I always knew we were a little different. There were compartments within Elisabeth that would remain forever locked to me, doors within the vibrant green spheres of her eyes that would always stay bolted shut. Impenetrable.
It was her eyes that first drew me in, those bright green eyes that stared at me so curiously. The shade of them like nothing I’d ever encountered before in nature. Almost but not quite neon. The first time I’d met her, she’d held a wine bottle in her hands, wiping it down with a dark rag. Her narrowed eyes were questioning me across the bar.
“You new here?” she asked in a surprisingly gruff voice.
“Yeah, I’m from Atlanta. Just moved here, actually.”
For a while she didn’t respond. She put the bottle down and moved to take some orders from other customers who’d just walked in. Another bartender came and took my order. I downed two beers before she came back.
“You doing anything now? Any plans?”
I stared at her, half-wondering if she was kidding.
“Follow me,” she said.
Pulling off her apron, she said something to the other bartender, who nodded and then gave me a suspicious look. I tried my best to look innocent as I followed the girl.
She led me through the suddenly crowded bar (Where did all these people come from? I didn’t remember seeing so many people enter the room.), her hips swaying sinuously as she navigated her way past a particularly rowdy bunch of frat boys.
One of them reached out and tried to put his arm around her waist. The beefy twenty-something year old leered at her as his buddies egged him on. The next thing I knew, that same guy was folded over forward on the floor, moaning in pain. The girl stood by the kitchen door about ten feet away. She beckoned me towards her with an impatient hand. Dumbfounded, I followed.
In the kitchen, I watched as she filled a ziplock bag with ice and held it to her left hand.
“That’s quite a left hook you got there,” I said, my voice cracking just slightly.
“Thanks,” she smiled, revealing perfect teeth.
Her pale hair swung forward as she looked at her hand, which I could see was beginning to swell.
“Crap, that’s going to hurt tomorrow,” she muttered, biting her lower lip.
“Doesn’t it hurt now? I mean, you must’ve hit that jerk pretty hard, to make him crumple like that.”
Those green eyes flashed to my face again, unnerving me. “What kind of guy uses the word ‘crumple’?” she asked, smiling again.
I realized to my horror that I was blushing. Even my ears were beginning to turn red.