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Monday, November 29, 2010

"Hunny, if you tap your nails anymore on that countertop, they are going to snap off."
Christine looked up into the eyes of the bartender, Georgia, a fitting name because she spoke with a deep Southern drawl even though she lived in Massachusetts. She was a motherly type and had been since the day Christine had came to this bar six years ago.
"I'm sorry." She lifted her glass, a lowball filled with vodka tonic and said, "Another, please?"
Georgia laughed. "You sure you don't want something a bit stronger than that? Your nerves are firing so fast, they're electrocuting me, dammit. "
The bartender gingerly took Christine's glass and started to mix her another. Christine faced away from the bar, skimming for a face she recognized in the crowded room, begging for a pair of dark blue eyes to light up the way they had the first time she saw them.
"How late is he?" Georgia inquired, placing Christine's freshly mixed vodka tonic in her hands, then rested her elbows on the bar so as to look Christine directly in the face.
Christine lowered her glass after a long sip and said, "Only twenty minutes."
Georgia looked her over with a penetrating gaze.
"Ok, ok, you got me: forty-five minutes." Christine sighed and took another long drink from her glass.
Georgia laughed and straightened up, grasping for a bar towel to wipe her dewy hands. She faced Christine and said in a serious tone, "Well hunny, if he only had the power to predict what you were going to wear tonight, he would have been here a longggg time ago. God only knows what's underneath those duds."
Christine openly laughed into the air and looked into the bar's mirror: Reflected behind the bottles of Absolute, Patron, and Ketel One was her likeness, staring her back in the face. She even had to admit, acknowledging with a slight upturn of the mouth, that she did clean up well. Smoldering eyes, complete with smudged eyeliner and metallic powder eyeshadow. Otherwise, a natural look completed her face; a light powder to conceal what she dubbed her 'good wrinkles': laughlines, and a tart lipgloss to reflect the bar's dimly lit atmosphere.
Then there were her clothes: stiletto pumps with her classic Banana Republic jeans, a tiny tear in the back pocket. She'd been stupid enough to play backyard football in them the year prior, and unfortunately for her, she'd been tackled by a brier bush. Paired with a tucked in cream-colored blouse and a simple black belt, she felt extremely radiant that night. She wondered how much had to do with the clothing and how much had to do with whom she was supposed to be meeting.
She snatched her near-empty glass from the counter, and spun around on her stool, looking at her phone to see that another twenty minutes had gone by since she had last checked. Staring at it wistfully, she willed it to ring, for him to call and say something came up and he wasn't coming. She knew she'd been silly to hope for him to show. They'd only had one other date, if you could call running into a random person at a nightclub and then spending the night dancing and talking an official date. Being young and finding someone special was hard, but being in mid-thirties and finding that someone was much more difficult.
"Hey hunny, maybe you should stop staring at that goddamn contraption of yours for two seconds."
Christine followed Georgia's eyes across the room to where the door had just opened, snowflakes drifting in on the new bar-goer. He swiftly brushed the stray flakes off of his deep brown hair and looked up. An electrifying shock crept its way through her chest outward to the tips of her fingers.
"Knew it was him," Georgia chuckled, as if she had felt it, too.

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