The downtown San Diego lounge feels good to Abigale Godwin. It always does. Smooth jazz plays unobtrusively in the background and subdued lighting glints off polished mahogany and brass as she rests her arms on brown leather padding at the bar. She sits alone, thinking….
Abigale is retired at age 57. The high-profile, high-pressure—and very highly-paid—position with a San Francisco tech company is…gone. She was suddenly (and unwillingly) “retired from the company" after nearly 30 years. Now Abigale Godwin lives alone in San Diego. True, she’s nicely dressed as she sits at the bar; she looks…professional as she sips her Tanqueray Gin and tonic (with a touch of ginger and Bay leaf…always the same). But she wonders: Am I on the verge of becoming a…regular? A lonely regular? She hates the thought of it. That’s why Abigale only lets herself come here three nights a week. No more than that…usually. The vanished career? Acrid bitterness: It would have been one thing to be eased out in her 60s—or maybe even 70s—but to be outmaneuvered, isolated, squashed and ejected by her own fucking protege? Ungrateful bitch! she thinks furiously (and not for the first time). I took her under my wing! I mentored her! But now, after being summarily sacked, the professional Ms. Godwin has become *the private Miss Godwin…learning how to live a different life. Oh, there’s plenty of money, more than she’ll ever need thanks to her expert stewardship of the company all those years (call it a gesture of thanks that came with her defenestration).
So now? Abigale Godwin has time—lots of time—to think about other things…things beyond money, beyond status, beyond power, even beyond the exhilarating cut-and-thrust of corporate politics. Alone at night the thoughts come to her…*What do I do*? Those years of working 70-and-80-hour weeks? There was never any time for romance…much less falling in love. I needed a man like a fish needs a bicycle. Traded in for what she’d been told would be “an exciting and fulfilling life in the world of business.” Sitting at the bar, regret tries to weasel its way into her brain. She recoils at it.
Now Abigale dresses up two or three nights a week—oh all right, sometimes four…or five—for no one in particular, visiting this place of muted lighting and piped-in music where yearning young couples sit across small tables with flickering candles. Her makeup is perfect, her clothes are perfect, her hair is perfectly coiffed…even a speck of perfume at her clavicles wafts off a teasing hint of invitation as she sits alone at the bar. Tonight, like always, she thinks about what she will do when she goes home to an empty high-rise apartment with the stunning view of the city skyline. But wait…
Down beyond the end of the elongated bar the lounge door opens, and a man steps in.
Algerine Onyx is the nom de plume of an alien "transitioned intelligence" that decided to become a "storyteller-for-humans." Originally of the species "Achron," Onyx is one of several hundred such entities currently loose on earth. To find out more about the author and its original species, the Achrons, read its first book "Achron Kindness" (available on Amazon).