It is a truth universally accepted…
Lyra was sitting at the bar sipping a Kir Royale and just enjoying the ambience of the place. It was nice to finally get away from everything and just enjoy a drink on her own and away from the hell that was her country and her home.
As she sat there, she just mused on the events of the past year. So much had happened and she was still processing so much of it. From the powercuts, protests, economic breakdown, Aragalaya, Amma, Covid, what the fuck… it was endless but she still clutched onto some hope. The survivor in her still believed in the possibility of rising from the ashes. Story of her life.
As she waited, a well dressed man in a tuxedo slid next to her and asked,
“Hello, what are you doing here all alone?” His tone was smooth and polished with a tinge of arrogance.
Lyra was taken by surprise, but recovered and smiled and said,
“Oh erm. Just enjoying a drink” she wasn’t thrilled about being disturbed. She noticed that this man wore some fancy watch, had dark slicked back hair and was leaning on the bar counter while he surveyed the rest of the room.
“Really? Sure you’re not looking for company?” He was grinning now like a Cheshire cat and this goaded Lyra.
“Yes I’m sure. I didn’t realise that it was a truth universally accepted that a woman sitting at a bar enjoying a drink is in need of a man.” She said this with sarcastic wit harking back to dear Austen and her 19th century allusions about people. Pity that 200 years down the line it was still the same.
He just smiled, completely oblivious to her sarcastic tone and said, “I’m Chris. And you are?”
“Lyra” she said quietly.
Gone were the days when she lied about her name, age and what not. Today was not a day that she was in a mood to lie about anything.
“So Lyra, what brings you to the Ritz? If you’re just here to enjoy a drink as you say.”
That did it. This fucker. Honestly.
“You know what brings me here? To escape assholes like yourself who think wearing a tux makes you a god and an entitled one at that. Is that an Armani? What you gonna do with it, wear it when you die? Here lies Armani, dead at last. Or is your watch gonna keep time to the Pearly gates? Where’s your soul? Do you even have a conscience?
He was taken aback by her outburst and said rather defensively,
“Well I just thought you needed company, that’s all. Women are usually at bars to meet men you know.”
“Oh yea, that’s right. Paint everyone with that brush. I never asked for company. Learn to respect that.” Lyra was fuming now but she kept her composure as she said these words.
“Sure, I just wanted to you know, hang out. Clearly I’m out of my depth” Chris said now rather unsure of himself.
“That’s right. You are out of your depth. Coz I’m an ocean, and you’re just a puddle of mud” saying this Lyra turned towards her Kir Royale and heard Chris shuffle away muttering.