And Then He
I blame the second glass of wine or maybe the third. The third was a bad idea, but it’s too late for regret. The end is almost here and I welcome it.
The first sip hits the cold hard pit in my stomach like a shot of heat lightning. The second wraps its arms around the knot in a loving embrace. By the third, a warm fuzziness travels from my chest down my limbs to my fingertips and toes. I close my eyes in a state of bliss, savoring the quiet before the inevitable storm that I must face without my boyfriend or my best friend by my side.
“Uh-huh,” I nod, as I open my eyes to the dark brown irises of the bartender. The color reminds me of my favorite chocolate bar, savory and irresistible.
He lifts up a bottle from under the bar. The cork makes a loud ‘pop.’ Like one of Pavlov’s dogs, my mouth waters. Then I catch a glimpse of a rigorous patch of dark chest hair just below his Adam’s apple that I find rather alarming, but all concern disappears the moment Merlot splashes against the sides of my glass. “Reunion?” He asks.
I take another ten out of my wallet and put it up on the dark mahogany bar. “Yep, my fifth.”
He pushes the money back over to me. “On the house,” he says and reaches across the bar to offer me his large, but slightly damp hand. An occupational hazard, I’m sure. “Isaac.”
“Well, Tiffany, you’re welcome to come back and visit me all night.”
“Tempting offer,” I reply. The first glass of wine always makes the shyness go away. By the second, I’m on my way to downright boldness. Innocent flirting with the hunky bartender is just what I need to make me feel like I deserve to be at my reunion, to make me believe that I am more than I actually am—a washed up waitress at a two-bit diner in a dead-end town. “Two friends cancelled and my best friend Carrie had her flight delayed.” I hold up my glass, “I might need another one of these to get me through.”
“I’ve got just the thing for you,” Isaac says. He takes a large green bottle off the shelf behind him and pulls two shot glasses out from underneath the bar. After filling each with amber gold liquid, he pushes one towards me, “to liquid courage.”“To liquid courage,” I say and smack my shot glass against his before putting it up to my lips. The alcohol burns my throat on the way down, leaving exposed nerve endings in its wake.
AND THAT'S ALL YOU GET!!