~Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Flip

The next week Abraham walked in the bar and found me standing by a high-top table. I beamed and extended my arm toward him.

We had spent the entire day texting right up to his game. We had a flash of cold air in the South, relegating everyone to jackets a few weeks early. I had reminded him to dress warmly and to know that no matter what he was wearing, I'd be warmer because I was indoors.

He trudged to the table in layers of t-shirts and sweatshirts. All the players in the bar had shed their layers save for knit hats covering their messy hair. My jacket was neatly hung on the back of someone's chair somewhere and I was dressed in a button-down blouse rolled up at the sleeves.

"My team isn't here tonight," he prefaced. "Ugh, I'm hot already," he said as he began pulling at his collar.

"My car is right out front; I got great parking tonight. Why don't you take off some of those layers and put them in my car?" I handed him my keys.

Abraham disappeared for few minutes and returned feeling much better. His team didn't come out that night because they had played horribly, which meant he was there solely to see me. Instead of standing with my friends, we grabbed two bar stools at the bar and spun them to face the crowd. We were doing it: spending the entire night together.

Abraham watched the World Series as people entered the bar and high-fived me and talked. I felt like I was holding court, staying stationary as people approached me. One of the pilots gave my ass a hard slap as he passed me; I looked to Abraham and smiled and shrugged.

But as the night wore on, I felt the social itch. I couldn't do it. I couldn't stay still. I couldn't sit in the bar stool next to Abraham and mock the band while there were tables of my friends laughing. He isn't the only reason I go out on this night; it's also my weekly meet up with everybody. I missed them and they were in the same room as me.

"Do you want to go over there and hang with Lawyered?" I pointed to the corner of the bar.

"I can't. He's the one that beat us. I can't face him tonight."

"Well I'm going to go say hi. I'll be right back."

I left Abraham alone at the bar and took a seat with Lawyered. Then Lawyered opened his mouth and said the foulest thing I've ever heard regarding how much he beat Abraham. He was right in not coming over.

I wanted to stay with my friends at the booth, but I felt guilty leaving Abraham alone. I think he was content watching the game, but no one should be alone at a bar. I quickly returned to him and our bar stools.

Then people started disappearing to the back of the bar and cheering loudly. I looked forlornly at the back room. The drinking games had started. I whimpered.

"You want to go play, don't you?" Abraham asked me.

"They're playing without me," I whined like an impatient puppy.

"Go play. I'll be over in a bit," he said gesturing to the game on the TV above us.

I joined Lawyered and friends at the drinking games table. But without Abraham by my side, Lawyered took advantage of the opportunity. He bullied me and filled my cup way past the minimum line. He filled up my cup for each round of games, which meant that within 20 minutes, my belly was full of beer. I felt absolutely frothy inside. I staggered back to Abraham.

"Back already?"

"Lawyered took advantage of me without you there." I moaned as I ordered a glass of water. I have played flip cup with Abraham for four months. He's always been the one to pour my drink. It was the very first time I played without him. I told him as much.

I sipped on my water and studied Abraham. He had bags under his eyes. He looked miserable. I know he was downtrodden from his team's loss, but several people approached me and said he played well despite his team. He sat quietly and watched his baseball game. I think these nights were more for me than for him. It's not the first time he's come out alone or accompanied by one team member just to see me. I'm the one that can't sit still.

I grabbed his watch. It was 11:15. We'd been out for about two hours.

"You want to go?" I asked him.

"Yeah."

In the car I spoke again that it was the first time we didn't play our games together. We walked in his flat. He crossed into his kitchen and grabbed two plastic cups out of their sleeves and produced two beer cans from the refrigerator. He poured them in the cups.

"So you can say we still played together," he explained.

I followed him to his kitchen table and smiled.

11 comments:

SaraJk said...

It keeps getting better...keeper????

Red Stethoscope said...

I heart Abraham for that ending. Cheers!

The Singleship said...

Well that was just a super-adorable ending to the story!

bonda84 said...

It's those little moments that are worth everything

Gretta James said...

Awwwwwwwww you're making me go goeey!!! Still the religion thing?

Angela said...

Love it. :)

Anonymous said...

I still hope that you guys go on a date or do something outside of the bar and/or your apartment together.

j said...

I like him.

Anonymous said...

good stuff!

-dont

Eleni Zoe said...

That was the perfect ending. While I had my reservation, I'm warming up to him and you together! Yay!

Bathwater said...

Thoughtful of him, he didn't let his mood sour the evening.

 

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