That Polite Disinterest

Outside the party Leslie and the girl stood quietly talking. It was a masquerade; Leslie wore a simple black domino, the girl a glittering gold cat’s eye that covered half her face. Leslie was leaning on the railing of the balcony looking out at the city. He wore a dark blue suit, midnight blue, blue as the night sky outside the city. The girl wore a vast red velvet dress that ballooned out behind her when she moved slightly. It was the same red as the sky over the balcony.

“It’s a lovely party,” said the girl.

“Thank you,” said Leslie.

“And, and, and, and you own all this house? This giant thing?” Keep him talking, she thought, keep him out here, keep him looking at the city.

“For a while now.” The lights of the city. Her dress brushed across his leg, and he moved imperceptibly away from her.

“Well, it’s a lovely party, just lovely. I swear I saw Madeleine just the other day, and she said…” She told a long, involved story with no point and no plot and he kept staring out at the city. I hope they got enough, she thought, and felt the lens of the long distance camera sweep over her body like a hand, and she shivered.