Susanne met him in the bar. He was tall but carried a bit more weight than she expected. She wondered if he was good with Photoshop. His likeness was the same, but the bar was fairly dark. It had been a few days at least since he’d bothered to shave.
“Hello,” she said, extending a hand.
“Hey! Bob. Nice to meet ya.” He turned and cheered. Susanne looked up at the screens. Either the race was coming to an end, or someone had just hit a home run. She supposed both could be cause for celebration in their own way. “I got a table already,” he said.
She sat herself while he tucked a napkin into his shirt. The top three buttons were undone and the white paper helped to cover a tuft of chest hair that was attempting to jump out. She smiled.
Bob nodded. “Yeah. You’re looking pretty good. What’s got you left all high and dry?”
“Excuse me?” she asked. He held a hand up.
“For the lady,” he said to the waitress, giving Susanna a cheesy point, “an apple martini. I’ll take a double of Jack.” The waitress jotted the order down and wandered off. Bob gave her a fierce run over with his eyes. “Well?” he asked, throwing some bread into his mouth.
“I don’t think I understand,” she said.
Bob gave a wide laugh. A small burst of bread sprung from his mouth. “Why are ya single?”
“Oh.” She furrowed her brow, watching his eyes go to another screen behind her. “Well, I work a lot. I take my job very seriously. That can get in the way.”
“Yeah, yeah, me too,” he said. “I know that one.” A commercial came on and he gave her a deep stare and shallow smile.
“Does architecture keep you pretty busy?” she asked.
Bob laughed again. He scratched at his chin. “I’m no architect. I just put that on there to get more hits. The websites don’t check that shit.”
“Oh,” she said. She found it strange that she felt embarrassed. Was honesty not the intent with this sort of thing? “Well, what do you do?”
“Uhhh, well,” he said, giving the paper at his neck a quick adjustment, “I’m a consultant.”
“Yeah,” he said. “People call me up and ask me questions and shit.”
Susanne laughed. She just couldn’t help it. Bob gave her a smile and a wink and she laughed even more. Her face went red and the corners of her eyes threatened to become wet. When the waitress returned with her drinks, she gave Susanne a peculiar look. Susanne waved her hand and shook her head.
“I’m sorry, Bob,” she said. “But I can’t do this.”
Bob’s mouth fell open with shock. He held his double of Jack Daniels in his hand. “Why not?”
A blizzard of lies stormed her mind. All of them seemed too easy, too shallow, simply wasted on him. “It’s a friend of mine. I promised I would help her…” Susanne picked up her purse and didn’t bother to finish.
Bob nodded his head. “Is she hot?”