(Comprehensive Guide to Short Stories, Critical Edition)

An unusually good-looking young man, Ron is quietly unwinding after work at Osgood’s, a small upscale bar, where he is approached by Sarah Cole, the homeliest woman he has ever seen. Acting on a dare from her friends, Sarah introduces herself to Ron. As they converse over drinks, Ron finds himself becoming inexplicably attracted to the lumpish Sarah.

Two days later Ron and Sarah meet again at Osgood’s. Though Ron has almost forgotten about their previous encounter, he once more finds himself inexplicably attracted to Sarah and tries to draw her out—to include her within his life. After they leave the bar together, Ron readily offers Sarah sympathy when she discovers that her car has been slightly dented in the parking lot, but they do not go home together. Ron finds himself the object of snickering scrutiny by other patrons of Osgood’s as Sarah takes her leave of him.

After another encounter at Osgood’s several weeks later, Ron invites Sarah to his apartment. There they discuss their mutual attraction and grow more comfortable in each other’s presence. They admit that they would like to sleep together, but both recognize the real differences between them—in their lifestyles and appearances.

Some weeks later Ron remains obsessed with Sarah, though he has avoided seeing her. He unexpectedly meets her while running an errand on his bicycle. She invites him up to her apartment and suddenly takes the initiative by kissing...

(The entire section is 473 words.)