saw her.
Pretty, perhaps 40 at most, she sat by herself against the wall on the far side of the room, close to the door. Her manicured hands idly stirred what looked to be a Bailey's and Coffee with a swizzlestick.
Her outfit was businesslike, the cut of the jacket over her conservative blouse and skirt was expensive. Glenn noticed there appeared to be no rings on her fingers.
Her eyes came up, looked his way, Glenn glanced downwards, not wishing to appear to be staring.
When he glanced back, she was again stirring her drink, seemingly deep in thought.
Glenn thought of walking over to speak to her. He would just say, "Hello.", her eyes would come up and she would smile, inviting.
They would talk, he would let her speak, discover her. The evening would progress, they could find something in each other. She would open up to him like a sweet dew covered Rose in fresh morning light.
Hand in hand, they would walk to his sparse hotel room.
His mind shifted to his ex-wife. Partly his fault, he knew. Days on end, he was always gone, the life of an area representative for a large company.
The money was good, but the home life poor. That day he had come home early, found her and her lover. He remembered the pain, the divorce, all he had worked so hard to build over the years, gone in a flash.
Now endless hotel rooms, endless meetings, hours in airports, on airplanes.
Glenn glanced back at the pretty woman across the room, her eyes met his for an instant, looked away.
Janet just couldn't stay in her room, her mind was screaming out for company, conversation. She slipped on her jacket, the same one she had worn in the boardroom meeting earlier.
She took the elevator down to the main floor, there was a small bar located there. She ordered a White Russian, walked over to a quiet table and sat.
She had only been there minutes when one of the men up at the bar approached. She saw him coming, bill hat tipped back, heavy at the waist.
She cringed, knowing.
"What's a pretty lady like you doing in a place like this?"
"Please let me be." she had answered, not looking up.
The man had made a couple more efforts, then rejected, he returned to the bar with his friend.
"Cold bitch!" he had muttered, as he walked away.
She thought about her marriage, the divorce. It had all been so sudden, nearly 20 years of what seemed normal, then the surprise.
"Divorce." her husband had said. The word seemed so ugly and dirty, just thrown out there, no warning.
None at all.
Her little house, white with the light green trim, lawn caressed and perfect, gone. All the familiar trappings of a life, the flower beds she had so carefully tended and weeded, all gone.
Janet managed to endure the sex, never denying him, but always struggling to reach her own needs, always failing. So she invested the small delights of her life in her home, her simple and familiar surroundings.
The fantasies never left though. She would dream of strong hands, as she touched herself to fulfill the urges.
Janet noticed when the man stepped in the door. Tall, nice shoulders, in shape. There was a trace of gray at his temples, some thinning of the hair on his forehead. The business suit he wore was well cut, tailored. She looked down at his hands for a ring, saw none.
She stirred her drink, hoping.
She watched out of the corner of her eye as he ordered a wine, tipped the bartender, sat at a table about 30 feet away.
She thought of just getting up and going over there. "Hello!" she would say, he would look up and smile, inviting. They would talk, find out about each other, make friends. She would listen, let him be him, find out about him.
He would be perfect, they would walk hand in hand back to his room. He would kiss her, touch her. His hands would be strong, firm, making her take him, but taking his time, assuring she went with him to her pleasure.
She felt the tingling in her stomach, the slight dampness of herself at the thought of his hands on her, touching.
Janet glanced up, he was looking at her, then looked away. She tried to will herself to get up, go speak to him. Her legs were frozen, what would he think? What would he say?
Glenn stepped up to the bar, ordered another wine. He seldom had two, but tonight? He was hoping the wine would give him the courage to do what his mind was thinking.
He moved back to his chair, sipped. He glanced again, she was still stirring her drink, apparently deep in thought. She looked up, a hint of a smile, their eyes met for an instant.
He nodded, sipped again from the glass of cheap wine. He thought of what she would be like. Willing? Eager? Could they become an item, build a life?
He remembered the home he had before, how he always felt wonderful, safe, when he walked through the door. He missed the rock garden he had built out front, the short rail fence he had put up to divide his space from the world.
Those days were always the best, the ones he looked forward to. His wife would meet him at the door, a hug, then a few days of normal before he had to hit the road, make sales.
He placed the lady across the room in that role in his mind's eye, thinking of how she would respond as he touched her, loved her. He realized he had developed an erection at his thoughts, embarrassed, he snuggled closer to his table to cover it.
It had been so long.
Janet got up, walked to the bar, ordered a second drink. She really didn't want the drink, she wanted...Oh, what did she want?
She looked at the man sitting there as she walked back to her table, he didn't look up. She thought again of just walking up to him and trying, her legs wouldn't move.
She again felt the sensations of her body wanting, it had been so long since anything that mattered. She wanted to be held, touched, loved. She wanted to know that when she woke up he would be there, still with her, wanting to be with her.
Janet's mind drifted off again into fantasies of what could be.
The man across the room stood up, tipped back his glass, set it down, half finished. He turned and headed her direction.
"Here he comes." she thought. She braced, preparing to offer her best smile. The steps approached, he was close.
She started to turn her head to greet him, invite him.
"Good Night," he said, and walked on by and out the door.
Janet sighed, stirred her drink. Finishing it quickly she got up and followed, planning to join him in the elevator.
The elevator doors were closing as she stepped out of the bar, she got a glimpse of him, that was all.
She sighed again, pushing the button. The elevator arrived in short order, the doors opened, empty.
She pressed the button for her floor.