I Guess So…
The bar was filled out that night – the stuffy smells were getting the best of most. looked anxiously at the clock, she should have finished her shift a half hour ago, but nobody had come to replace her. Tediously, she asked the next person what they wanted to drink and began filling up a pint.
Repeatedly she was being hassled to hurry, but there was only so much one bar attendant could do. cursed under her breath as she saw her manager make a hasty appearance near the bar entrance. “ , you’ve got guests waiting for you over there.”
“Gee, that’s nice, but how do you suppose I leave this, when Sarah isn’t here yet?!?!” told him. This happened practically every week. “Do you know where she is??” She asked him.
“Nope, I’ll tell them to come to you.”
“Kay, but I’m working extra again, I wouldn’t have minded you know if it was only once, but again and again?” She had had enough. There were people shouting at her to get their drinks, already slashed from more and more alcohol. was beginning to even hate the smell of it. It was getting so muggy in the room, she was feeling dizzy from turning round and round to fill the drinks and hand them to the customers. peeled off her jumper, ignoring the cheers from some at the bar.
“Hey stranger,” an unfamiliar voice said behind her. turned around and gasped.
“ ?!?” She hadn’t seen him since they’d left school, that was three years ago. They’d kept in touch vaguely, but not to the extent they would have liked.
“That’s me,” he grinned. “I see you’re slightly wrapped up, I was just passing by and I got word that you were working here. I thought I’d pay you a visit.” He explained in the soft voice she remembered.
“Ahh, that was nice of you to think of me.” joked. “I won’t be a second,” she said filling up some more drinks to put on a tray. He did what any gentleman would do and carried some glasses for her; smiled not used to the manners.
“How have you been?” He asked her following her to the table. stopped as she saw who it was sitting there smugly caught her eye. She turned around nearly pouring beer all over . “Sorry…” murmured.
“Something wrong?” asked concerned.
“Er… no,” braced herself and turned around again to face her customer, Lee. “Fancy seeing you again,” he practically shouted at her as placed his drink along with his jeering friends’ down on the table. “Do you wanna you know later.. for old time’s sake?” He winked at her. blushed embarrassed at the situation. said nothing sensing her discomfort. “Come on, let’s go now.” A big grin appeared on his face. Lee demanded her attention standing up. His friends were cheering and pulling for her to come forward.
“I think I’ll pass thanks.” responded turning around. Lee got up and made her way over to her. immediately stood in front of her.
“She said no.” He said bluntly. hadn’t wanted to intervene but he couldn’t sit and watch.
“I don’t think this is a place for you mate.” Lee claimed.
“She said no.” He repeated. “Come on , let’s get out of here.” gave Lee and his friends a distasteful look and pulled her back to the bar.
“Thanks, sorry about that, it’s not normally me to do the night shift,” blushed.
“That’s okay, sorry I intruded, I can’t stand people like that.” He exclaimed in his defense. “Do you want to go for a walk maybe? Get some fresh air?”
“Yeah, that would be nice, thanks. I’ll get my coat and tell my manager I’m leaving, give me two minutes.” She said with a smile on her face again. watched her leave thinking to himself how a man with sight could have been so blind. The last night they talked burned like a flame in his mind. The years had flown by but his memories still remained. looked at her walk towards him, there was nothing to lose now, just something to gain. He was holding onto hypocrisy.
grinned as he led her outside, the breeze was like cooling ice against her hot cheeks. She flushed watching her footsteps on the ground. “How come you’re in town? Business?” questioned.
“Why are you working there ? That’s not like you?” retaliated smiling. It had been an old habit of his to answer her questions with his own.
“Well, I’m in my last year of university, and I needed the money. It’s not exactly the career path I was going for though, but I’ve just got to stick out a few more months, then I’m out of there.”
“And where are you planning on going?”
“By that time I’ll have finished my degree and hopefully I’ll move back to my hometown, do you still live there?”
“Yep, nothing’s really changed, same old same old. I needed some time out, so I thought I’d do a bit of travelling, I just got on the next train, and here I am.” He shrugged. “Everyone misses you you know,” he teased pushing her playfully to one side, “including me.” told her softly.
“I know right, what’s not to miss,” laughed. “I miss it to, I’m waiting actually for an application form, I hate it here, there’s that college- do you remember back at home? It’s just started doing the same course I’m doing now, so if I get in, I’ll transfer- if I can.”
“That sounds like a good plan,” he said softly mulling over his choices.
“So what have you been up to?” asked him. She stepped to the side to let someone pass.
“Well, I’ve been thinking a lot,”
“Not injured are you?” She joked giving him the same smile.
“Haha, not quite. I’ve just been thinking a lot about how all of us as friends just parted, we never really said goodbye or anything.”
“yeah, I was thinking about that too, strange how everyone just goes their separate ways.”
“Can I ask you a favour ?”
“Come back home when you can. I made you a promise on the last night before you left, I haven’t kept it and I’m sorry.” His eyes were glazed over thinking about what he’d done. It had been a promise he’d said he would always keep. He’d promised to look out for her as her parents had gone their separate ways, he’d promised to love her and always be there when she needed him. He hadn’t kept that promise.
“I don’t remember a promise , so it’s okay you know.” She told him sensing the earnestly in his voice.
“No, it does matter , it matters to me. When are you next going home?”
“I wasn’t really planning to go home for a while, well until I get this letter.”
“I see. And what if I told you I can get you into that college?”
“ ! I don’t want to get in because you tell them that they have to have me, I want to get in because they actually want me there to represent them.” She tried to explain. He wasn’t having any of it – “ I’ve got to go now,” he said glancing at his clock. “But I’ll see you around, if not at home.”
“ please don’t do anything with the application – promise me?”
“I can’t keep promises.” He winked getting into a cab waiting outside her flat. was angry she bit her lip instead of letting her verbal diarrhoea get in the way. How did he know where she lived? pushed the thought to aside as she realised she’d been the one leading.
“Hey, , this is .” She had dialed the number in hope he wouldn’t have picked up, but he did.
“Hey , how’s it going? Didn’t think I’d hear from you so soon, I guess it’s my lucky day.” He heard her laugh at the other end of the line.
“I’m good thanks, I was just wondering when you said you were going back home?” “Did you get the letter?”
“Yes actually I did…”
“And…?” He braced himself for the response hoping it was one she was happy about.
“I got in, but I can’t get back myself see, I was hoping you might still be around?”
“Congratulations! Yep, I’m heading back tomorrow actually, do you think you’ll have all of your stuff ready for then?” ’s voice was over the moon.
“I can sure try, are you sure you don’t mind?”
“It’ll take about a day travelling by car? No of course I don’t – don’t be ridiculous. That’s if you don’t mind a few stops on the way?”
“Not at all, thank you so much, shall I see you tomorrow then?”
“Sounds like a good plan to me, call if you want any help with packing or anything.” He grinned to himself, his faith had stopped shaking.
“Thanks , really appreciate it.”
“No problems at all, see you tomorrow.” He hung up. sighed hearing the dead line. She grinned to herself, he did make her smile, and there was nothing wrong with that surely? Now realizing the sheer amount of work she had to do, gulped down some coffee and began packing boxes, she was so glad to be getting out of this hell hole.
was a good guy – thought to herself, it would be nice to spend a day with him after so long, to see what he was like. It felt strange as though she’d missed out a chunk of his life, and to catch up with it all in one day could be slightly overwhelming but none the less looked forward to it. She picked out a dress to wear along with some leggings, not too over the top, but not underdressed. Secretly hoping she wasn’t wishing too much of the day tomorrow, she checked her facebook and updated her status: ‘DUBLIN – HERE I COME!’ She grinned at herself watching people like her status, they knew how much she hated it where she was, it would be good to see some of her old friends again – it had been a while.
Her heart almost skipped a beat as her phone rang out for her. It was her friend back from Dublin, she was meaning to call her back the other day, but had had her distracted. They talked for two hours straight about how he had changed, what she should wear etc. It was perfect and set her straight in the mood for a long hot bubble bath. sighed hanging up the phone, she tossed some more stuff into a box and got ready to relax.
had had her outfit put out on the bed and laid out what she may wear with it, and then she made some final touches to her boxes making sure everything was packed away, snuggling down to a movie and bed. She was restless though and couldn’t sleep for the life of it, insomnia was closing in – counting sheep was inevitably not successful. Slowly but surely she tired her eyes by staring at the same spot constantly.
The next day came too quickly for it to be appreciated, got dressed in haste, had said he’d pick her up at nine in the morning, so she had already overslept by half an hour, not good. She applied her make up with subtlety and labeled some more boxes whilst she waited. A knock on the door, she hadn’t heard someone call the doorbell downstairs, she walked slowly to the door with enough composure to make a tree shake, and her fingers trembled at the door handle. “ !” she greeted putting on ‘one of those smiles’ –
“Hey, sorry I’m a bit late, are you alright?” He asked slipping past her inside. “Yeah thanks, oh don’t worry I overslept,” she couldn’t miss the glance he stole at her, it made her grin.
“Ah, I see what you meant about the boxes,” he said looking at them all stacked up. “Yeah, I did warn you,” she joked looking around, had begun to feel slightly subconscious. “Would you like anything to drink?” She asked softly.
“Nah I’m alright thanks, we better get going, the roads are getting jammed, and there was an accident earlier.” He told her. “Shall we start with some of these boxes?” He grinned as she made her attempt to lift one.
“Sorry, I didn’t really think about the weight when I was packing,” responded. got down to help her lift it, his hands brushed hers sending electric shocks up her arm, hiding her face behind the cardboard she grinned to herself, she couldn’t help, she was falling for him and he was there for the taking – she hoped.
“Nah can’t say you did,” he laughed carrying one down the stairs to the car; she followed with some of the lighter objects. It was nice to have him around, it made her feel safe – something she hadn’t felt for a while.
“Ladies first,” he cleared the way for her and opened the car door in her favor, she smiled at him as she sat down, this was something she could get used to. He put the key into the ignition and put the car into reverse. “I bet you’re glad to get out of this shithole then?” joked.
“Yeah I am actually but I think i’m going to miss it, I’m surprised I actually got into the college.” They continued the small talk till a few more hundred miles.
“ , do you mind if I ask you something?”
“Sure?” He said intrigued.
reluctantly sighed and began, “why’d you actually leave?” She can tell he hadn’t wished he’d been asked that as he began to fidget.
“Things got complicated, and I thought I’d be making things worse if I stayed so I moved out of Dublin and came here ish, then I went back to Dublin jus after you’d left seeing if I could fix things, but you’d gone.” explained, it hadn’t been something he’d wanted to admit to, could tell.
“You came back?”
“Yeah, I couldn’t find that girl anywhere,” he laughed thinking 3 years later he had that same girl next to him. didn’t quite know what to say, her heart smiled but she felt bad.
“Did you not know I came here?” She questioned cautiously.
shook his head taking a quick glance at her face, “no, they told me you took off, but nobody knew where…I searched for a while on facebook and other locations but you just became a mistaken identity..”
“Oh,” she didn’t know how to react. She was beginning to wonder if she’d missed her chance. They sat in silence for a few minutes. “How’s your family?” She said softly breaking the silence.
“They’re all good thanks, my brother just got into the college you did so you might see him around…” he grinned.
“So what are your plans now that you’re out and everything?”
“I don’t know, I got a place as a manager for something back home but I didn’t know if I’d be there for too long, so I don’t know quite what to do…” didn’t say anything, she just smiled reminiscent.
Three years before had sat there crying on her bed distraught in frustration. “He won’t call be back, if he really cared he’d stop clowning around.” She’d said to Sarah.
“I’m sure it’ll pass by tomorrow…” Sarah had said. The words echoed in ’s head.
“Um Sarah, I have to leave tomorrow, that’s my one train ticket out of here, my only one.”
“So you’re gunna let him go?”
“Sarah .. he left. Again. Now he’s blanking me.. what am I supposed to do? This might be the only chance I get to leave…”
“This might be the only chance you have with him. You love him don’t you?” “Yeah but he doesn’t love me..” whispered. The words hurt.
“How do you know? Did he tell you?”
“He told me once, he told me he loved me once, then he ignored me, and then he argues with me constantly, I’m pretty sure if he wanted me he wouldn’t be treating me like this Sarah. I’m gunna go okay?”
“If that’s what you think, I can’t stop you .” Sarah had said wishing she could have. went to dry her eyes. “if he comes back, what do you want me to say to him?”
“Tell him what you want, he won’t come back.” had said through gritted teeth.
“What are you thinking?” asked.
“Nothing.” said quickly almost defensive. chuckled to himself. “Do you want me to drive?” gave her a look. “Hey I’m not that bad,” she said smiling. “Tell me something I don’t know,” he winked at her, leant back in her seat slightly. “are you feeling okay?” He asked her, “like after last night?”
“Who was that guy?”
“Lee, he’s a twat.”
“Ah I see,” said laughing. “Doesn’t give you any hassle does he?”
“Every night,” she told him, “but it’s okay cause I’m not planning to go back there anytime soon.” She smiled.
“What did your letter of acceptance say then? Where are you gunna stay?”
“It said that I move in next week to the halls of residence, so there’ll be a while for me to get my head screwed back on right this time.” She grinned.
“Where are you planning on staying for the week?”
“Sarah said I could stay with her for a bit until I got on my feet again…”
“Um I forgot to mention something, your mum’s back in town.” She turned to face him.
“What do you mean back in town? Like living in the house?”
“Yeah, she’s about…”
“I see, can we just pretend you never told me she was there, and like I’ll go see her in my own time?”
“I’m not going to pressurize you, I just thought I’d tell you.” said softly.
“Thanks,” she whispered now concerned about what would happen when they got there. She never used to live in fear, but gradually since she left the fear began to build again.
“We’re like half an hour away…” said turning right.
“What? You said it’ll take a whole day?!”
“Yes and I’m also an amazingly good driver.. you can thank me later.” He smirked
“Er . you’re turning yellow.. are you feeling okay?”
“Really?” She pulled down the mirror feeling slightly nauseated. “I’ll be okay, it’s the nerves…”
“Nerves of what?”
“I think its called expectation.”
“Expectation of what?”
“Wait.. please can you just pull over, just for a sec,” she asked as the familiarity began sinking back in. pulled over next to the pub.
“What? What’s wrong?” asked worried.
“Er.. I didn’t think it’d be this hard but like it took a lot to leave and how can I come back so easily? It doesn’t make sense.” She said getting up out the car.
“Where are you going to go? you need to stop walking away! You walk away from everything…” She gave him a look.
“Yeah that’s rich coming from you .” He followed her and spun in front of her. “I know I was a bad friend, I know I just left, but I came back didn’t i?”
“ you were one of the reasons I left, and that reason just came the other day to bring me back… I’m slightly confused. I thought I’d have more time to actually get my head right..”
“Sometimes that time is better wasted elsewhere.. can you just please not go.” He said looking into her eyes.
“There’s nothing stopping me from going now.. I thought it would feel better coming back here but no.” He leant towards her and took her face in his hands and pressed his lips lightly against hers. She was surprised but didn’t pull away.
“Is that enough of a reason?” He whispered. She didn’t say anything but kissed him once more melting.
“I guess so.” She grinned.