It´s Three Word Wednesday. The words: advance, pander, shuffle.
Climbing the Ladder
There wasn´t enough alcohol on the table, he thought. He gulped down his latest drink and motioned for another one.
She was dancing. Floating gracefully across the dancefloor in the arms of Rex Higgins, a Navy Officer whose uniform went well together with her sleek Ginger Rogers look.
Higgins escorted her back to the table afterwards. She laughed breathlessly and fanned herself with a menu. She always looked her best a little flustered, it made her seem less intimidating.
”Rusty, honey, having fun?” She put a hand on his shoulder and squeezed it affectionately.
He took a sip of his new drink.
”I´m having a blast, Eve,” he replied glumly. He was never any good at playing this game; never carefree, gay, manipulative, like her.
She shrugged and turned away. Went off with her Marine, out to ”get some air”, he supposed.
There was still not enough alcohol on the table when she returned, but he was working on it.
She slumped down next to him, still elegant, but her eyes looked haunted. She took one of the roses from the centerpiece and started ripping off its petals. Rip, rip, rip; the sound seemed unnaturally loud.
”Having fun, Eve?” he said mockingly.
”Getting drunk, Rusty?” came the swift reply. Beneath the glamour she was furious.
”Really, Rusty, you agreed to this!” she continued. ”I don´t see how we can get anywhere, advance at all, if we´re not willing to work for it!”
”I never said I wouldn´t work!” His own anger surprised him. ”I´ll work as hard as anyone, you know that! Just say the word and I´ll go down to Bill tomorrow and ask him for a job. I´m sure we could make a decent living…”
She shuffled the petals from one hand to the other.
”Except decent´s not enough, is it?” He suddenly felt very tired.
"You never listen to me. You have no respect for my opinion!” She sounded like a spoilt child and he couldn´t take it anymore.
”Respect, Eve? I´m no more than a pander and you´re nothing but a …”
She cut him off.
”Stop it, Rusty! I´m leaving!” She stood and collected her things, two ugly red spots on those perfect porcelain cheeks.
She turned to look at him.
”I´m not coming back, you know. Frankly, I think we have different ambitions in life. I´m sure neither of us would want to stand in the other one´s way.”
Rusty watched her leave, her head held high. Despite all, he really wished her well.
On the dancefloor Navy Officer Rex Higgins laughed with another beauty in his arms, pressed against him as they slowly moved to the music.