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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 18 page 05

fiction

bar district

A Night Out

by Jonathan R. Rose

Scanning the room, disappointed to see a man seated across from every woman inside, Jeremy sighed. He walked over to the bar.

He sat on a stool, ordered a drink, and turned back around, hoping to spot a woman not yet claimed by another man, but to no avail. When the drink arrived, Jeremy paid, tipped generously, grabbed the glass, sniffed the contents, and took a sip. Warming his stomach, the alcohol calmed his disappointment.

With his drink half empty, debating if he wanted to order another one, wondering if there was even a point, he rested the glass on the bar counter and stared at it, until his peripheral vision was disturbed by an attractive woman who sat on the stool next to him.

As she was comfortably positioning herself on the stool, Jeremy looked around, expecting a man to follow and sit beside her, but when no such man arrived, he realized she had come alone.

The woman ordered a drink the bartender dutifully made and gave her. She paid, closed her eyes, took a sip, opened her eyes, turned toward Jeremy, and said hello.

Jeremy turned toward the woman, who was looking right at him, smiling.

“Hello,” he replied.

“My name is Michelle.”

“I'm Jeremy.”

After taking another sip, and putting her drink back down on the bar counter, she said, “I haven't been here for a long time.”

“This is the first time I've ever been here,” Jeremy said. “Some friends of mine said it was a nice place.”

Michelle nodded.

“So why the long delay between the last time you came here and now?” he said.

“I was counting.”

“Counting?”

“Yes.”

“For work?”

“No.”

“Then why?”

“Pleasure,” she replied.

<CONT...>