The Paperback Edition…
“Older, white-haired man makes fool of himself trying to flirt with young girls. SO SAD…” He could be their father”
“Our oh so handsome bouncer gently removes slightly out-of-control female drinker quietly and efficiently. Five star to whatever his name is…”
“You aren’t talking about you or Hannah here…right?” asks a worried Abby…her coffee cup pausing halfway to her mouth.
I gave her a withering glance as I looked up from my notebook.
“Hey don’t get so huffy…I just thought I’d ask,” Abby said with a little smile.
“Hannah can get a little too ‘joyous’…as we all know. Please continue.”
“Two phony looking but very cute, guys about 21-25 enter the bar near closing, looking for a couple of mostly drunk young ladies they could quickly impress for a little action after last call. They look over at me and Hannah and we both roll our eyes. They move on and continue looking.”
“Bobby looks at me while he is singing a love song and then he winks at me when he’s done. I wish he would ask me out!.”
I hear a low groan from Abby. She is not at all fond of Bobby, lead singer in Doyle’s house band., The Continentals.
“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 from across the room. Trouble somewhere and he leaves.”
“He’s married, you know…Hannah and I both agree.” says Abby very pointedly. “He is absolutely married and you are being a total fool…just saying…”
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 explain the ‘almost’ part…when Abby started talking.
“I have two very important things to say,” said Abby.
“One. Doesn’t Bobby already have a girlfriend or maybe three? And…I agree completely with Hannah…who can spot a married man a mile away…Jake is married.”
“Well…” I argued, “Bobby is the lead singer of the band and also extremely good looking…and that means he has lots of girls…you know…like groupies…always hanging around the stage…and him”
“But…I think he really likes me. He always goes out of his way to say ‘Hi’ when Hannah and I come to Doyle’s for their Wednesday lunch buffet. Sometimes he even stops practice to come over to talk to us…you can ask Hannah!”
I knew I was sounding pretty lame…and pretty thirteen-oldish…but still…
Abby scoffed…and continued talking.
“And…and the second thing…Jake Marlowe …”
“Stop.” I ordered, holding up my hand to silence her.
“I know both of 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…who countered…as I knew she would. She was Abby Jones, after all.
“And yet…you haven’t gone with him ‘down to the lakes’. Why?” Abby questioned, tilting her head to the side. She looked just like Stella.
“I’m not sure, ” I mumbled. “But I think I will…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. Plus Jake is kind of like Bobby’s boss…so there’s that.”
“But when 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…as I was saying before you interrupted me…just before we left Doyle’s last night, it got a little complicated.”