Addison is finally going out after 6 years. Will she accept this new guy in her life?
| Addison sat on a barstool in the restaurant, mindlessly stirring the tiny black straw in her empty glass as she looked out of a dark window. It had been six years since she had been out and now all she could do was think of the last time she was out in public, when she was badly wounded by her ex-boyfriend. A small numbing pain hit her left side and she grabbed it in discomfort.
“Are you all right, honey?” asked the bartender as she polished glasses from behind the counter. She was a stoutly black lady with a cute bob.
The young woman shook her head as the bartender’s voice reached her ears before she looked at her with soft hazel eyes. “O-oh,” Addison responded with a soft voice among the crowd of regulars that lined up the rest of the bar. “Y-yes, I’m fine.”
“You’ve been dazing out since you got here; it’s like you’re in a whole other world and my guests don’t usually do that unless they’re beyond wasted.”
Addison gave a small laugh before she shook her head. “A lot’s on my mind, that’s all.”
“Well, are you going to order another drink? That glass has been sitting there empty for almost forty minutes.”
She looked down at her empty glass. Indeed, it was empty; even the ice had melted completely. Wow, she thought. Have I been out of it that long? “I guess a whole lot is on my mind.”
“Well when you finish having that whole lot on your mind, let me know and I can make you another Cosmo.”
Addison looked again at her glass, and as she began to make the decision to check out, a man behind her said, “Here, allow me to pay for you and, at the very least, buy you another drink.” She looked up quickly behind her to see the man smiling warmly at her. He sported a light blue polo shirt tucked into medium blue denim jeans. His neatly trimmed black hair sat just above his eyebrows and soft brown eyes.
For a moment Addison could not speak; it had been some time since she talked with anyone other than her coworkers and it scared her for that moment. “O-oh, I-I…” she stammered while brushing back her shoulder-length light red hair from her face and tucked it gently behind her right ear. “I-it’s quite all right; I could pay for my drink.”
“It’s my treat. I don’t ever remember seeing you before.”
Addison hesitated. “W-well, it’s my first time out in a while; I was just looking for someplace peaceful.”
The man could not help but laugh. “Peaceful? I wouldn’t exactly call a bar peaceful.” He sat beside her, though she stiffened up a little. Noticing, he moved his chair a bit away from her. “Sorry, I don’t mean to be bothersome, I just—”
“Okay, Connor,” the bartender cut in. “Leave the lady alone.”
“All right, Char, just put her drinks on my tab and get her another drink on me, if you please.”
The stout black lady gave him a rather stern look. “You aren’t going to give this up, are you?” After rolling her eyes she looked back at Addison. “Would you like another Cosmo like before, honey?”
Addison looked at the man, Connor, seeing another warm smile on his face before turning to Char. “Sure, I’ll have that.”
“No problem; I’ll make it in a jiffy.” The girl looked at Connor. “And do you want anything, Connor?”
“Just a Long Island, please,” Connor replied.
As the bartender made the drinks, Addison looked at the man. “Do you pay for all of the new ladies’ drinks?”
“Only the ones who look like they need some company,” he responded kindly. “I don’t think I ever got your name.”
Addison hesitated before giving him a small smile. “My name’s Addison; you’re Connor, right?”
“The one and only.” Addison’s smile grew a little as Char handed them their drinks. “So, what makes you come out here, of all places, all by yourself? Surely you have some friends around here to have fun with, or at least a significant other.”
“Well,” Addison replied, “my friends all have their families to go to. And I’m currently single.”
“What? You, single? How can that be?”
The smile on her face slowly disappeared and she looked away. “I…I don’t really want to talk about it.”
Connor looked at her, seeing how the mood changed quickly, and he said, “I’m sorry if I touched a sore subject.”
“It’s okay.” They finished their drinks and she moved to stand. “Thank you for paying for me, Connor; you really didn’t have to.”
“It’s my pleasure, Addison,” Connor said as he stood with her. “Will I see you again soon?”
Addison hesitated on answering. He is a sweet guy, she thought, and I give him props for being as good as he has tonight; but can I trust that he won’t hurt me like he did? After a moment, a smile appeared on her face. “I think I can arrange something.”
He smiled warmly. “Well then, why don’t we plan on next Saturday evening, right here, same time?”
Her smile widened. “I may have a small errand that I can work around to be here.” The two bade each other farewell and she left the bar to walk home. I can’t believe I just agreed to see another guy next week, she thought. It’s been six years since my accident, and yet that guy, Connor, just made everything seem just…okay. She felt her left side beginning to hurt again reminding her of her accident and she held it as she reached her apartment. I may see him again next week, but I can’t let my guard down. I can’t get hurt again like before.