The Divine Wind was packed as solid as Jane had ever seen it all decade. Shoulder to shoulder, people waited for their little coasters to light up and announce that it was their turn to weave through the crowd in the hopes that they’d get a seat at a table bigger than a postage stamp, on a chair that didn’t resemble a bicycle seat.
As much as those bar seats resembled a torture device, she’d have jumped at the opportunity to try one, if only because the three-inch platform stilettos had cut off any sensation to her toes. The numbness had slowly worked its way upward, reached her ankles and was advancing on her bad knee.
Since the stupid shoes had been invented as a new form of foot-binding, she’d been silently talking to her feet, promising them that if they held out through this blind date, she’d never subject them to such treatment again. As her wait had lengthened, she’d added a promise of a foot massage. Both feet had quit talking to her, and she chose to take that as a sign of agreement.
As she waited, stomach rumbling, mouth watering at the wafting clouds that promised spicy flaming shrooms and garlicky edamame, her phone beeped again. Barry, or was it Larry, was running almost a full hour late. His text said he was caught in traffic. She struggled with the reply, unsure what proper blind dating etiquette was, and decided, since she was already here, already dressed up and made up, and in a marathon session of proving that beauty knows no pain, she might as well stick it out. She typed out a reply that she hoped wouldn’t sound weak, or desperate.
That’s when her right foot screamed its newfound pain as a man’s black patent leather shoe crushed the little toe that had swollen out of the beaded piano-wire garroting her foot. She bent to grab onto her numb foot and ease it out from under the SOB’s weight. There was something familiar about the oblivious man, beyond the waft of overpowering cologne wrapping around her. Gasping, she took a step back, getting her foot out from under her ex’s hoof. She seethed as he made his way through the crowd, as uncaring as he’d been the day of their wedding when his so-called dancing had given her that bad knee.
Copyright 2017 by Monalisa Foster