"I asked you a question."
"Sorry. What was it?"
Wendy Brewer rolled her eyes and tossed her blond curls over her shoulder in annoyance. "Oh, never mind," she grumbled.
Paul nodded absentmindedly. He had been daydreaming throughout this entire date, as well as their other two. He didn't know why she kept going out with him. He didn't know why he kept going out with her either. Since the incident at the library, Paul wasn't sure why he did anything. Everything was mechanical. Get up. Eat. Write. Sleep. Fuck.
His writing was pure drivel, awful fluffy stuff he could sell to equally fluffy publications. Since he and Holly had split (Did they split? Had they ever really been together?), the only thing that had been in good spirits was his pocketbook. Maybe that's why the miserably dim Wendy stuck around.
He looked across the table at the blond, who was in the middle of examining her fingernails. He felt a pang of grief as he imagined Holly sitting across from him in the same position. No, she was with her Brazilian, having a wonderful time.
He stood up. "I have to go," he said suddenly.
Wendy looked alarmed. "Aren't you going to invite me back to your place?" she said, raising her eyebrow.
"If I'm lucky enough, you'll never be in the same vicinity as my place ever again," he said coldly, throwing some money on the table for dinner.
She gave him the most ridiculous pout he had ever seen and he snorted. He turned on his heel and walked out the door into the chilly November air. He pushed his hands down into the pockets of his coat and began walking. He wasn't really sure where he was going, his feet moved as if they had a mind of their own.
Holly was everywhere he looked. Getting into a taxi on 34th Street, flipping the Open sign to Closed in a tiny café, walking an impossibly tiny dog through a crosswalk. Any subtle movement of any female he passed reminded him of something she had said or done. He squeezed his eyes closed, but it was no good. There she was on the back of his eyelids, strumming a guitar and singing "Moon River".
His feet stopped suddenly, and he nearly fell over with his own momentum. He opened his eyes, and nearly laughed out loud when he saw where his feet had taken him. Tiffany's.
He walked up to the glass and peeked at the display in the window. It was a very lovely place, he had to admit. It didn't seem like anything bad could ever happen there. He sighed. He longed to feel like that anywhere else. At one point in time, he had thought that he might have found his own Tiffany's, but he was cruelly mistaken. The one person in the world who had ever made him feel safe was now wrapped in the arms of a tall dark stranger, one who could give her all she had ever wanted. One who could actually afford more than just a silver telephone-dialer at Tiffany's.
He snorted. She was such a phony. A real phony, but a phony nonetheless.