Chapter 24

“Well.  Let the adventure begin.” said Abby as she bit into her eclair.

“Older, white-haired man tries to sweet-talk two young women who were not dancing but just listening to the band.  SO SAD.  He could be their father!”

“Our very handsome, African-American bouncer gently removes aggressive female drinker quietly and confidently.”

“You aren’t talking about you or Hanah here, right?” asks a worried Abby with her cup halfway to her mouth.

I gave her a withering look and continued reading.

“Just thought I’d ask,” said Abby with a little smile.

“Two fake-blonde, very cute, very preppy guys — 22-25 enter the bar looking for a couple of mostly drunk young ladies they could quickly impress for a little action after the bar closes.  They look at me and Hanah and we both roll our eyes.”

“Bobby looks at me while he is singing a slow love song and then he winks.  I want that guy.”

I hear a low groan from Abby.  She is not fond of Bobby.

“Jake comes over and sits down.  He takes my hand in  his and is just about to ask me something when we hear a loud crash.  Trouble somewhere and he leaves.”

“He’s married, you know.  Both Hanah and I agree.” says Abby very pointedly.

I ignore her comment completely.

“And that is almost it.” I pause and close the notebook and take a bite of my roll and glance out at our snow-covered back yard.  It was January in Minnesota and this year we have three or four feet of snow in the backyard.  I was just about to continue when Abby started talking.

“I have two things to say,” said Abby.

“One.  Doesn’t Bobby have a girlfriend or four?  And, two I agree with Hanah.  Jake is married.”

“Well,” I argued, “Bobby is the lead singer of a band and that means he has lots of girls but I think I could become that special one.”  Even I knew that sounded kind of lame.  But still…

A scoff escaped from Abby.  “Charlie…”  Abby began.

“Stop.”  I ordered.  I know you guys have my best interests at heart, blah, blah, blah. But just because Jake hasn’t really asked me out on a proper date and just wants to go for a drive down to the Lakes after closing means nothing.  I think it would be romantic.  He doesn’t get a lot of free time and I have a job too.  We could really get to know each other.”

I took another bite of my roll and looked defiantly at Abby.

“And, yet…you haven’t gone with him.  Why?”  Abby questioned, tilting her head to the side.  She looked like Stella.

“I’m not sure, ” I mumbled.  “But I think I might soon.  I’m really holding out for Bobby.  I know if I go out with Jake, Bobby will never ask me out.  I don’t think they like each other much.

“But if Bobby asks me out, I’m telling him my real name and where I work.”

I paused and looked out the back window.  A bright red cardinal had landed on the porch railing and was trying to pick up a piece of bread one of the squirrels had dropped.  I turned back to look at Abby who had stood up to go to the refrigerator.

“Anyway, before you interrupted me, just before we left, the night got complicated.” I said softly and slowly.