Looking to Mingle

short fiction story

Short Fiction


Bethany had never attended a singles night before. Yet here she was, sitting at a table by herself. Her drink too weak, her dress too tight, She fumbled with the neckline, trying to contain her breasts, but they refused staunchly to be contained by spandex in which they were encased.

She took inventory of the room; the ratio was all wrong; far too many men and far too little hair. She became aware that she, too, was being appraised and tried to sit up a little straighter, though none of these men piqued her interest.

Bethany reached in her bag and pulled out her phone to check the time and to put an SOS out on Facebook. She knew her disastrous dating life was the main source of amusement for all her married and pregnant friends. She scanned her newsfeed, filled with downy, rosy cheeks and tiny feet and rolled her eyes. “Fucking kids,” she muttered before downing the rest of her drink in one gulp.

“Excuse me?” He was tall. He cast a long shadow.

Bethany looked up and her face broke open with a grin. “I’m so sorry, did you hear that?”

“What? The ‘fucking kids’ comment? Nope, not at all,” he chuckled as he held his hand out. “My name’s Brad.”

Bethany felt the heat in her cheeks as she held his hand in hers, “I’m Bethany and, I, I was just looking at my friends’ photos on Facebook…”

Brad waved her explanation away and shook his head. “I get it, all mine are doing the whole ‘wife and kids’ thing.” He made air quotes when he said this.

“Right, I’m just trying to have fun.” Bethany brushed some stray hairs off her forehead and looked Brad right in his eyes. “So are you going to buy me a drink or what?”

Brad smirked at her and headed for the bar.

“Wait, you don’t know what I’m drinking!”

Brad looked over his shoulder and shouted over the music, “I’m buying, so I decide.”

As soon as Brad turned back around Bethany got out her compact and checked her makeup. After removing some pesky shine from her nose she shimmied her shoulders in an attempt to relax, pouted her lips, and looked anywhere but the bar as she waited for Brad to return.

From behind, a pink martini was placed at Bethany’s eye-level and hovered for a minute before it was set down in front of her. Brad walked around the table, pint in hand, and sat back in his previous seat, a smile crept across his face and Bethany did all she could to stop herself leaping over the table and kissing it off.

“My sister made me watch a lot of Sex and the City, so I got you a cosmo.”

Bethany raised her glass, “Smart sister. What else did you learn?”

“Well,” Brad began, “I learned that women are just as horny as men.” They both burst out laughing and Bethany nodded her head emphatically as she took a long sip of her drink.


She wasn’t sure if it was the drink, which she had consumed far too quickly, or if there was an actual connection between her and Brad, but suddenly they were the only ones in the room.

Two drinks and plenty of bad innuendos later, Bethany excused herself to go to the bathroom. After flushing the toilet she braced herself against the door and giggled at nothing in particular before exiting the stall. When she opened the door, there was Brad.

“What’s so funny?” He walked slowly towards her, forcing Bethany to walk backwards.

“You can’t be in here,” Bethany whispered, “it’s the ladies room.”



photograph by Dave Meier


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