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Nerves. The kind of nerves you get when you reach the top of a roller coaster and you’re looking down at the free fall.

Heat. The rush of warmth that touches your skin when standing in front of a fire.

I feel these when I let my eyes flicker in your direction. I’m pretending that my trashy novel is more interesting than the little freckle hidden behind your ear, or the calluses on your hand. I’m sure that you have some, you look like the kind of rough I need in my life.

You’re pretending I don’t even exist. Instead of coming over to me, your hand is brushing her hair off of her skinny shoulder. I see her teeth shine in the light of the bar. You must have said something funny. That sexy sizzle in my stomach turns into a white fury. I know you’re just playing coy with me. I know the signs.

When you walked in, stomping the snow off of your boots and making as much noise as possible, I smiled inwardly. I know you were making all that ruckus to announce your presence and capture my attention. I looked up and our eyes caught. You gave me that little half-smile and then looked away just as quickly. Oh, so clever. Leave me on a hook. You walked by me, letting me smell the wonderful cologne you spritzed on for tonight. Then you sat down next to her. I’m not surprised…I see you here often. You always leave with different girls to make me jealous…trying to push me to make the first move. Maybe tonight I will. Blow-up Barbie is just too much.

I wait. I order another drink and flip through the pages of my book, even though I haven’t read one word. I’m torn between adoration for you and hate for her, and my eyes can hardly be torn away from you tonight. I know tonight is the night. I’ll do it. I’ll approach you; it seems like your ego needs that. Then you will send her away and we’ll go home together.

I wait too long. It’s the end of the night and you’re ready to leave. You pay for your drink. Oh, and wait, you pay for hers too. Nice touch. She gets up and goes to the bathroom with a little wink over her shoulder in your direction. I’ve waited long enough. She’s not going home with you. I follow her into the bathroom.

She is fixing her makeup and pushing her boobs up in that slinky dress. Then she smiles at me.

She is so trashy.

I smile back, showing my own set of straight white teeth.

Walking out I think of how easy she was to get rid off. Bitch thought hairspray was a weapon. Ha. She fit pretty easily into the stall too. I guess being that skinny is good for something.

I hurry only a little. I know you’ll be waiting. Walking outside and feeling the cool air hit my skin was heaven. I’ve been on fire all night.

This is it. You look up at me and there it is, that little half-smile.

Wait…why are you looking over my shoulder? I’m right here! You’re waiting for Barbie? She isn’t coming, and this makes me smile. I can feel it spread all over my face. You mirror my smile for a minute but yours is questioning. This is the moment I’ve been waiting for. I don’t know why I’m so nervous. I know you’re crazy about me.

I should have thought about what I would say to you. My mind races and it’s blank. The only thing I see is you. My subconscious screams at me. They’ll find Barbie any minute now. We have to go…but I haven’t said anything to you. Then it hits me. The perfect thing to say. Here we are, frozen in time, and you’re now starting to look at me differently. I take a deep breath and the only line I can think to say is…