Inspiration has struck at an ungodly hour and I think I may finally have something I can work with!
I was thinking about a number of different situations in which people may exaggerate or project certain aspects of their personalities, and I resorted to an old cliché — "man tries to impress a girl, but she's not interested."
I'm a bit stuck for the ending — I don't want to overcomplicate it, maybe just have her get up and leave with somebody else — but I don't know if that's too generic? She would ignore his advances and he would resort to more and more extravagant means to attract attention, to no avail — he would grow frustrated and paranoid — "I'm just not good enough!" rather than considering that, instead of being about him and "not being good enough," it could be something about her — there are certain things about people you are unable to ascertain by physical appearance. Things that can jeopardise our attempts to communicate, or that stand in the way of getting what we want.
I had a bit of a vision of the closing scene in my mind —
Maybe the guy is standing there, revealing his true face for the first time — she's looking at him (first person). We see the door crack open behind him, and she stands up, as if acknowledging him, he moves forward to hug her, but she just goes straight past him and embraces the figure who has just entered. He stands there, dejected, before slumping into his seat. View cuts to the front again, we see the two of them leaving together.
Might be interesting if they were both girls? Leave the relationship between them ambiguous — could just be friends, family, lovers?
I'm a bit shaky on it, I don't know.