Her clothes were choked with smoke and her throat dry. Her left hand had a pain in it, like a dull ache, and she shook it as she took a long drag of smoke from her cigarette.
The pain was heavy in her chest this time. The dull ache. She sucked in her cheeks and bit the side of her lip. She should have worn more dressy clothes, at least some heels, she thought.
And now they were inside laughing, at the hotel bar ordering $12 drinks. She had been so proud of herself, her self control, not ordering some over-priced drink to help her laugh at the jokes and be more careless. Instead, she'd excused herself and gone outside. To think and look at the rain falling across the streetlight.
She loved that. She could get caught up in the way the street lamp's light hit the drops as they fell down and down. She could get caught up in it and not worry about the anxiety of impressing these people. Her new boyfriend's best friends.
They were so nice and so beautiful and so successful. They had been in frats and sororities. They wore designer jeans and the girls all slung designer purses over their shoulders. They owned their own homes and stayed at houses on the "lake" with private swimming pools.
She sighed, pushed out her cigarette and brushed the hair from her face. She was wearing her favorite corduroys, a tight t-shirt and the expensive cashmere coat she'd splurged on. At least she had the coat to protect her, to shield her from judgement.
She tightened the coat around her body and walked inside.