Part way through Act 2 Scene 1, the man next to her says, “Are you a thief? Because you’ve stolen my heart.”
“Really?” she replies. “Is that the best you can do?”
“I meant it in a post-ironic, hipster kind of way.”
“Well, it just sounded creepy.”
“Shhh,” from the row behind, Othello at The Globe being a serious affair.
He’s waiting when she comes out of the Ladies. Leaning against the wall, sole of one shoe flat on it, cocktail stick in mouth.
“How about we skip the second half? Go for a drink?”
“If you knew what I paid for this ticket.”
“Come on. I’ll tell you how it ends.”
He sips pink gin. She swigs Stella from the bottle.
“Suppose the drink’s ironic, too? You don’t look like a metrosexual.”
“I’m metrosexual on the inside. And no one says metrosexual anymore.”
“You implying I’m out of touch?”
He removes the umbrella from his drink, wipes it on a napkin, places it, gently, in her hair.
“What do you do, then?” she asks.
“I’m a bomb disposal expert.”
“And I’m a ballerina.”
Back at the Kensington flat, he studies the Lucian Freud sketch (“Is it real?”) and the Tiffany lamp in the corner.
“Very nice. No idea ballet paid so well.”
“Said it was genuine. Didn’t say I bought it.”
“One of your many admirers?”
“I’m a thief, remember?”
He touches the left side of his chest.
“Where’s that coffee you promised?”
“A front to lure you in. Not that you needed much luring. It was that or, ‘Come up and see my etchings.’”
“Lucian’s sounds better.”
He’s on the sofa. She crouches in front of him now, hands to either side of his hips. Not quite touching.
“You didn’t tell me your name,” she says, deliberately slow.
“It’s Cosmo,” says Cosmo.
“Funny that,” she replies, “same as my husband’s.”
Michelle Christophorou writes in Surrey, UK.