Closed doors

They could hear the crowd noise change. The musician did a test strum, approached the microphone. The auditorium had been about half full when they had left; better than expected. They evaded the dressing rooms, they found the empty room with the snack table.

There was a couch, and they fell on it together, one hand grabbing at her waist. She pushed it away, I have nothing to clean the, do you want to get all bloody? Her soft smile condescended. She put her cold hand against his belly.

He was flushed and stiff. His neck tendons stood out, fearfully. A rattle from the doorknob and they moved; and they were just the two of them, sitting apart, doing whatever. The musician’s student came in. She looked once and sat between them. She was just resting, taking deep breaths.

He took a newspaper from the floor. She caught his eye behind the student’s back, and smiled tenderly at him. She went to pour out water, How’s it sound out there? He’s playing great, it just got stuffy.

Got to leave the room, can get another drink nearby. He’d seen the place out the window. And then he could take a bus to the city center, and leave town right then. That was a plan.

He recalled how she had laughed, gaily, at some pun of the musician’s; and suddenly could see them at his age, ten years ago: they aren’t superior. Oh, I know them, I knew them all along.