I laid in my bed flipping through the Romance genre on Netflix. It had been a long day of cleaning up behind adults and the rest of my night was going to consist of six well deserved, mini vanilla cupcakes, and a lovely bottle of cheap red wine. Just as I was about to take a mouthwatering sip, my phone rang.
“Hello?” I said choking back the saliva.
“Please tell me you have no plans tonight, and that you can hang out with me for a bit.”
“Um…” I hesitated.
Any other night, I would have been thankful that Sabrina finally managed to unearth herself long enough to hang out with me, but tonight, I was kind of looking forward to staying in.
“Come on, I really need to talk to you about something and it can’t wait. I would rather do this in person.”
“Alright, alright. How long do I have?” I asked getting up from my cozy spot on the bed.
“Right. Okay, I’m on my way. Same place?”
“Yeah. I’ll meet you there.”
Well so much for that. I turned off the T.V. and searched through my closet for something I could throw on real quick without having to use an iron. I felt no need to spend extra time getting dressed up. I did, however, toss my hair in a decent bun and apply a bit of lip gloss and mascara.
I sat at the bar waiting on Sabrina as usual. She was never on time. I sat there chewing on a mint leaf from my cucumber Gin and Tonic, avoiding the eyes of strangers by pretending to be interested in the CNN content on my phone. I was halfway through my drink when Sabrina finally showed up.
“I’m sorry I’m late”, she apologized with no explanation.
I got up from the bar stool to give her a hug, “you’re always late. The day that you arrive somewhere on time is the day, that I will die of shock.”
“I know, I know bad habit”, she said returning my embrace and taking a seat.
“So what’s up? What do you want to talk about?”
I watched as Sabrina’s smile rose from her heart-shaped lips to her glittering hazel eyes.
“Let me get a drink first”, she said removing her jacket.
Sabrina waved down the bartender. She was beautiful. Even when she was dressed simply in a thick cream colored turtleneck sweater, leggings, and boots. She was attractive without trying. Everything seemed to come easily to her without her having to ask twice.
“Hi, what are you having tonight?” The bartender asked with a smile that was way too broad to be friendly.
“I’ll just have a Cosmopolitan”, she answered handing him her credit card.
“Coming right up.”
“So…”, she began, “…I’m getting married!” She squealed holding out her left hand so I could see her engagement ring.
“Oh my gosh! Let me see that thing!” I exclaimed.
It was absolutely the most beautiful ring I had ever seen, even in all its simplicity. It was a tiny rose gold beaded band with a large solitary diamond that looked to be around two carats.
“When did he propose?” I asked still gawking at the ring. It sat on her finger magnificently, as if it chose to belong there.
“Tonight! It was so unexpected. I mean, we talked about it, maybe like once or twice, but I never expected him to actually propose! We’ve only been dating for two years and I never even hinted at anything. It was the most romantic thing–”
I listened to meaningless words fall out of Sabrina’s pretty mouth but I wasn’t hearing a single word of what she was saying. Somehow, I heard myself responding with “uh huh, ah, and really?” The truth was, I was sick of hearing about how perfect her life was, although she never bragged, and I was officially jealous. I loved my best friend but in the short time I’ve known her, she seemed to have everything going pretty much in her favor. From her looks to her amazing desk job, her handsome boyfriend and his newly found wealth with his business… I just wanted a sliver of her luck. I was less than a year shy from thirty with no real career goals other than my writing. No significant other sweeping me off my feet, no kids– not that I was complaining about that one, but so many of my friends went on to college, got married and had growing families. I on the other hand was a college drop out, just discovering my talent and passion for writing while slaving away at a dead end customer service job, that I shouldn’t be working at because, “I’m too pretty to be working at a place like this, I should be a model”, because, underneath my permanent scowl, I wished to become something other than what I became. Isn’t that life though? A mystery of surprise and disappointments?
“–Alayna? Are you listening?” Sabrina said finishing the last of her Cosmo.
“Yes of course,” I said taking a piece of ice out of my glass and chewing on it.
“Okay so let me know if you’re available, I want you to be there.”
“I will”, I assured her.
“If you want I can set you up with one of Willams’ friends…”
“No thank you, I’ve been there and done that”, I huffed.
Sabrina shrugged and answered the chiming from her cell phone.
“Okay he’s here”, Sabrina said putting on her jacket. She stopped short when she realized that I had not moved from my seat.
“Aren’t you coming?” She asked.
“No, I’m actually going to stay here for a little while and have another drink.”
“Are you sure? William can take you home, we don’t have reservations, I don’t think. It’s no problem Layna.”
“No, go ahead I’m sure. I’ll call a cab later, I’ll be fine. Promise”, I assured her.
“Alright”, she said after pausing for a moment.
“Call me later on so that I know that you are alright and that you made it home safely.”
“No, I don’t want to bother you on your big night–”
“Well text me. I mean it! I want to see that you’ve made it home safely and not dead in a ditch somewhere”, she said raising her perfectly arched eyebrow.
“Yes mom”, I smirked, playfully rolling my eyes.
“Very good Dear, now off I go”, she smiled back giving me a kiss on the cheek.
I felt guilt settle into the pit of my stomach.
”Sabrina!” I called after her.
She spun around on the heel of her knee-high boots and her long, light brown hair whipped behind her like she was in a Pantene Pro V commercial.
“Congratulations”, I said genuinely.
She blew me and kiss and bounced happily out the exit door.
I slumped down in my chair a little and waved down the bartender.
“Excuse me, can I have another?”
I sat at the bar alone staring at the bottom of my glass that must have seen thousands of mouths with thousands of different stories that ranged from joyous to suicidal. Tonight, my story was brought on by unhappiness with a shot of depression and a twist of loneliness.
“Tough night?” A woman asked taking a seat on the bar stool where Sabrina sat prior. I didn’t bother to look in her direction, hoping that she would get the hint that I was not in the mood for chit-chat.
“The beginning of much more to come”, I chuckled knowing that I wasn’t making any sense to this stranger with my cryptic response.
Why do people feel the need to fill the silence with a pointless conversation? I was happy wallowing in my pity party with just me, myself and I, lady.
“You look like you need this more than me. Just make sure, that you really need it first before you open it.”
“Thank you but no thank you I–”
I looked over to see that the woman had disappeared. She had vanished just that quickly as if I was sitting here talking to myself. On the bar’s counter was a tall fancy bottle, I read the iridescent letters that read, Jinn on the front of it and assumed that it was gin. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the bottled was tightly sealed. Who brings a bottle of liquor to a bar?
I stared at the computer trying to figure out what to write next. The words came to me like the silent K in knife. The same knife that kept stabbing me in the heart over and over, keeping me from focusing on something other than the fact of me sitting here alone in my apartment, there was the constant reminder of where I was in my life, alone. My mind was creatively blank except for the replaying of the event that happened a couple of hours ago.
“Agh!” I growled in frustration.
I looked around the room for something to take my mind off of everything in my life right now. There was no use of trying to force myself to write. I released my bun from the worn elastic that was holding it in place and let my hair fall around my shoulders. I raked my hands through my hair trying to ease my mind. My eyes settled on the bottle from the bar. Jinn huh? My curiosity got the better of me as I walked over to the kitchen to get a wine bottle opener and a glass from the cabinet. I wondered what would make her give a stranger an entire bottle of liquor? I stood there confused as hell as I tipped the bottle and nothing came out of it.
I looked inside of the bottle and held it upside down over my glass shaking and tapping on the bottom.
“You’ve got to be kidding me?”
I looked at it baffled. It felt heavy like there was something in it but it was completely empty. Yet again, there was another dose of bad luck. I tossed the bottle into the trash and headed off to the bedroom not believing the kind of luck I was having. It was too late to enjoy my cupcakes and I was no longer in the mood for a bottle of cheap thrills and three-star romance movies. The thing I craved most right now was drifting off into a couple hours of peaceful sleep.
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Copyright© 2017 Brittany A.L.