Barfly: Chapter Twenty-One

After seventy-two plus hours of not hearing from Stellan, I hauled my ass to a bar with Mika so I could sit and wallow in the comfort of a martini glass.
“Have you been drinking all this time?” Mika asked.
I shook my head.
“Are you lying to me?”
I shook my head and signaled the bartender for another drink.
“I have copies of the book cover with me.”
“Hooray for you.”
Sighing, Mika spun my barstool around to face her.  “I don’t like this side of you.  I don’t like seeing you this way.”
I spun my barstool back around as the bartender placed my martini in front of me.  “Thank you,” I said, “and you might as well make another one.”
“Are you going to be driving tonight?” he asked.
Reaching into my jacket, I pulled out my keys and a crumpled business card.  I looked at the card and smiled.  “Nope,” I answered, pushing him my keys.  “Here are my keys and a number for a cab to take me home.”
The bartender nodded and took the keys and card.
“How drunk do you plan on getting?”
“Black out,” I answered.
“I shouldn’t even bother with the book covers should I?”
“I’ll look at them, but you might want to ask me again when I’m a bit more sober.”
“I thought you said you haven’t been drinking all this time?”
“I haven’t,” I answered, “but you got here thirty minutes late as usual and I had a shot and two martinis in that time.”
Mika inhaled slowly.  “I’m going to cancel my booty call.”
“Don’t,” I said, swiping her phone.  “I’ll be wasted and you’ll be hating me.  It’s best if you do go to your booty call.”
“As your friend, I feel like I should stay here with you.”
“It won’t make him call.”
“I know, but it will make me feel a little better.”
“Honestly Mika, go.”
“Okay,” she sighed, “but I’m pushing the time back.”
I held out her phone to her.  “How do you deal with so much ass?  I can’t manage to keep the one I had and you’ve got a dozen or so in your life.”
“Because being with just one scares the shit of me.”
Mika nodded.  “The thought of being with one person for the rest of my life scares me to death.”
“That makes me excited.”
“You’ve only known Stellan for two months or so right?  Give or take a week or two.”
I nodded but it was a lie.  I had known Stellan for maybe two months, but if she wanted me to have known him for longer than that, I was going to take it.  I felt like I had known him a lifetime before this anyway.
“I don’t understand how can you be so head over heals in love with him?  It seems to me, it’s just pure infatuation and lust.”
“I believe in love at first sight.”
Mika squinted one eye at me and signaled the bartender for a drink.  “Love at first sight?”
I nodded.  “I know it seems like a crock of shit,” I answered, “but honestly, when I saw Stellan sitting across the bar, the rest of the world kind of faded away.”
“I’ll have what she’s having,” Mika said to the bartender, “and two shots of whatever she ordered before.”  Looking at me, she sighed.  “The world faded away?”
“Yeah.  It was like a spot light was on him and the rest of the world was dark.”
“How much did you have to drink when you saw Stellan the first time?”
“One or two drinks,” I answered as the bartender returned with the drinks she had ordered.
Mika mulled over the number of drinks I had and slid one shot towards me.  “I’d toast to the book, but you’d whine about it, so a toast to you not passing out at the bar and me getting hot and dirty sex tonight.”
I was okay with that toast.  Lifting my shot from the bar and toasting her glass, I slammed the shot back and felt myself shudder.
“What the hell was that?” she asked, wincing in pain.
“Ugh, I may vomit on you in a moment.”
“Order a soda, it’ll help kill the taste and then drink a water.”
“Aren’t you the guru of drinking?”
“Pretty much.  There are rules to drinking if you don’t want to yack your brains out all over the back seat of a cab.”
“Are you following those rules tonight?”
“Give or take,” I answered.
“So back to Stellan.”
Sighing, I rested my arm on the bar.  “Do we really need to go there?”
“Yes,” Mika answered.  “I’m trying to understand why you are this upset over a man you barely know, and no, knowing him about almost two months is not knowing him.”
I threw my hands up in surrender.  “Fine.”
“You guys recently decided to be in committed relationship and you’re here wallowing in heartache.  Am I missing something?”
“I love him.”
“After this short amount of time, you can honestly say you love him?”
“I can,” I answered.  “I knew the moment I saw him.  He was the one for me.”
“You just knew it?”
 “I don’t expect you to understand,” I answered, blinking back tears.  “When I was young and fairy tales were the stuff reality was made of, I always asked Walsh how my dad knew my mom was the one and he said she was the most beautiful person in the room and it took his breath away.”  Reaching for a bar napkin, I wiped at my tears and sighed.  “I didn’t think that could exist.  That was shit in fairy tales not real life and especially not in my life.”  I took a deep breath and slowly blew the breathe out.  “Then I see Stellan and for once in my life, I saw someone who took my breath away.  Someone who’s nothing like anyone else I’ve ever dated or been interested in.  I could have tried some pick up line or done something cool to get his attention, but all I could tell myself was be subtle, he’ll notice.”
“Did he?”
“I didn’t think he did,” I answered.  “Not until he told me he had seen me at the bar that day too.”
“He saw you?”
I nodded.
“What did he say?”
“He said the corner of the bar didn’t hide me as much as I thought and that a beautiful lady sitting in a bar by herself in the afternoon is bound to get noticed.”
Mika covered her heart with her hand.  It was the first time I had seen her emotional over something besides a book deal.  “I can see why you’re upset now.”
I laughed through my tears and let out a sigh.  “I can’t believe you have me crying at a bar.”
“Eh, it’s nothing,” she replied.  “If it were a trillion dollar book deal, you’d still be crying at a bar.”
“Wouldn’t that be nice?  I could move to Bora Bora or something.”
“Agent in tow of course.”
“Of course,” I smiled.  “How many zeroes are in a trillion?”
“A lot,” she answered.  “What bothers you the most about this situation?”
“Besides everything, I’m scared that I lost my muse.”
“I thought you said the most beautiful man on the planet wasn’t your muse.”
“I lied.”
This page copyright © 2009 Shelia Taylor
All rights reserved | This is an excerpt of the rough draft and not the final version