What was she going to do with herself? She did not know. But something was very clear: NO DANCING!
She was not stupid, she was lying in bed with her left leg in full plaster, she had obviously been in a bad accident, which she could not remember, and been brought here to the hospital for heavy engineering on her leg – she had seen the X-ray pictures with the extra titanium bright spots that the doctors had shown her.
Something else was very clear: NO SEX. She was bored, no dancing, no sex, boring food, no alcohol and why was she lying in bed at nine when the August sun was still shining? She wanted a drink. She got out of bed, pulled her dancing clothes out of the cupboard, her hat was missing, and grabbed her crutches.
Good that she practised that morning with the crutches, bad that she did not recognise the street outside. Where was she?
She entered the pub, it was full of men, it was loud. A large man stood up in front of her and all was quiet. It was Big Jake, the local bully who hated children, especially little girls. She smiled, that angered him more, he shouted at her to get out.
No, she was not smiling, she was laughing silently, she knew what would happen next. He made a grab for her, she punched his left knee and he crumpled. A loud gasp went round the pub.
He staggered onto his right leg, no one was going to make a fool of Big Bad Jake. He lunged at her, she punched his other knee, she had made a foolish heap of him.
What had happened? Big Jake was downed. Everybody cheered. A little girl had floored him and now he would have to crawl out. Four of his henchmen picked him up and quickly took him away. “He won't be back in a hurry.”
She leant her crutches against the bar and heaved herself up and onto the bar – she wanted a drink. Young Paul had just paid for a drink, he looked her in the eyes and gave her his beer. She put four fingers through the handle of the glass, her thumb on the glass and the other hand on the other side of the glass – she downed it in one.
Paul bought two more beers and carried them to his table. He turned, but she was right behind him. She pushed him into his seat and sat on his lap – she never sat on chairs.
He picked up his glass by the handle – bad style – she pushed his hand down and showed him how to grasp the beer glass without touching the handle – she said nothing.
Other men crowded round them, they all wanted to buy her a drink, she had finished Big Jake, but she said nothing, she drank the beer. One guy rubbed his hand across her knee, Paul raised his fist to punch him, she pushed his hand down and thumped the guy hard, he staggered backwards, slumped down the wall and didn't move much for the next hour.
Who was she? This pretty, little girl, who thumped men stupid, who wore dancing clothes, who said nothing, who drank loads of beer, who danced about despite a leg in full plaster and crutches. He did not know, but she made him happy.
She put her arms around him, he was soft and cuddly, she liked him. He realised that she was no child and that she wanted him. But what for?
Time to go, she jumped down, grabbed her crutches and Paul. He got the message: “Take me home with you!”