A wide-brimmed hat hid her face. Dark, curly hair fell into jade eyes, shadowed by the brim of the hat. She stepped into the diner, scrutinizing her surroundings. Every eye turned in her direction. A gaggle of gossiping women in frilly hats and bustled dresses quieted suddenly at the sight of her. The waiters stopped for a moment, one over-filling a champagne glass and dribbling it on his impeccably shined shoes.
“Table for one,” she says huskily, eyes piercing the host’s own. Rendered speechless, he has no choice but to lead the woman to a table by a window. He hands her a menu, staring at her masculine clothing. He imagines that he sees a small pistol shoved into her buckled boot, and when he looks back, it seems to have disappeared.
She takes the menu in her manicured fingers, the sunlight coming in the window reflecting against her pale, smooth skin. She ignores the stares and whispers. How does she get away with wearing pants? How does her father let her out of the house like that? Or her husband? Does she have a wedding ring? The scandal, there are children here!
Her lips remain set in a firm line, only partially hiding the strikingly red lipstick slathered across them. The cling of her pants pronounces her slender frame, and her simple button-up shirt falls loose across her body, hastily tucked into the pants, a few buttons undone. She removes a cigarette holder from a small clutch purse, and places a cigarette into it, lighting it casually, her lipstick leaving bloody-looking marks on the white holder, smoke curling up and into her eyes. She withdraws a small black book from the purse and a fountain pen, scrawling a careful note: Step 1…complete.
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