Smooth jazz played in the background. Sarah, wine glass in hand, easily moved to the music. Regan, tapping his foot to the beat, sat on his shiny leather coach. Windows made up the far left wall, their curtains were open and allowed the light to illuminate Regan’s minimalist furnishings.
“It’s great that you invited me here, Regan. Look at me twirl!” Sarah stopped to hand over her glass to Regan, which he took.
Free of the glass she did a spin and when she stopped, she bowed low, her piercing green eyes gazing up at Regan playfully. Just when he started to feel the pleasant sensation of the hairs starting to raise on his neck, she jumped back into the rhythm of the music.
Regan took a sip from Sarah’s wine and said, “Mellow grooves sweetheart.” It was all that Regan could reply because at that moment the dry wine hit the back of his throat causing him to wince. He loved the way Sarah’s black slacks helped to accentuate her slim hips, but she had the worst taste in wine.
Later, when the sun had fully set and the moon took its place in the dark New York sky, the two took the elevator down to the plush lobby of Regan’s apartment. The doorman tipped his hat to the couple. “Your taxi is waiting Mr. Patterson, sir.” Regan handed the doorman a couple of dollars, and guided Sarah outside and into the taxi that was patiently waiting at the curb.
A lean African American sat before a magnificent set of ivory and ebony keys. The lights in the hottest nightclub, Club Orange, cast an easy shade of blue around the performers stage, the heavy scent of cigarettes blanketed the club. He kept perfect time with his foot while at the same time working his way around the keys the way an experienced chef works his way around a kitchen. Sitting a couple of tables back from the stage Sarah said, “It has been fun. Last time we hung out I was in the middle of that terrible divorce.” She sighed and for a moment her usually vibrant and fun eyes darkened. She picked up her glass of gin and tonic, the heat from the room had caused the outside of the glass to form beads of water.
“It really has been a while,” Regan scanned the room, “I thought my friends would have showed up by now.” He looked directly at Sarah and said, “That’s fine, I hope they don’t come because I am really enjoying myself, I think I have forgotten just how much fun we have together.”
“That’s why you wanted to have a back-up plan, inviting your friends, just in case I turned out to be a downer?” Regan knew Sarah teased because that fun loving look in her eyes had returned. He reached over the table and held out his hand, she took it, and he helped her rise from her seat.
“Let’s dance!” Regan said. He smiled now revealing his perfectly straight white teeth.
Sarah couldn’t resist. “Regan!” She squealed, “Stop it! You know I can’t say no to a smile like that.” She caressed his recently shaved cheek and ran her long fine fingers gently down his neck. Again the hairs on his neck started to become erect, he took the milky hand away from his face and guided her towards the dance floor. Club Orange was in full swing now and everything depended on the music. Each table was set up perfectly to allow the stage and the dancing floor to encompass each other. Most of them were occupied, their candles burning dimly, flames almost flickering to the rhythm of the music. Every lady had a man and everyone had a drink in their hands. Fat, short glasses with ice cubes rocking with the sway of their owners. Women were dressed in sequence and whispering in the ears of their male companions.
Sarah and Regan, made their way from the dance floor, through the crowds, and out through the back door of the nightclub.
“Could you give me a cigarette, please?” Sarah asked as she fumbled in her purse for her lighter.
“Here.” Regan pulled two cigarettes out of his pack, gave one to her and placed the other one in between his lips. Sarah was unsuccessfully trying to light her cigarette. Her hands trembled from the chilly air outside hitting the evaporating sweat built up from the club. It was hard for her to get the lighter to stay lit long enough to light her cigarette. Regan took her lighter from her gently and lit her cigarette for her.
“Thanks.” Sarah said.
“No problem. it’s getting late.” Regan suggested.
“Okay.” Sarah leaned into Regan and he put his strong arm around her. After putting their cigarettes out, they retrieved their coats from the coat check, and left through the front door. They decided to walk back to Regan’s apartment so they could sober up a little. The night was chilly but the streets were well lit.
At his apartment Regan poured Sarah a glass of red wine and turned on some smooth jazz. They sat near each other on the leather couch. Sarah sipped her wine and looked over at Regan, “Maybe we could start over again.”
“Maybe.” Regan replied and reached out for Sarah to hand her wine glass to him. He took it and set his and hers down on a nearby table. Again taking her hand he led her to his room and shut the door.
The sound of a vacuum, loud and near, awoke Sarah. She opened her eyes, groaned, “Can’t you tell your maid to come back later?” and reached out for Regan. Her outstretched hand met the top of the white comforter. Without turning around she moved her arm clumsily searching for some sign that Regan was still there. But even the sheets under the comforter were chilly suggesting that he had left a long time ago. Having no other choice but to believe that he was gone, Sarah pushed the covers away from her slowly. “Oh what a night.” She said, then picked up her stuff and left.