Billiard Balls

I heard the click of custom billiard balls breaking across a table and looked up. There she was, sleek and lean in a jean vest and cowboy hat, leaning low over the table and aiming up her next shot already. The man she was with didn’t know what he was in for, as she leaned over the billiard table. I could see before he even laid his cue into the billiard balls, he wasn’t someone who had what it took. But I did…

I played it cool, keeping one eye to her and moving the  billiard balls around my own table. I’m good at pool, and I don’t rattle easily – even on seeing a sweet drink of pure sunshine like that walk into my life. She had cleared half of the  billiard balls before he even got his first shot. He was trying to look cool, but I could see the man was practically sweating, trying to rattle himself and not look like a fool on his date. He didn’t know it, but he already did.

He scratched and she couldn’t suppress a smile. Neither could I, and the man, rather than being good natured about it, took that moment to get angry. Pity to ruin such a smooth evening, I thought wryly. He walked right up to me, holding his pool cue, and stuck his ugly face right in mine.

“What you smiling at, buddy?”

I looked him over long and slow, and my hand tightened on one of the  billiard balls.

“Nothing,” I replied, “absolutely nothing.”

He lifted up his cue to swing, but I was too quick for him and clobbered him with the billiard ball. I sent him reeling into his own pool table, scattering the  billiard balls and sending a crowd over my way. Oh hell, I thought.

Then the woman walked up to me, and my first thought was that I was going to get slapped. She looked flushed and the way she walked, I was glad she wasn’t as big as her unfortunate date. But when she got up to me, it was something else entirely. What did she do, but apologize for the way he acted, and offer to play me a game of pool. I just smiled and nodded, and she racked up the billiard balls as I chalked up my cue. It’s true that some guys have all the luck. I’m just glad I’m one of them.

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