She Kept the Bar Between Them
Stories from Thailand
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With his eyes still closed he waited while she considered whether to serve him or throw him out. She approached him, and by the slowness of her approach he knew she had not made up her mind. He opened his eyes just as she arrived opposite him; she kept the bar between them. He saw from her clothes and bearing that she was not a cleaning woman and not a prostitute; he assumed that she was a partner in the ownership of the bar. Her black hair shone like onyx, her skin was the color of honey. The gold at her throat and wrists glinted under the austere fluorescent light. He didn’t try to guess her age, it didn’t matter to him. She was slim and shapely and very self-assured; Murray found her instantly attractive. She was giving him a grin, the kind of grin a woman gives an impudent child.