"Well that was a complete waste of my time..." Fingers rapped rhythmically on a steering wheel; clenching, unclenching, tap, tap, tap, tap. Tap, tap, tap, tap. "That's the first and last time I let my accountant talk me into a date- I don't care even if the man is a wiz with numbers!" And that's exactly what she'd tell him when she saw him next time - after he finished going over her extended W2's, of course.
If Bill Gates himself had offered her a cool mil to go back out with Roger Burns she would've turned him down. He'd been a complete slime ball! A cad to the fullest degree of the word! He'd acted like a snarky elitest, showing up wearing that slate gray suit, with the handkerchief folded just perfectly in his breast pocket. He'd exuded confidence and an odd swarthiness Calena would've never guessed him to possess... but his hands had been damp and clammy when he'd grabbed hers across the table, and his reeking cologne burned her nose more than a milky Spanish onion.
Every word was tainted with smugness... with stale pompousness... that the single mother just didn't understand. He was an accountant right, not the President? However annoying the smugness was, however, she could've handled it at least through her supper, but the sly innuendos? The way he brushed his thumb across the top of her hand so knowingly? That was just... no. No she couldn't deal with it. Not on top of everything else. So, after the third or fourth innuendo, she walked out and put her car into drive without a second thought about it. She didn't have time for balding, middle aged accountants named Roger with only one thing on their minds.
What was worse though, worse than all of the night's letdowns and shenanigans, was that she'd given up one of her free nights with her daughter. One cozy, movie night with Emma gone for a date with what had turned out to be a slime ball...
The drive from San Francisco central wasn't too long, and that late at night the traffic had thinned out considerably, especially once outside the city limits, but the explosive electric violin pounding from her speakers punctuated her mood perfectly. Bond
was such a good band for those who were annoyed. Or agitated. Or just outright pissed off, as was Calena's current mood. There wouldn't be enough distance between her and that... that jerk
until her car was safely tucked away in her driveway.
Muttering under her breath, the words little more than intelligible snarls, Calena managed a glance at the neon-lit clock, it's blinking numbers only worsening her mood. She wasn't expected home for at least another hour - two more like it. If she went home now Emma would just be snuggling down with Jane for storytime and then Emma would get all excited and then not want to go to sleep, and Jane... Jane would surely know what was going on. There's only a handful of reasons why a person came home early from a date - especially one with such a drive attached to it.
Just up ahead there was another set of blinking lights, these ones a bit more subdued than the green that illuminated her car's interior, however. The Green Tortoise... popular bar with a mean burger if memory did serve her correctly... In a town that virtually rolled up the streets at dusk, or so was her opinion in comparison to Chicago, there was next to nothing for Calena to do - and if she were being honest, she really could use a quick drink. And a drink she wanted, the sudden desire urging her to park and make her way inside with a relative quickness.
It wasn't packed... wasn't loud... it was nice and soft and dim enough for a person to wallow in their pities - which was another thing Calena would admit to doing were she being honest. Wallowing. Yeah, she was pissed, and now that the drive had cooled off the worst part of her temper she could admit she was mostly pissed off at herself, and yeah, there was no better time than the present to give reality a good hard look... and wallow.
Realizing she was just a tad bit overdressed for the small town feel of the bar, Calena made a beeline for one of the darker corners before noticing one of the patrons at the bar. From the backside she wasn't positive... maybe it was the hair that gave it away, or the way the woman just sat there, her demeanor, but... "Birdie?" A rather humorless chuckle erupted as she meandered her way over to her fellow teacher hooked one heeled foot in the rungs of the bar stool where she sat. "I'll have whatever she's having..."
Misery enjoyed its own company - wasn't that what they said? And looking at the young woman next to her, Calena thought they must look like to halves of the same coin. "I didn't picture you the liquor type, Professor Burke
. Did your cat run away or something?"