You're A Fine Girl
Story by: B.C. Kingston
Artwork by: B.C. Kingston
It was finally Friday, thank the forces of creation! I would once again charge forth bravely into the night searching for love or at least a good time.; to embark with the boldest intentions and the most optimistic outlook. I wouldn't be so shy this time and I'd get out and meet people and have fun. I'd find love, or at least a lover right? Sure... Well at least I’d have a few beers and watch other more confident guys do just that.
My plan was the same flawless failure I’ve always employed: hanging out at the local dive bar! Okay, well "dive" was kind of up for debate. It LOOKED like a country bar on the outside (and the inside did too, kind of), but it was really more of a rockabilly, blues, jazz, hard rock, and very occasional hip hop kind of joint. It was small: one pool table, one Golden Tee game, and a medium sized dance floor. The bar was pretty long though and there was plenty of seating. Anyway, it got pretty busy on Friday nights and pretty fun sometimes too. I guess that was why I kept going back. I knew if I was there often enough, something cool would happen.
I liked to show up early, around 8:30 I guess. Many of the regulars were there early and you could cruise around and exchange greetings before the out-of-towners and once-in-a-whilers showed up and packed the place. Some people might think it was weird that I would go there alone, but I wasn’t alone if I knew 10-15 people in the bar (which I usually did). I wasn’t like a “Hey NORM!” kind of guy, but I did get “hey,” and “yo” (which came with the obligatory 3-part handshake/finger-clasp/fist-punch ‘homey’ greeting), so that was cool...
I strolled in at my usual time, scanned the bar, and there she was. Whoah. There were times when for whatever inexplicable reason, stunningly beautiful women would bless the bar with their presence. She was a fine example. I could immediately sense the tension around her. At this point, the clientele in the bar was comprised of people in a relationship or hapless dorks like me. For now, her beauty helped radiate an aura of intimidation that kept everyone at a safe distance.
She looked to be about twenty-five. Her skin was porcelain which contrasted the dark waves of raven hair falling down to the middle of her back. She sat neatly cross-legged on the barstool wearing a silky brown number that was low cut in the front, even lower cut in the back, and only went down just a little ways past her hips. She wore sparkling high heels with straps that wrapped halfway up her well-toned calves. She had several large metal bracelets on each arm and her ears were adorned ornate feathered earrings. Freckles covered the tops of her arms, back, and presumably chest and face (I couldn’t see that yet). I drank in the sight of her in the spare second I had while I was casually scanning the room. The next second, my eyes fell on her friend.
Ah yes, the ultimate armor: the heavier-set, shorter, but still kind-of-cute best friend. Now I’m no ladies man, but I know the setup. I’ve seen it plenty of times in this place. It was like watching National Geographic. The antelope must band together to fend off attacks from the pouncing solitary tigers. Now I immediately knew that gorgeous woman was way out of my league, but I relished the opportunity to watch her as well as the drama that was likely to unfold around her.
I bellied up to the bar down the way from her so I could see her face. Yep, she had freckles. She was very pretty though - big eyes. They looked green to me; maybe hazel. Then she smiled at her friend. Wow, nice white teeth - very pretty smile. The edges of her lips formed a cute little crease that betrayed the slightest aging of her skin. She then turned her head my way. Her eyes settled on mine for just a second, and her smile lingered for just a second, before moving on. She saw me. She thought I was worth a look. She did right? Okay, I wasn’t really sure.
I mean, who was I kidding? Here I was, a thirty-four year old guy of average height. I still had my dusty blonde straw-like hair, wild as always. I’ve drunk plenty of beer in my time and had a bit of a gut to show for it. It wasn’t too bad though. I hid it well by wearing hemmed button-up shirts and a decent pair of slacks. I dusted myself in Obsession (for men), and I’m sure that helped too. While I’ve always thought my face was kind of doofy looking I’ve had girls tell me I was cute in a Simon Pegg kind of way.
It didn’t matter though; I wasn’t going to try to talk to her. Not now anyway. Maybe, after I’ve slurped a couple more pints of liquid courage. Maybe, if I could get her attention again. Maybe… But for the time being, I just ordered a beer and made the rounds saying “hi” to my friends and acquaintances.
I ended up sitting with Linda and Gary, an older married couple. They were pretty cool. I just chilled with my beer, listened to the music (which was of the slower tempo, not-ready-to-light-the-dance floor variety), and occasionally stole glances at the pale beauty sitting at the bar across from me, back turned. I hadn’t even finished my first beer when her friend suddenly got up, calmly grabbed her purse, and left the bar. I was a little surprised. Surely she was just going to the car to grab something, right? She’d be right back.
I downed the rest of my beer and headed back up to the bar. Maybe I could make eye contact again. Maybe I’d even figure out if her friend was coming back. I stood at the end of the bar and casually stared in her direction, watching her out of the corner of my eye. She seemed very composed, but a little nervous too. The expression on her face was very… business-like. Wow, I maybe she WAS alone. Just then she glanced up and caught my eye again. She lingered this time, for a half second, maybe even a whole second. It was just long enough for me to start getting scared wondering who would break contact first. Her lip starts to curl. She was going to smile at me! And then HE slid in and cut off her view from me.
Cock block! Well, I didn’t have any claim, but still… she was going to smile at me! Grrr... Instead she turned her head up and fired off the half-cocked smile at him. Great. I didn’t even see him come in. I took a quick look around and realized that the bar was starting to fill up. He must’ve been a recent arrival. What a classic douche: over 6 foot tall, pink shirt with a popped collar, and a white baseball cap cocked to the side in that schmucky I’m-too-cool-to-wear-clothes-normally fashion. He propped himself up on the bar, scooted right into her personal space, leaned in, and started talking into her ear. I hated him already.
I tried to watch her reaction to him. She seemed mildly (or was it politely?) interested in him. He bought her a drink. It looked like a cranberry and vodka. She daintily sipped it through the two coffee straws parked in the ice. Alas… another fine specimen lost to douchebaggery. I ordered another beer and headed back to my table. By this time, the lights had been turned a little lower, the disco ball was lit up, and the dance music began cranking through the speakers. I really did think that Kanye West Gold Digger song was pretty cool – the first twenty times I heard it.
Linda and Gary got up a couple times to dance. It was always hilarious to see an older couple shaking it to hip hop and modern pop songs. Meanwhile, I kept tracking back to my prized eye-candy for the evening. She was still sitting at the bar. Her friend never came back. The douche was still hanging around too. Clearly, he was trying to monopolize her attention. She seemed polite, but I couldn’t really tell if she was enjoying herself or not. It looked like she was still nursing the first drink he bought her.
As was usually the case, the more beer I drank, the faster I drank it. Needing another refill, I sauntered up to the bar. This time I boldly decided to park myself right next to her. As I looked around, I realized that the bar was getting pretty full. The bartender was literally running back and forth behind the bar to fill orders. Okay, it was more like a half-assed jog, but you get my point. Her back was still turned to me because the douche was demanding her attention, carrying on about something – probably the size of the stereo in his rice burner. So I just patiently waited for my turn to order, trying to look cool.
The bartender caught my eye and I raised my empty glass to indicate I wanted another beer. He starts walking over towards the tap when the douche flags him down with some other order. Damn! I got bartender-blocked too! Before I could mope to myself, I realized my luck had just turned. With the frat-boy’s attention set on the bartender, the pale beauty I’d been admiring all night finally turned around and noticed me standing there. Those big bright green eyes sized me up and in a heartbeat she fired off that smile again. She’d been saving it!
“Hi,” she said sweetly.
“Um, hi,” I responded in my best oh-yeah-I’m-cool manner. With her eyes on me, I looked over her shoulder at Pepto-Biff-Tannen and did my best impression of him trying to lean-swagger so hard against the bar while pantomiming the turn of an imaginary cap on my head.. She let out a little giggle and I smiled back, genuinely this time. Taking it further, I hammed it up pretending to flip up a non-existent collar while giving her the wankster “what’s up” shrug of my head. She got her hand up to her face just in time to snort as sudden convulsions of silent laughter bounced her body up and down.
She locked eyes with me and then turned her head to take a knowing stare at Yacht-club-dropout who was still oblivious to our impromptu mockery. Her eyes flashed and that smile came firing out again. It was clear a mischievous thought had come to her mind. She pulled the straws out of her drink, gulped the rest of it, and set the glass down on the counter.
“Do you want to dance?” she asked me, looking me straight in the eye almost as if it were a command instead of an entreaty.
I was shocked. Really? She wanted to dance with me? What I really couldn’t believe was that the next thought to enter my mind was, ‘but I haven’t gotten my beer yet.’ Like waiting even another second for Preppy-Billy-Zabka to turn back around was advisable. Fortunately, I come to my senses quickly.
“Sure,” I replied with an air of faux nonchalance, setting my empty mug down.
I took her hand and lead her out onto the dance floor. Lost Without U by Robin Thicke was playing. Perfect. As we get onto the dance floor, I realized how tall she was. I’m 5’10, and with those heels, she was just a bit taller than me. She smiled and wrapped her arms around my neck, content to dance close to me. I put my hands on the small of her back and leaned in to smell her hair. Mmm… very floral, perhaps a hint of vanilla. I breathed it in deeply, feeling it stir jittery butterflies in my core. One of her hands slid down my back as she stepped in a bit closer. A trail of goose bumps burrowed its way down my arm.
After about a minute of this pure bliss, she leaned back a bit and smiled, "Sorry about dragging you out here like that. I really needed to get away from that guy."
Yeah, it was a REAL inconvenience to have to dance closely with such an attractive woman. "Sure, no problem," I replied casually.
Reminded of the alpha-jock-archetype, I glanced back over at the bar to see him leaning back watching us, clearly fuming. “Yeah, your man-friend back there doesn’t look too happy.”
She tilted her head back a bit and rolled her eyes, “Ughh,” before stepping back in to dance close again.
We dance for a few moments more. As I watch her expressions, it was clear was scheming about something. Then, as if an epiphany struck, her eyes lit up and she smiled that big, deadly smile at me, “Hey, can I ask you a favor?”
Anything. ANYTHING! I’ll do anything for you.
“What?” I ask.
“Would you be my boyfriend?”