"No one takes the time to get to know the real me. Everyone is so concerned with appearances. They never care about substance. Do you know what I mean?" The man says. He leans over the bar and helps himself to a beer. The bartender pretends not to notice, her attraction for the stranger counteracting her conscience, imploring her to look away from the theft and instead lend a kind ear.
"I hear you. That's why I don't meet many people, and why I can't read the fashion mags. I would be considered a little house by their standards of beauty." She says. Her self-deprecating nature masks fundamental insecurities, glossing over the parts of her self she feels less comfortable sharing with others. Muscular and stocky, she wishes she could trade her body for the lithe form of a gymnast, but she was blessed with strength, not grace.
"Don't get me started. They don't know what real beauty is..." His voice trailed off as his hand inadvertently passed over hers. She felt her heart leap, a stray spark lighting a candle of hope. She could not remember the last time she had been on a date, much less felt chemistry with the random stranger at the bar. The man across from her was handsome, well-dressed, and confident; everything that she had hoped to find but never had. The stranger, sensing the accumulation of tension between them, sought a concrete confirmation of their romantic connection.
"Would you like some company to close up?" The man asked, putting out the bait which he had prepared since he laid eyes upon the self-conscious girl behind the bar. He saw that she eagerly devoured compliments, and that she still possessed a certain lightness about her. She naively accepted words at face-value, and did not seem to try to detect sincerity or motive. Her trusting nature would be catered to, reassured of mutual affection through devious, deceitful manners.
She did not think twice about accepting his offer to stay after close, nor did she refuse his company on her way home. She was interested in sharing affection, and that was all that mattered to her at that moment. The man beside her could be anyone, but that thought did not scare her.
"I never caught your name. I'm Emily." She said, laughing.
"I never gave it...you can call me Bill." He said with a smirk.