I stopped dead and the first thing I did was look directly back at the blonde woman standing behind me, which I must admit made me feel incredibly stupid once again. I flinched inside as I silently cursed myself for not being strong. I'd told myself countless , COUNTLESS times always to rely on oneself, in any sign of danger or emergency 'never look to others first', I'd always said it. It annoyed me because I'd watch movies and T.V. programmes and screamed at actors as they ran around helpless, like headless chickens, always waiting for the responses and actions of others. And nearly everytime it ended in disaster!
I looked away, right back at the menu. The woman hadn't moved but hadn't looked at me either so it couldn't be that much of a big deal. Maybe it was some sort of dinner bell, maybe it was a routine fire bell that didn't mean anything, maybe it was some cue for the other people, the more crazy ones, the ones who didn't look like me or the woman behind.
Then again, you never know who's crazy in these places. In the last place I'd 'pretty much' found my best friend and following a week of immense fun and escape attempts she'd gone and killed herself! Drowned herself in her own urine. I felt my eyes wonder sideways, only subtlely, like they were hanging on tiny pieces of string, so I could glance back at Miss Blonde. She was fiddling with a strand of hair in one shakey hand, the other was buried tight inside a dressing gown pocket so that it pulled that whole side downwards to reveal something else pink and flimsey inside. She was staring at the floor too, which allowed me to see that her hair was naturally this colour of platinum, unless they allowed dyes in here; though I doubted it, you never know what inventive things people could do to themselves with bleach!
The alarm stopped after about 8 or 10 rings and we shuffled forward slowly as the inmates infront murmured their decisions and stumbled off with their trays. The air pulsated with each step I took, as though I was having to break through the musk that the ones in front were leaving behind. It was almost like walking through a gentle breeze! Though I figured I should probably get used to it and took my mind back to the menu as we moved on.
...And then I reached her. The woman behind the counter.
I stopped dead once again and looked right at her, only this time I did not look left or right. I stared at her and saw her perfect mouth form silent shapes and all at once in one great gush that gentle breeze stopped.... it just stopped! Somehow I knew it and didn't, at the same time. I felt myself gulp very quietly and prepared myself to look back down at the menu to decide on my order, and yet I could not move! My eyes could only find hers and my hands could only grow wetter with each breath I struggled to take!