When F— got home after brunch, she made herself a cup of tea and sat on the armchair closest to the window of her living room. She sat sideways so she could look outside and watch people walking by. From the fifteenth floor, she could see enough detail to read peoples’ body language.
“The world looks colder,” she thought.
Autumn had just begun so the world was, in fact, getting colder with the approaching winter. It was still warm enough outside to walk around without a jacket. For F—, life was starting to make less sense. Why things happen the way they do was becoming less clear.
M— was fine enough. There was nothing particularly special about him, good or bad. He was a few years older, had a steady job, dressed well enough, and was friendly with wait staff. He could keep up a conversation when F— didn’t feel like talking. He remember things she told him. What he didn’t have was F—‘s attention. He didn’t make her feel any more special than he did whoever else was around.
F— wanted to feel special. In the last two years, she had been to three weddings. Each time she sat at the singles table, grouped together with other random friends of the couple. Whenever someone new would sit down for the first time, introductions were made while leaning over to look around the centrepiece. When the food arrived, four of the eight people continued talking, while F— just ate quietly. She was listening and had her opinions about what was being said, but said nothing. It wasn’t worth the effort. Plus, it might lengthen the conversation. By the time the dessert and coffee arrived, only F— was left sitting at the table. The others were outside smoking, on the dance floor flirting, or had already gone home.
It was the way people looked at her that bothered her most.