She closed her eyes and listened to the clatter and tumult of the bar. The pint she held was halfway down and still cold.
She waited as she had been for a half hour or so. She didn’t mind. She had been early. But there was no rush.
She opened her eyes and saw a solitary man sitting on the corner of a table that he was sharing with strangers. The man had a plastic bag on his lap, which he was reaching into and pulling out a variety of pebbles. He arranged them in front of him. The strangers glanced at the pebbles that were gradually filling the table, but carried on their conversations without commenting. Eventually the plastic bag was empty. The man scrunched it up in his hand, got up and left the pub. The pebbles remained on the table.
The conversation had dried up between the table's inhabitants. They sat in silence and contemplated the pattern laid out before them.