Farrah is tall, slim and blonde, with a full but perfectly proportioned bust and shapely thighs. When she walks, she sashays, her hips swinging seductively; and when not in uniform, she wears her hair down so that her long, golden locks gently bounce, highlighting her vivacious beauty. Even when it drapes over her eyes, a simple yet graceful flick of her head and every strand falls back into its appointed place to envelop her face in a halo of golden light.
In other words, she's a catwalk model. Worse still, she's a catwalk model with a brain in her head. She is perfect in every way.
Beside her, people like me feel fat, short and clumsy even if we're not. With her added intelligence, she has the ability to make us feel thick too. For that reason, girls like me usually avoid people like Farrah. So, as you can imagine, I wasn't that keen on the idea of spending the evening with her, but seeing as I couldn't be any more miserable and I couldn't be bothered to argue ... and it was pool after all.
Farrah regularly plays at a bar in town called The Bridge. Whether the name refers to the bridge of a ship or the bridge used in pool, I don't know. We arrived a little after eight and Farrah was warmly greeted by most of the blokes in the bar. That's another reason why girls like me don't hang out with girls like Farrah. We tend to become invisible in their presence and often end up sitting alone in a corner of the room while the lads buzz around the honey pot. That is until some creep decides you are the saddo that will be "grateful" for his attention. Urgh! And why is it these guys are so difficult to shake off? You tell them nicely that you aren't interested, but they just don't seem to have the mental capacity to comprehend your meaning. Then, when you finally lose your rag with them and tell them to just push off, they get angry and abusive. Fortunately, those guys are far and few between ... but sadly, not extinct yet.
Back to the story, though ... Farrah introduced me to everyone, and all welcomed me warmly. This one guy, Billy, asked me if I played pool.
"Once or twice," I explained as I tried not to stare into his striking ice-blue eyes that an Andorian White Wolf couldn't rival. "But it's been a while."
As Farrah's guest, I played first, against Billy but I lost the toss so he broke. He pocketed three balls, but then stood back while I cleared the table. Yep! My years of a misspent youth in various orphanages, most of which were equipped with a pool table, has finally paid off. I wiped the floor with him.
As I pocketed the last ball, the crowd burst into whoops and hollers of joy, while Billy shook his head in a good humoured fashion and grinned.
"You've played this before," he smiled.
"I told you I had."
"Yeah, but you didn't say how good you were."
"Ah, now," and I waggled my finger at him. "Am I that good, or are you just that bad?"
I didn't play a second game but retired with Billy to the bar for a drink. He seemed like quite a nice guy, although I learned surprisingly little about him. I don't think he's fully Terran but didn't find out one way or the other. Nor did I find out where he worked, where he lived or anything like that. In return, he learned nothing about me either. We spoke instead about pool, current affairs, the latest developments in shuttlecraft design (but nothing too technical) and literature. We share a similar humour too, which helped.
As the night drew on, the stress of the last few days began to catch up on me. I had been running on pure adrenaline, but now, with the trial over, I was starting to crash. I was shattered and yawning, so decided to retire for the evening. Farrah and I left together.
On the way home, I asked her about Billy but all she could tell me was that he played pool. She knew as little about him as I did.