Staring into nothing. Loud beats blaring in the background. People dancing.
And he was standing alone by the bar, drinking cold beer as he always did every Saturday night.
Nobody in their right mind would venture into a club without the hope of leaving wasted, incapable of proper speech, and perhaps unknowingly half-unconscious. After all, the point was to free themselves from the chains of the day’s work, get lost in the music so similar to erratic heart beats, and binge on every deliciously sinful treats possible in the dark.
Nobody in their right mind would venture into a club, hoping to run into that one person they could keep beyond that night. It was crazy, to say the least, that anyone would ever search for a soul to sync with theirs, when every soul was probably too preoccupied being lost and all over the place.
And yet there he was, in his right mind, in a club, sober as hell, away from the crowd, waiting for a soul he was never meant to keep beyond one fine night.
He never told any of his friends about her. The bartender that had served him so many times seemed to finally pick an interest in his consistent, but unusual, presence in the same area by the bar every night on Saturdays. He never missed a night, but she always did ever since the one time.
Closing his eyes, pinching the nook of his nose, he sighed in defeat. It seemed like she was going to miss that night as well. And he wasn’t the only one who thought so.
“She’s probably dumped you,”
Frozen in his place, he glanced to his left only to find a lady who seemed to be in her early twenties. She grinned at him while tucking a loose brown ringlet behind her ear, and looked away to mention some drinks to the bartender. By the sound of it, she wasn’t alone – or was he being judgmental, to assume that if she weren’t ordering for others, she was a chronic drinker? He shook his head, and took a large gulp of his beer.
“What makes you think I’m waiting for anyone?”
He couldn’t believe it. For three months, he had been sitting in that very spot by that very bar, every single night on Saturdays. For three months. And now, he was entertaining a speculation.
“Because, if someone were to come here alone and leave alone, chances are he probably failed to get laid. Or…” she paused, and took a step closer, staring him right in the eye. “The one he was waiting for didn’t show up.”
“And you ruled the former one out because?” he asked, raising an eyebrow at her.
She responded with a playful smirk. “You’ve been sort of creating an icy barrier where at least three women have failed to get you to look at them,” she said, chuckling softly whilst backing away. He continued to stare at her. “Hey, I’m just saying what I saw like five minutes ago.” She defended, still smirking.
The bartender finally gave her the drinks she ordered, and all he could think of was, ‘seriously?’
He cleared his throat and averted his attention to his beer. “Looks like I’m not the one here to forget,” he remarked with subtlety.
“On the contrary,” she began, unfazed, “I’m here to remember some things.”
He couldn’t help but look at the drinks more carefully; tequila, vodka, whisky… “What’s that? How to puke your insides out?”
“Here…” she shoved a pure Jose Cuervo shot in front of him.
“I’m good, thanks,” he said, gesturing his half-empty bottle of beer.
“You don’t need to finish it,” she assured. “A sip would do. And then…,” she accepted the small black straws the bartender gave her. “You try to remember the last time you felt a similar way to when you drank that drink.” She finished with a smile.
A small, faint smile formed on his lips. He couldn’t believe this. “Do you really want to do this with me?”
She shrugged. “Why not?” she said nonchalantly. She took one of the vodka shots into her left hand and dipped her straw into it. “Here. We can do it together.”
A part of him wanted to resist and decline, but with an invisible countdown never waiting for anyone in a room of sweating, grinding, restless bodies while the beats of the music challenged his heart’s own, he found his decisions easily swindled to her advantage. And that, he thought to himself sardonically, was why many people often made mistakes in a club.
“Cheers,” he muttered grimly, to which she comfortably conceded and clunked glasses with him.
Taking a shot straight was one thing; sipping Jose Cuervo through a straw was another. The liquid steadily streamed down his throat, leaving a warm sensation to trail wherever it passed in his insides as an aftermath.
“I’ll start,” she volunteered, distracting him from the party in his stomach. “This drink, well, since it’s just a Bailey’s Mudslide shot really, reminds me of this one time-not at band camp,” she added, to which he grinned, “Where my friends gave me a chocolate cake for my birthday.”
He looked at her as she traced the tip of the glass which contained the Mudslide. “It reminds me of that time because as it turns out it wasn’t a virgin cake, and the weak were already tipsy after two slices before we went out to party.” She giggled. “They kept singing Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ all the way to the club, and come to think of it, after a few more shots, they really did get down that Friday night. In the restroom. We had to carry them home.” She finished, laughing.
“And I suppose you weren’t?”
“The cake was spiked, not doused with alcohol,” she tutted, switching her glass with his Jose Cuervo. “What about you? What does –she glanced through the glass she held- Mr. Jose remind you?”
“A woman’s neck,” he replied bluntly.
Her eyes grew a little, as she grinned. “Why’s that?”
“I don’t really want to get deep into it-“
“Well, you have to,” she interrupted, folding her arms and leaning against the counter. “You’re in a club, not dancing. Might as well talk.”
He rolled his eyes, and shook his head. “A few months ago,” -and that was Jose loosening his lips- “I got to dance with this girl. We couldn’t care less if our legs hurt. We were supporting each other out, and next thing, I had my mouth on her neck-“
“Nice moves,” she teased and nodded in approval.
He hung his head low, sighing in defeat. The woman was driving him nuts. “Well, she liked it, I felt hot all over while I was with her, so there.”
He noticed her staring before she looked away. “Well, let’s try what we each had then,”
Drinking the last half of the glass she held, she explained that Jose Cuervo reminded her when she had loosened up and let others see a different side of her. “I was still me, yeah. But I don’t think I could do some things if it weren’t for this bastard.” She shook the empty glass, laughing.
When he finished the Mudslide, the first memory that came to him, he couldn’t tell her. “I… I don’ think I should tell you,”
“Try me,” she challenged. “Whatever it is, it’s not like I’ll be using it in the future, right?”
Looking into her deceivingly bright eyes, in his mind -and he couldn’t tell how, he knew she was going to use it against him one way or another. “I learned how to… how to bake cupcakes,” he finished, raising his hands before randomly grabbing a new glass which turned out to contain a golden yellow liquor.
She was beaming by the end of it, as though she were refraining some remarks escape her. How she managed to keep it in, he didn’t know. “Let’s finish what we’re having next, okay?” she said, grabbing a glass of what seemed to be somewhat the similar color –he couldn’t tell in the dark.
She took a slow whiff of her drink. “Chivas, neat,” she said. “What’s yours?”
Imitating her, he took a whiff and frowned. “Uck, it’s Bacardi 151, I think,”
Such a strange woman, to spare a man from a drink that never did anyone good. He wasn’t about to become the girl, no sir. Then again, everything that had been happening has been strange. And they had let this go longer than he thought.
“Cheers then,” she said, lifting her drink.
He picked his glass up, and clunked it with hers. Watching her down the liquid, where she scrunched her nose ever slightly at the taste, he downed his faster than he wished he did. When the liquid burned down his throat, he knew he was going to regret it in the morning.
“You good?” she inquired, good-naturedly.
“So what did Chivas remind you then?” he asked, ignoring her question and coughing a little.
“No,” she shook her head. “You first.”
He swallowed, and rubbed the back of his neck. “Well I’m not much of a drinker, and I didn’t like it,” he said, shrugging. “I guess it reminds me of my Saturdays.”
He could almost feel the bartender that had become curious of his consistent presence in the club explode from utter annoyance. He was telling this woman about it, when the bartender had been there with him each Saturday. It was as though, in a sort of strange way, he bonded with the bartender during his demise. He wasn’t making sense. He really wasn’t making sense.
He was getting drunk, that’s what he was.
Rubbing his eyes, he continued, “You know, where I go home each Saturday alone, and I don’t like it,” he turned to look at her, who seemed to be paying no attention to anything else but him. “It’s not because I fail to get laid, like you think. But it’s not ‘cause I got dumped either.” He bit his lip and put the glass upside-down. “That’s me right now.” He pointed at it, and smiled wanly at her.
“Upside-down?” she asked in confusion. He shook his head. “I’m not what I’m supposed to be,” he corrected, sighing deeply. “Three months ago, a girl I met in the club said we’d see each other next week. Never got her number, or her last name. When I didn’t see her a week after that, I should’ve let it end there and forgot about her. I didn’t.”
“So every Saturday since then… you’ve just been going here?” she asked in concern.
“Stupid, right?” he asked, sardonically. “But the music’s good, so it’s not totally a bad Saturday night.” He smiled sheepishly; he really didn’t want to be pitied. “So what did Chivas remind you of?”
“Well,” she said, playing with the empty glass. It took her a while to answer. She looked up, before finally speaking again. “It was neat, yeah, but it still had that smooth taste… something that’s obviously not what you just had,” she added, laughing as he squinted his eyes at her in disdain. “I guess Chivas is my drink tonight.” she decided, stretching a little.
“I’m sorry but you’ll have to elaborate,”
She was smiling softly now. It surprised him that she didn’t bother to tease. “It reminds me of the time I felt things go so smoothly. When everything were just in the right place. Things haven’t been going smoothly for me, you see.” She explained, nodding a little. She seemed to be lost in her thoughts for a few seconds before looking at him.
He looked back, and knew the act was up. “Because things weren’t in the right place?”
She shook her head, and put her hand over his. “Because someone hasn’t been in the right time.”
I hope you enjoyed this short story! It was an old piece, one that I enjoyed writing to explore how not everyone who is out to drink at night is out to get wild and crazy. In a very fleeting setting, some people find themselves caught in a captivating and rare occurrence. What about you, what’s your notable story during night outs? Share it with us, and leave a comment!