Jane Summers felt a touch on her elbow through her denim jacket as she exited the auditorium. With the crowd pushing her forward, she could only turn her head to the right. Looking at Brad’s face, she couldn’t tell whether he was concerned or annoyed.
“You OK?” She could barely hear his voice above the excited hum of the people around them. She squinted, decided to let her facial expression speak to her confusion.
Brad drew closer to Jane, put his arm across her shoulder. He was taller than Jane, than most of their friends. He brushed his black hair from his smiling face. “You weren’t into the concert at all tonight.” He moved them to the side of the crowd, stopping when they reached the concrete wall. “Really, I couldn’t figure out why you even bothered going, you were such a downer.”
Jane frowned, looked away. “Sorry. Had a lot on my mind lately.” She looked up at Brad. “Thought a concert would — I don’t know, help me relax.”
“Well next time, let’s go to a movie, or stay in.” His face was stern, like a disappointed parent. “Some less expensive way to help you get over your bad mood.”
Jane stared at Brad’s face a moment, as the crowd jostled past him on their way out of the auditorium. “Look, I told you what was — ” she lowered her voice — “what was going on.”
Brad pursed his lips, held up a hand. “Oooh — not here.” He jerked a thumb behind him. “Let’s go out of here, back to my place.”
“No.” Jane grabbed his coat jacket. “I want to go home.” Brad raised his eyebrows. “My place, the apartment.”
“Never heard you refer to it as ‘home.'”
For the first time that she could remember that evening, Jane smiled. “Yeah. It’s been a weird week.”
They rejoined the crowd, the flow of humanity slightly thinner than before they had stopped. Brad pointed out that his apartment was actually closer than hers, but Jane insisted, he could come if he wanted and she actually wanted to be with him, but she had to get back to her place. Now.
Twenty minutes later, Jane opened the door to her apartment, Brad sweeping in behind her. She turned as she took off her jacket, saw Brad adjusting his hair in a mirror on the right-hand wall to the front door. She asked if he was hungry.
Brad nodded enthusiastically as he took off his jacket. “Only had time for a granola bar between the time I got home from work, and having to pick you up.” He walked into her living area, threw his jacket on the couch like it was covering a stain. “Want to order a pizza?”
Jane stopped her reflexive answer, then replied that pizza sounded really good right about now.
Brad walked over to the sofa, picked up his jacket and flung it across the room, landing in Jane’s favorite chair. He threw his body down into the cushions, raising his arms so that they rested on the back, then quickly shifted his legs so that they rested, left leg over right, on top of the coffee table.