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One shot. Grimace. Glass of Orange Juice.

My stomach complains a little, but I quiet it with a little more juice, and laugh for no reason. Sue sits across from me, sweet as ever, quiet as sometimes.
A conversation. A pause. A realization that the others are next door and the two of us are, for the moment, drinking alone. A moment of loneliness. I feel comfortable, accepted. There’s no need to create something fun for us to do, we are both content. Marilyn Manson is screaming in the background, reminding me of days when I was not so sure of myself. For some reason I miss those days. I had years left before I was leaving the town. I was a teen, lots of time to screw up, lots of time to fall in love.

One shot. Grimace. Glass of Orange Juice.

I spend this moment thinking about girls, and I also realize this is cliche. Labels on bottles grow blurry as I remember being nice to girls, caring about girls, talking and being sweet, and being hurt. I promise myself I won’t ever let myself be hurt again.
The door opens.
In crawl the players of tonight’s act. All the world’s a stage, and we are merely feeling the effects of the alcohol. As I sit blinking, holding my stomach and analyzing my friendship, the table is filled. Pizza is consumed. I come to find myself in conversation with a cute female named....

One shot. Grimace. Glass of Orange Juice.

Her boyfriend is a piece of shit. We have the traditional back and forth, in which she complains about men, and I apologize for their actions. Somewhere in the middle of this she gains access to a window in my wall, and sees into me. As my vision blurs she begins to write her phone number on the pizza box.

Black. I’m at the toilet, calling for someone to bring me juice as my stomach turns inside out.

Black. I’m playing guitar for a small crowd and singing, aware she is watching me with sparkling eyes.

Black. Sue is telling me that this girl really likes me. Sue’s excited for me. Fear; Indecision; Reluctance; Skepticism. I’ve played this game before.

Black. I’m on the couch, watching a movie, and this girl is next to me. Sometime in the last hour her boyfriend and her had a fight and broke up. Her head is on mine. Our feet are touching. Her arms and my arms are a mass of limbs entangled together like the pictures on the news showing the victims of some freak train accident. How appropriate an image, considering I feel headed for a high-speed collision. I catch a glimpse of the cutest bellybutton I have ever seen as she turns her mouth toward me and for a moment I feel happy like I haven’t felt in a long time. She smiles at me, obviously so happy that she’s found me. It’s been a while since someone has looked at me like that, and it’s an intense moment. This is what I was looking for so many times.

Black. We are standing at the door. She is kissing me, reluctant to leave me. The sadness in her eyes at the thought of going home melts me. I kiss her once more, in my head finalizing my speech that I will use to dump her the next day.

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