As if we were Mere Strangers in a Bar

I’m out with him — cool, confident, gentle, him. The night is late and the bar is loud, he want’s to dance but I’m not much of a dancer. He finally gets me on the floor for a slow song, and I get lost in his arms, his presence, as we move slowly together in the ebb and flow of the room. I didn’t want to be in this crowd, but I came because he wanted to. The music’s too loud, the bodies of people cramped too closely. Someone bumps into me from behind, I don’t see them, but it’s not a light bump, and I feel their hand grip my hip and trail across my ass as they move away.

I’m relieved  when the song is over, as we walk back to a table, the relief rushes over me, I can dissolve into the background again. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy his body being pressed against mine as we moved to the beat of the music, I did, but I don’t like the crowded dance floor. I’m just not much for the crowdedness. He feels good against my body, his arms form a ring of safety around me every time they find their way around me, which is as often as he can find a reason.

We are back at the table and the cute girl that has been bringing our drinks all night is making her way to me. I didn’t order anything, but she walks right to me. She clinks a shot of tequila on the table in front of me and leans in to tell me something as I insist that I didn’t’ order this. “It’s from the man at the bar, third from the end. He says he misses you and  that you know why he is here and he knows you are with your date so he won’t bother you. If you want him to leave, send the drink back with me, he will leave you alone. But, if by chance you missed him more than you care to admit, drink it, that will tell him what he needs to know.”

I really don’t need to look to know who is at the bar, I know, but I look anyway. It is just a quick glance and those sultry brown eyes are there. I don’t pause, I don’t hesitate, I make a move of scanning the room as she says, loud enough for my date to hear, “the girl left already, just take it or I will have to pour it out.” I look up at my date and shrug, “I can’t let tequila go to waste, can I?” I give her a devilish grin and pick up the shot. The hard coldness of the glass makes contact with my lips and I can almost hear him groan in achievement, from across the loud crowded bar. He knows I still love him.

The scent of tequila never fails to remind me of him, he knows it. I breath in the scent of it in the moment before it floods my tongue, that delicious burn as it passes my lips and I swallow it down. I hand the empty shot glass to her and she flashes that same devilish grin right back at me. I never look back to the bar. I don’t look for him again either. I know he is there, I know he is watching me, I can feel it. I can feel him, or maybe I just want to believe that I can feel him.

We stay for another hour then get up to leave. I am standing, talking with my date when someone from the crowd bumps into me again. This time, I almost fall, but hands catch me from behind as my date struggles to catch me from the front. A hand grips my hip, the same as before, and slides up my side as a voice laughs an apology, “Miss, I am so sorry, twice in one night, please forgive me for bumping into you!” That voice. That voice belonged to those sultry brown eyes from the bar. I stand in front of my date as I hear that all too familiar voice behind me. I turn to see those sultry brown eyes looking into mine. He releases me with a smile and swiftly walks away as though we were mere strangers passing in a bar.

photo credit: MetroWize at Zocalo, Sacramento via photopin (license)