It started off quite simply, as these sorts of things had a tendency to.
She was attending a business dinner with her boyfriend, Haruma, nothing all that interesting. In fact, it was quite the opposite as Talia took her spot, their arms entrenched in each other’s as they smiled towards each other and everyone who came their way. She laughed at all the right jokes and even made friends with all the right women gabbing about useless make up tips and pretentious office gossip.
And then they all sat around those dreaded circle tables. She was neatly sandwiched between Koyama Keiichiro, Haruma’s boss, and Haruma. After dinner, Haruma decided to step out for a second with his friends for a smoke.
Talia didn’t approve of course but she let him go after Haruma gave her a desperate look, silently pleading for his freedom. It wasn’t like she was lonely at the table, one of Haruma’s friend’s wives was here too …so she allowed him to burn his lungs to hell. It wasn’t like he was quitting anytime soon anyways, even if she’d all but begged him to.
After he was gone, she gulped back the filled glass of wine that she hadn’t touched all throughout dinner.
She looked back around the room. Haruma wasn’t back yet and the waiter seemed to be heading straight to her with a tray full of drinks.
When she grabbed the second drink, she was only silently aware of the way Haruma’s boss was looking at her. He probably didn’t approve of her behaviour, thought she was a gaijin crazy. She rolled her eyes to herself, what the hell did he know? More than 2 drinks in 15 minutes? Quel horrible!
Not like she cared. Though Haruma might if it was brought up what a brazen drinker his American girlfriend was in some sort of team meeting.
The waiter was back and she practically lunged for another glass off the tray.
Within seconds though the glass was snatched out of her hands and she turned to look at the snatcher with an offended expression. “How dare you.” She hissed, pulling the glass rather roughly from Haruma’s boss’ hands and taking a rather large gulp of Merlot. “Where do you get off taking my glass? I can choose to have as much wine as I want.”
“I never said you couldn’t,” He corrected, a quirky sort of rise touching his left eyebrow. “In fact be my guest, but you’ve just been snatching my glasses and I thought I’d let you know.”
She felt her mouth part slightly in annoyance. Did he even know what he was talking about? “It was in my hand, and the waiter was trying to serve me-”
“Ah but really did the waiter ever serve you wine?” He pointed out and suddenly Talia realized that no he hadn’t…in fact the waiters only seemed to be serving old bald men who were most likely executives like- just like this man. “They only serve the networking executives.” His fingers wrapped around the long stem of the clear crystal once he saw realization dawn on her face. She saw him slowly take a gulp of the wine, leaving the glass half full as he placed it back down in front of her.
“I’m sorry.” She uttered softly as she kept her eyes away from his. There was nothing to be so terrified about, the guy actually looked rather nice but Talia felt like she had done something horribly wrong on this otherwise perfect evening where she had made a wonderful impression on everyone here.
“Please don’t be,” His voice prompted her to lift her gaze to his and she felt her breath sucked out of her as he leaned just the slightest forward, his voice just the slightest bit louder than a whisper. “I enjoyed sharing my drinks with you.” Then he walked away, Koyama Keiichiro didn’t do anything lecherous like lick his lips or say anything else that would make Talia twist uncomfortably in her seat but there it was.
Really he hadn’t said anything at all...there was no reason for her to be uncomfortable.