Real life scenario meeting a bartender and making sweet love to them

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My laughter is so light and twinkly that even I almost believe it. Being a bartender: it's a weird gig for such a staunch introvert like me, I’ll admit. As a quiet, nervous type who finds my joy in solitude, no one could have predicted I’d choose to subject myself to this kind of inane interaction with loud strangers on a regular basis.

I hear the door open and sweep another body in from the rainy chill outside. By the time I spin around, the damp newcomer is pulling out a chair at the farthest end of the counter. I still can’t see a face beyond the dark bundle of hood and scarf, but the striking crimson gloves that poke out from black sleeves catch my eye before I get back on task.

Judging by the jacket, I assume my hooded guest is female. One at a time, she plucks the bright red leather gloves from her long fingers and places them neatly into her bag. She peels the grey wool scarf away from her mouth and drapes it over the back of the chair. When she finally pulls back her rain-laden hood to reveal a smart chin-length bob, I note how her hair matches the charcoal black of her down-filled coat. She mimes taking in her surroundings through her lightly fogged glasses as she unhooks the clip cinching her waist.


I get so caught up watching her that I lose count of the citrus vodka I have flowing into the shaker tin.

Peeled and settled, the pretty newcomer smoothes down the sides of her glossy hair and rubs the end of her nose with the back of her hand.

I feel the reality of her struggle. There’s nothing glamorous about being outside this time of year. Any nighttime stroll ends up being about as enjoyable as a cold, wet slap to the face, leaving you hot and wet underneath all those layers by the time you get to your destination…

Don’t let my choice of words fool you; even if you’re into that kind of thing, it’s not really a good time.

She’s breathing through her mouth, looking down her nose, struggling with the top of her zipper. After a few good tugs, she slides the zipper down to her thighs without another hitch. We lock eyes when she’s shimmying her shoulders free from the coat sleeves. I’m not sure if she can see me without her glasses until she smiles at me.

“I’ll be right with you,” I assure her, smiling back.

I jam the tumbler glass into the gaping mouth of the metal tin and shake it. Here I find my opportunity to extend a proper greeting to her; I have to head that way to get a martini glass for this Cosmo.

“Pretty nasty out there still, hey?” I bend to open the cooler where the glassware is kept cold while I wait for her to respond. Another one of the best things about this job is that I can always find something to do with my hands if I must talk to people. Otherwise… what would I do with my hands?

She scoffs. “I hate this silly in-between season,” she says. “I’m ready for proper winter now.”

Her tone is not what I had anticipated. It cuts like a seasoned chef’s sharpened blade; clean, deep, and controlled. With just a hint of harshness from an accent I can’t quite place.

I default to my practiced laughter to agree.

“Well, we’ll do what we can to help you forget about that, at least for a short while,” I add, putting a menu down in front of her. “Do you know what you want to drink, or should I give you a minute to settle in?”

“Just give me a minute, maybe,” she says. Then, with her horn-rimmed glasses back in place, I look past the lenses into her eyes, and I… get stuck there. The rings around her pupils are like buffed silver washers fastening her gaze on me.

“You bet.” My syllables are too fat on my tongue and I stare at her longer than I should, but I don’t think she has noticed. I hope she hasn’t noticed. Only when I start to pry my gaze away do I become aware of the shining silver threads interspersed through the raven black of her cropped hair.

“I think my brain needs to thaw a bit first,” she adds. And while she thaws, I melt. Her dark smile doesn’t spread too far across her face but it’s still enough to throw me. I almost drop the martini glass from my hand when I trip over my own toe hurrying away back to work. I catch it; I hope she didn’t.

I continue to sneak glances at the silver-eyed woman while I work. The woman tucks her hair behind her ear to reveal a single drop pearl earring and pushes her dark glasses up a little higher on the bridge of her slender nose with her middle finger. I hook a lime on the rim of each glass. The woman absently taps a single dark painted fingernail on the laminated page in front of her.

Every movement is as fluid as the stroke of a classically trained cellist’s bow. I wonder a moment if she’s real. Just as quickly as it arises, I shove the notion away. What a silly thing to think, indeed. Of course she’s real. She’s sitting right there.

Walking back to the bar, I steal a quick look at the grey-eyed woman as I pass by. Her dark merlot lips are pulled back from her teeth so she can bite at the end of her thumbnail without smearing her lipstick. She is scanning the menu intently enough for my lingering gaze to go unnoticed as I pass her.

I startle her when I pop back around the corner too quickly to ask her if she has decided what she wants to drink. She jumps in her seat and lays one hand flat over her chest like she’s trying to keep her heart from flying away, and we laugh together. A wholesome, natural laugh this time. Although, I still anxiously busy my hands with lighting the candle in the holder in front of her while I apologise and repeat my question.

“Can I get…” Hands planted on either side of her seat, she swivels back and forth on the bar stool, eyes still locked on the menu.

I lean both my palms into the edge of the bar and study the slope of her regal nose. She pushes her glasses up to the bridge again with the same middle finger. I wait with genuine patience for her to reach a verdict.

“Oh, fuck, I don’t know.” Defeated, she throws her hands up in the air

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Written by snow_mistress
Uploaded October 24, 2020
Notes An introverted bartender meets a mysteriously intriguing woman and feels compelled to make a move...
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