And that's where Brian and I first saw each other, and why he didn't meet me as Layne's girl. Brian first saw me as the skinny little girl with the black backpack who came in and sat at the table behind the door, scribbling in a notebook and drinking cup after cup of sweet black coffee. And I first saw him as... well, as a Greek God, practically.
Layne was tall and rail-thin - Brian was tall and solid, well-muscled without being bulky. I'd later discover that he was a construction worker. When you looked up from that body... his defining feature was that Roman nose. :) Aqua eyes, perpetual small smile. Straight shoulder-length hair, sun-bleached.
Utterly unobtainable. So I would look up from my notebook as he walked in and give him the shy, fleeting smile I gave all the regulars, and he would smile back, and I would duck my head back down.
But one night, Layne and I were going out, and he had a delivery to make first, to the 7-11 guy. He was pissed at the 7-11 guy already - the guy had asked me if Layne was holding. As mentioned before, Layne didn't want me involved with the Business at all, and felt that the guy was dragging me into it. I told him the guy hadn't asked *me* for anything, he'd asked if *he* had anything, which was both different and entirely logical.
Have I mentioned that paranoia is one of the most common effects of crystal meth?
So Layne took off to deal to/with the 7-11 guy, saying he'd meet me at Roma. And I went on my merry way to same, approaching from the rear of the building.
And there, sitting on the back stairs, was Brian. Just sitting and taking in the night air. And he smiled, and gave me a little wave.
And I waved back, and I did something I didn't think I'd *ever* do, shy as I was then - I went and sat next to him.
Layne's deal didn't take long. But by the time it was over, Brian and I were friends.
...to be continued...