Echo waits for a moment longer, hoping the mysterious stranger will double back and talk with her.
When he remains unseen, she sighs quietly, reaching for the small purse strapped across her torso.
Her hand brushes the blazer pocket, noticing a slight bulge. She fishes out a set of keys, no doubt to the man's car. He must not have realized he left them.
Echo starts down the sidewalk, shrugging off the blazer as she goes. Her nose wrinkles at the alcohol permeating from it, no doubt due to the sticky drink staining her dress.
She makes a mental note to pay for the dry cleaning as she turns the corner, startling at the angered screaming at the next corner block.
She pauses beneath a lamp post, watching the man from the club slump against his car in utter defeat.
The light post above his car is out, masking his features and adding to his air of hopelessness.
The bright burn from a cigarette illuminates the dark space, drawing her closer to him. The click of her heels resonate in the quiet air, along with the anguished murmurs from the man.
Eric glances up with a weary tiredness, vaguely seeing the girl he had helped only minutes ago.
Or was it hours? Months? The numbing emptiness of betrayal is beginning to thicken within his veins.
Echo stops in front of the man's sprawled out legs, nervously watching him take another drag of nicotine. The smoky puff mirrors the chilled exhale from her own mouth.
She crouches down, tilting her head to catch his down casted gaze. With a timid smile, she holds out the keys and says,"I think you may need these."
His head thumps against the car door as he regards her, eyes shrouded in darkness. The lack of light irritates Echo, who wants nothing more than to catch a glimpse at this man.
"Well, guess my night can't be that fucking bad." He comments, snagging the keys from her outstretched hand.
Echo stays crouching, watching as the man takes a final drag, before extinguishing and pocketing the half smoked cigarette.
She grabs his ankle when she starts to lose her balance, shocking both of them.
"I'm-I'm sorry! These heels aren't the most practical and I would take them off but I know there's plenty of glass on these streets and-"
His dry chuckle interrupts her babbling, a hand dragging over his face. She quickly stands and steps back, watching as he tiredly pulls himself up.
Miraculously, the lamp post above reignites, bathing both of them in a soft glow. For a moment, she takes in the man before her, trying to figure out why he helped her.
A car zips by, jolting Echo from her blatant staring. She clears her throat, cheeks coloring as she gestured to the coat draped over her arm.
"I-I would give this back to you, but it should really be dry-cleaned. I can pay for it and return it to you another time, if you'd like."
Eric eyes the black blazer with disinterest, turning to his car as he says,"Keep it. I'll never wear it again."
"But-but that's not-"
"Listen, Echo right? I dressed up tonight with the intent of seeing my girlfriend and having an awesome night. Instead, I find out she's been cheating on me and dressed up for no fucking reason. So, if anything, you'll be doing me a favor."
Echo blinks, stepping back to give some space between them. His eyes are wildly hurt and weary, the pain in his tone so raw, goosebumps arise on her arms.
For a heartbeat, he looks at her. Really looks at her. And the beseeching look Echo recognizes oh-too-well prompts her to blurt out,
"Coffee. Do you like? Do you like coffee?"