That One Night

“You’d better go home.”
“No. I don’t want to.”
“Really, you should.”
“No!”

She turned around to take her jacket, confused at why everyone was trying so hard to make her go home. The bartender removed more glasses from the table behind her, the one she was sitting at just a while ago. This wasn’t the first time he had to do that. She and her friends had been sitting here a long time already. Being in a bar for a long time quite explains the situation.

When we first met her, she seemed all too innocent. Tall, blonde, first year at university. Didn’t drink that much. Didn’t go out that late. That all changed during the following months. But she was always the sober one, the smart one, making sure she was in class everyday again. You couldn’t say that about us. This time though, I wondered if she would make it. It was five o’clock in the morning and according to what she said, she had class at nine. And she wasn’t planning on going home. She made that clear.

I know what she would do instead. My friend stood at the door waiting.

This time she was so different from what she usually was. I remembered that one time I brought her home. I was driving her bike and she sat at the back. “Please don’t fall. Are you sure you’ve not drank too much?” We made it home safely. I even had the guts to invite myself in. I don’t know if she even hesitated. She let me in. But as easily as she decided to let me in, she made me go again.
At that point her reputation was already made: she wasn’t easy. Even my friend never got what he wanted. Not with this one. Perhaps she was too stubborn. Perhaps she realized my friend would only use her. Maybe that’s why my friend kept trying and why I couldn’t help but being a bit jealous.

What about now though? She put on her jacket, made sure everything was still in her bag and convinced a friend of hers that she would be okay. I wasn’t all too sure – she’d better go home. But my friend opened the door and they went out. We followed and I could hear her talk to her friend.

“I’ll make it home, don’t worry. I know I’m repeating myself, but everything will be okay. Don’t worry.”

My friend was still waiting there, talking to someone else now. I asked him what he would be doing.

“We’re going home.”

He wasn’t really treating her well, but I think she knew – there must have been a reason she was stubborn. They both seemed to circle around each other without ever getting closer to a relationship, nor to a sort of breakup. I knew he didn’t want a relationship, I knew he was mostly trying to use her. But I didn’t understand what she wanted. She did realize he was a jerk, right? Then why would she give in now?

Everyone started to leave. She and my friend were left. I wish she knew that I would be better for her. She smiled at my friend, not completely aware of what she was doing. Or at least, not caring anymore. This was bad and I knew it, but I couldn’t stop it. It was too late to get her out of his grip now. They were hugging again.

“Shall we go?”

She threw one more look in my direction. That innocent blonde girl, seemingly unaware of what she was doing, of what she was getting herself in to. That nice blonde girl I would like to come with me instead of him.

I turned my back and walked away.

 

This is a dramatised version of that night. My reputation of not being easy only got stronger. I made it into class at nine. I promised myself that this would never happen again, and it never did.

I wrote this for the Weekly Writing Challenge, after reading both this and this post. They did a way better job, but still I decided to publish this. Just because.

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39 Comments

  1. My admiration for you only goes up after reading this, NBI – for the quality of the storytelling, for the content, and for the note at the end, and for what they all say about your character.

    (I myself showed up for a lot of 9am classes after late nights.)
    (But I slept through most of them.)

    Reply
    • Thank you Guapo… I felt like the note was important in order to make clear I’m not the kind of girl that sleeps around… And I must admit writing didn’t come easy in that class, but I was proud I showed up in the first place! Hopefully the teacher just remembers you were there, right?

      Reply
      • My college career was memorable for entirely different reasons. ;)

        (And no matter who you do or don’t sleep with, whether or not you’re comfortable with it is the only thing that matters.)

      • Ah pray tell Guapo! What made your college career so memorable? (Or don’t you remember? ;) )

      • I was known as
        – the guy who slept on tables in the cafeteria
        – the guy who always was on his way to the bar
        – the guy who wore boat shoes with no socks year round
        – the guy who gave the bar phone number out as his because that was the only place you’d be able to find him

        Not necessarily my best years, but definitely amongteh more entertaining

      • You were th├át guy! ;)
        I wonder where you found all the money to be in a bar all the time. And though it’s obviously not good and healthy and stuff, I must say I find it quite funny you gave the bar phone number away… Must have been one hell of a bar!

      • It was a great bar! My first neighborhood bar, and it set the standard for how I judge bars now.

        Didn’t have a lot of money (or any, really), but my friends were teh bartenders there. There were many nights I’d put money on the bar and say “I can buy 2 beers and leave a cheap tip, or you can let me drink, and I’ll help you do the closing chores.”
        Turns out, being a bar-back is hard when you’re really drunk.

        Sometimes, I really miss that place.

      • Well, it must have been, seeing that you spent all your time there! And it’s nice your friends worked there. At least, it must have been fun – regardless of the hangovers…

        If it’s still open you can go back! But it probably won’t be the same anymore…

      • My naked bar posts all took place at that bar, the snow angels after it had changed owners (sold to two regulars).
        Last time I was there, years ago, it was still a college bar. They were having a good time, but I’d moved on, and the crowd was still the same.

      • Hahaha, I remember the snow angels, yes :D.
        Yeah, I believe once you’re done with college, the college students must be kind of annoying… Somehow.

        But maybe you can find a bar that fits perfectly now! I hope so for you. Everyone deserves a good bar.

      • Amen! I had one, but sadly, I moved on from that too once I completely changed careers.

        Maybe it’s time to find another…

      • It sure is – good luck!
        (The upside about Belgium is that there are almost as many bars as there are people. Especially where my university is. We have the ‘longest bar in the world’.)

      • *books flight to Belgium*

  2. Yay! I’m so glad you you decided to publish–just because. I love how you tied up the end with your note; otherwise I wouldn’t have been sure if was you or fiction. Sometimes it doesn’t matter, but in this case it was nice to know the story had a happy ending. That feeling of being out-of-control while drinking can be very scary, and some people choose to not drink just to not risk putting themselves in a situation like that–and I admire that self-awareness so much.

    And, I don’t know that mine was way better. Totally different vibe and perspective; what we call in the States, comparing apples to oranges. I thought your approach worked very well in your scenario; I enjoyed reading! I hope to do more of these in the future, it’ll be fun to encourage each other along the way.

    Reply
    • As you say, with that note I tried to make clear that it wasn’t fiction – though of course I don’t really know what the person I pretend to be here was really thinking – I did my best to give a good impression of the possible truth :).

      Luckily I seem to keep my common sense even when drinking, but still I try to avoid drinking too much. It makes you end up in situations like the one I described… And I don’t want that anymore.

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! Up here we compare apples to pears :D. (It’s funny how similar that is, but how we change one fruit…)
      I hope to do more as well!

      Reply
  3. You, as always did an amazing job, both that night and today. :-)

    Reply
  4. RO

     /  January 29, 2014

    I love it! Very interesting.. Good job :-)

    Reply
  5. Wow, great post NBI. I am glad you were able to learn and move on, successfully, from that night.

    Also, thank you for the mention of my post. I don’t think mine is better, just different, which is the whole point of a point of view challenge.

    Reply
    • Thank you! I’m glad as well :).
      While reading your post I felt that I wanted to write again – so I figured it would be good to link back as you triggered me. Thanks for writing such a post that made me want to write :).

      Reply
  6. My dear NBI, not only are you tall, blonde, and sophisticated, but also stubborn, strong, and right-minded as well!

    Good piece and I’m glad you had the courage to get it published somewhere. I found that once I had broken down that initial barrier of doing it the first time, it was easier the subsequent times after that.

    Reply
    • That’s many adjectives, all of which I like! :)

      I don’t often like to write about what exactly happens to me, but this time, perhaps because it was another perspective, I decided to just go with it. Since all the comments are so nice, I’ll probably be doing this more often.

      By the way, I finally found some time to continue Saying Goodbye to Warsaw, and I’m totally enjoying it! I feel like something’s going to happen now and I can’t wait to find out what that is.

      Reply
      • Yeah, keep on with the writing.

        And your comment about Warsaw got my heart beating a little faster – how far into it are you?

      • Chapter 5, Abigail’s birthday. Which is still not very far.. But in my defense, I had to read nine books this semester.
        Soon from now my holiday starts and then I hope to get a lot further!

  7. Slick prose! Really sharp and direct narrative. Gripping.

    Reply
  8. Great job!! :) I enjoyed reading it.

    Reply
  9. Wow– didn’t know this was part of that prompt until the end. This is a very interesting take and I feel like it definitely showed a part of you that isn’t normally in your writing.

    Reply
    • I mostly don’t like giving away things like I did here, but that was a part of the challenge and I like the fact that I did it! It was good to have this prompt in order to write this kind of thing :).

      Reply
  10. That’s my girl, show ‘em who’s boss! That’s a great story – not sure what is the percentage of truth in it. All or nothing, the tall blonde girl is awesome.

    Reply
    • The facts are pretty truth, but of coruse I can’t be sure of what the person I reptend to be here really thought – though I did my best to give the best impression of what I think that was…
      Thank you Edita :D.

      Reply
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