You wonder how you became what you’ve become. I do, anyway. I’d like to think it was a series of small decisions I’ve made along the way, otherwise inconsequential events, mixed with luck, good or bad, that brought me here. But in this case, I can pinpoint the exact day, and the exact event, that changed me. What I’ve become is hard to describe. When it happened--that part’s easy.
It was a small, and not particularly popular, club but there were plenty of people when the three of us walked in. Mike and Art snaked through the crowd to the only two empty seats at the bar which meant I had to stand, at least until one of them went to the men’s room.
“First round’s on you, dude.” Mike signaled the bartender to come over.
“Why do I have to pay?” I knew the answer but felt like complaining anyway.
“You know the rule, Evan,” Art jumped in. “Last Man Standing, right? I’ll have a Seven and Seven. Mike?”
“Sounds good to me.”
“Fuck that. If I’m paying, I’m saying.” The bartender tossed three coasters on the bar. “Three beers, please.” He looked at Mike and Art and they nodded.
“What kind? We got seven taps and about a dozen bottles.”
“What the hell.” Mike patted my shoulder. “My friend here's paying. Surprise us.”
“A bunch of thrill seekers, huh?” He chuckled and shook his head. “Three surprises coming up.”
Art ordered the second round. He and Mike decided we should try as many of the draughts as possible. We were pretty much all half done with our third drink when Mike announced he had to take a leak.
“I’ll go with you.” Art stood.
“You wanna hold my dick?”
“Fuck you, asshole. Besides, I’m used to something bigger. Dude, don’t let anyone jack our seats.”
A few minutes after they left, the bartender put a fresh glass in front of me. “Compliments of the lady.” He nodded over my shoulder. When I looked around, she was standing behind the empty seat.
“Mind if I sit here?” She had black eyes framed by a pale complexion and a pile of black curls, a few strands of which fell onto her cheek. Her lips were a deep red. Her black and white dress covered an athletic body. “These shoes look great but they’re surprisingly uncomfortable.” She put a hand on my shoulder. Her nails matched her lips.
“Veronica.” She held out a hand after settling in.
“Evan.” I put mine out and she held it for a second. A definite chill ran up my arm.
“Evan. That’s a nice name.” She picked up my glass and took a drink but instead of putting it down, handed it to me. “Know what it means?”
“No. Do you?” I took a sip and put it down.
“I remember someone telling me it means ‘right handed’ but maybe we can look that up some time.” She put her fingers around the base of the glass and spun it slowly.
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