Bree sat next to the never before seen stranger. His eyes were dark and blood shot, his undershirt ruffled with creases, and his face as masculine as it was charming. A black lock swirled over his forehead, and the rest of his hair looked equally well groomed, perfectly placed, despite the fact that it were obvious he was recovering from a late night out.
A cigarette sat in his lips, and he held a cupped hand over his lighter to shield the cold wind. At her approach, he looked over to Bree, then raised both his eyebrows, giving her the benefit of a greeting without the burden of having to speak.
Bree bit her lips, then sat with her knees close together and her purse over her lap. She stared straight ahead, brushed her blonde hair back, then thought of the many various techniques she had learned for how to court the boys without saying a word.
But then, she remembered her strategy for the day, reminded her thoughts they weren’t allowed out, then turned over to her right to face the dark haired man.
“Long night, huh?” She said.
He seemed more focused on his drag than her, before finally looking up, as if annoyed, then nodding. He finished lighting his cigarette, exhaled a healthy cloud of smoke, then leaned back and allowed his arm to dangle at his side.
Bree looked ahead, as the smoke clouded her face, and winced her eyes in annoyance at the ever-continuing show of carelessness being sent her way. Then, remembering the day’s decision to quiet down the thoughts, she turned to him again.
“Your smoke is bothering me.”
The dark haired man smirked, then looked straight out ahead. “Sorry lady, nothing personal.”
Bree twisted her lips to the side, then went on, with quite a bit more command. “If you’re trying to impress me it’s not working.”
The dark haired man laughed at that, slumped forward, then turned sideways and laughed some more. He stood up, leaned with an arm against the sign post, then blew his smoke so that it missed Bree.
“Once again, sorry lady. Didn’t mean to offend, just trying to sober up a bit.”
The next five minutes were wasted in silence, as Bree sat gazing into the hazy grey fog enveloping them both.
“The name’s Bree,” she finally said.
The dark haired figure turned to her, eyebrow raised, before approaching and offering his hand. “Bradley.” He inhaled his cigarette, then exhaled the fumes out the side of his mouth. “Nice to meet you, Bree.”
They shook hands, then Bradley returned to the sign post.
“Are you an alcoholic, Brad?” Bree asked.
He laughed, tossed his drag to the ground, then rubbed it under the toe of his shoe. He took a seat, right next to her again, only closer than before. “No. But I do like to drink, and I do like to have fun, and I thoroughly enjoy a good smoke. Especially in the mornings. And especially after a long night out of drinking and having fun.”
They both chuckled lightly.
“What about you?” continued Bradley. “Are you a prune?”
Bree turned her lips down. “That depends. Define prune.”
Brad thought momentarily, scratching his cheek. “Hmm… someone who judges those who like to smoke and drink defines it pretty well.”
Bree laughed, crossed her legs, then danced her foot as she looked the opposite direction. “I wasn’t judging you for what you were doing. I was judging you for the fact that you were blowing smoke in my face.” Then, turning to face Bradley, and with a slightly suppressed smirk. “Because it’s fucking annoying.”
They both laughed again, Brad with his hands in his waist coat pockets. He stooped over himself in posture. “You are pretty blunt for a lady.”
She turned her lips down, shrugged, then looked away. As the wind blew through, she brushed a lock of blonde hair back and behind her ear.
Bradley coughed, started to whistle, and time and time again, from the corner of her eye, Bree noticed he was checking his rolex.
“What times the bus ussually get here?” He said.
Bree shrugged, then turned back to him. “I don’t know, Brad.”
He nodded, then turned away, then turned back. “You know I don’t normally use public transportation.”
“Oh,” she said, through a yawn.
“Yes.” He let out a chuckle, then crossed his arms. “I actually drive an Audi, believe it or not.”
Bree turned, then raised her eyebrows. “Wow. Good for you Brad.”
He tilted his head to the side. “Are you… being sarcastic?”
Laughing to herself, Bree noticed the bus approaching. She stood up, then held the strap to her purse with both hands. “Bus is here,” she said, before smiling when he stood to her side and pointed to her face.
“You are! You are making fun of me, aren’t you?” He asked.
She laughed again. The bus pulled over, and they both got in, Bree stepping up first.
– Thomas M. Watt