This is my N post for the A to Z Challenge. I'm quite behind but I think my friends understand.
Lizzy stood in the middle of the nightclub with her flashing tiara and luminous sash. There was no way to hide the fact that it was her birthday and she was thirty. She had been dreading this birthday for about two years now. Her plans for life hadn't worked out as she had hoped- being married to Tom and getting ready to have a litter of babies. When they had split up Lizzy had been devastated.
But that had been six months ago and her perspective had changed. She finally got the job she wanted, teaching adults basic computer skills. Not a well paying job but a job that made her feel fulfilled. She had great friends and a good social life. Lizzy loved hill-walking and this had led to fun-filled weekends away. Finally she had concluded that she hadn't completely loved Tom but he had been part of her 'plan for life.' Sometimes you can't plan for life.
She watched her friends in the distance dancing their little hearts out. Over on the balcony she could see one of her learners, Jack. He was working as a bouncer in the nightclub. He was in his forties, with a beard, tattoos and built like a tank. She had walked past him, without acknowledging him at the door. It was the unwritten rule that you didn't have to acknowledge one another in public, if you did her course. In case the learner would have to explain how they knew Lizzy and would be embarrassed. Jack was a particularly reluctant learner who had been sent to her by the Dole Office when he wasn't working. Once he had gotten the job he didn't turn up to all his classes. Lizzy kept instructional sheets for him and took extra time helping him when he did turn up. Everyone deserved a chance.
In that moment Lizzy took stock. She was completely contented. She wasn't drunk, just tipsy and she was grateful that her 'plan for life' had been diverted.
Suddenly she felt someone rush up to her very quickly. Jack appeared in a flash beside her and gave her a quick peck on the cheek. She felt his beard brush her skin. Then he was gone. It was like a little thank you, just for her. Nobody had even noticed. Lizzy felt delighted. A perfect end to a perfect night.
As she left the nightclub that night, linked by all her friends, she and Jack made no eye contact but they didn't need to.