Lookin' for love in all the wrong places
Packed with young, hip, and beautiful people; the whole scene looked like a commercial for flavored vodka.
Even so, Sabrina stood out from the rest.
She made an ordinary bar stool look like a throne. Her little black dress plunged dramatically down her back to her waist. Shimmering golden hair cascaded in loose curls between her shoulder blades, brushing her tanned and flawless back. Her posture was that of a dancer, as were her long legs crossed daintily under the bar. She wore classic black Christian Louboutins. Her delicate hand artfully held a sapphire colored martini.
She was becoming more restless as time passed but texting seemed a bit desperate, and it was still a little to early to decide she'd been stood up. All she could do for now was poke at her drink with the toothpick that once held a sugared lemon rind and wait.
Absorbed in thought, she failed to notice the small group of young go-getters sitting across the bar whispering and giggling as they sized her up. They were all pretty unremarkable, dressed in single breasted suits with skinny pants and skinny ties. Most with beards, all with too much product in their hair. They were the ubiquitous hipsters meeting for cocktails after work.
Finally, one of the pack stood and took off his jacket. He unbuttoned the top two buttons of his collard shirt, rolled up his sleeves, and strode confidently around the bar towards her.
He sidled up, resting a foot casually on the bottom of the empty stool next to her. As the bartender approached them to take his order he draped his crossed forearms over the back of the stool.
"What can I get you?" the bartender asks.
"I'll have a bourbon and coke, double please."
"Sure. You got your ID?"
He pulls his wallet from his back pocket and flashes his ID for the bartender.
"Thanks, you want house?" The bartender is already on the case.
He pushes his chest forward a little and squints at his choices on the lit shelves behind the bar. "No, I'll do that one" he points toward an ornate bottle on the top shelf.
She rolls her eyes. Of course. Top shelf. "What. A. Jackoff." She thinks to herself.
The bartender looks a little puzzled.
"And coke?" he asks.
"Yeah, and coke." replies Jackoff. If he could read minds, he would hear the bartender clearly thinking, "Whatever. If you want to waste ridiculously expensive bourbon by drowning it in coke, be my guest..."
Jackoff looks slowly up and down the length of the vision that is Sabrina in her black dress. Unless she wanted to be outright rude, it would be impossible for her to avoid acknowledging him from this close range. She shuffles aside slightly and side-eyes him. The shuffle coupled with an awkward half smile says she's clearly uncomfortable. He doesn't seem the least bit daunted.
"Hi." The tone of his greeting is cockiness veiled in approachability.
"Hello" she replies. Polite, but aloof.
"Is this seat taken?" He begins to pull the chair from the bar before she can reply.
"I guess not." She tries to temper her irritation.
"I was expecting someone but it doesn't look like he's gonna show."
Sabrina glances at the phone on the bar next to her with wary anticipation. Nothing has changed.
She resumes staring into her dwindling drink as if the secrets of the universe were hidden there. Hopefully this intensity will relay to jackoff she has no appetite for small talk.
"What an idiot!" he exclaims. "His loss! I'm Jack, by the way. Let me buy your next drink?"
It's becoming harder now to hide her irritation. He has completely failed to read the signals that all she wants is for him to go away before she breaks down crying.
"I'm Jill. No, but thank you, I'm good."
Jack laughs out loud, a little too enthusiastically. "Ha! That's funny! Jack and Jill..."
"Ok, that's it" she thinks. Her patience had run out.
"Yeah. It's funny because that's not really my name."
Jack grows silent in an instant. He looks like a kicked puppy with a hurt ego. His drink arrives, he pays the bartender in cash, and leaves a tip.
"Oh. Well then, have a good night."
Sabrina smiles halfway again and looks back down into her empty glass.
The bartender comes and she orders another drink. He looks past her shoulder and wrinkles his brow.
"Well THAT escalated quickly..." he sounds bemused and puzzled.
Sabrina spins in her seat to see what the bartender's talking about.
Jack is walking away. He's covering his face, and his shoulders are hunched and shaking a little too. Is he... crying??
Sabrina is downright confused.
His friends are patting him on the back and consoling him. One of them hands him a tissue. They glare at her as they comfort him.
One of Jack's friends stalks around the bar toward her.
"Oh, here we go." Sabrina mutters to the bartender. "The confrontation."
The bartender shrugs and hurries away to look busy.
"What you just did to my friend was not very nice. He's a really nice guy and you just totally hurt his feelings. You should say you're sorry."
"You're right, that wasn't cool. Tell him to come back over, I'd like to apologize and buy him a drink"
"I'll let him know, but I don't know if he's emotionally ready to trust you again."
Sabrina stares at the friend, mouth agape. She can't quite tell if he's serious.
She watches him stalk off around the bar to inform Jack of her offer. She can't believe what's happening, there had to be cameras hidden somewhere. This has to be one of those practical joke shows.
The gaggle of friends call the bartender over and begin to pay their tabs.
Jack comes back to the bar and sits down timidly next to Sabrina. He's quiet for a second, then looks earnestly into her eyes.
"Do you assume I have no feelings? I mean, how can I ever trust you again? I thought we had something real, and you lied to me!"
His voice cracks as he pleads with her. Her eyes search his for any hint of deception.
Clearly he's deeply upset. Either that or he's the best actor she's ever seen. Sabrina's known a hell of a lot of actors through the years, she's pretty sure he's sincere.
"What the hell are you talking about? We just met! I admit it was kinda rude of me to lie about my name and all, but on top of the fact that I'm having a shitty night and just want to be left alone, I'm really not into guys who try to hit on me at bars, you know?"
Jack gasps with shock.
"I can't believe this! Is that all you think I am? I don't even know who you are anymore!"
He turns reluctantly away from her and walks back over to his friends. He pays his tab and collects his jacket. They all have one last good glare at her before they depart, comforting the grieving mystery man named Jack.
Sabrina is dumbfounded. "This one's gonna make for one hell of a story for the girls at work tomorrow..." she mumbles to herself.
The bartender returns with her drink.
A late night talk show flickers silently on the television over the bar in front of her.
Sabrina's expression transforms from interest to utter disbelief when Jack walks onto the set of the show and shakes hands with the host. He waves to the audience with a broad smile.
The gorgeous Hollywood starlet on the sofa stands to meet him. She is giddy her hand closes over his as he shakes it. She pulls him near and whispers into his ear. He blushes, then sits down.
Sabrina beckons the bartender to her frantically. "Hey, can you turn this up please?!?"
The bartender nods, grabs the remote from under the bar and turns to turn up the TV.
It takes a second for it to register. He swings back around, his face mimics the look of shock on her's. His eyes dart suspiciously around the bar.
"Isn't that....." he starts.
She cuts him off at the pass. "Yes!! Now turn it up so we can hear!"
He turns up the volume on the television. The conversation between the host and Jack grows louder until it attracts annoyed looks from the other people at the bar.
The host addresses Jackoff so enthusiastically, Sabrina thinks he may pee on the floor like a puppy greeting a new friend.
"So you've got a lot of stuff going on, I heard about the new charity you're starting! What's it called?"
Jack's face lights up as he replies. "It's called hope for healing! It's a charity I established after my travels to interior Africa while on a peace mission with the ambassador to Sudan. While we were there, I saw so many children who had been wounded during the civil wars in the area and never received proper medical treatment so they ended up losing limbs and having really horrible injuries that could've been prevented if treatment had been available. I resolved that when I came home I would make sure that treatment would be available, no matter what the cost to myself personally. I funded the first leg of the charitable mission, and a philanthropist organization got ahold of it and it's taken off beyond what I could've ever done on my own! I feel truly blessed to be able to help."
The starlet on the couch next to him is practically drooling. "That's amazing!" she squeals.
The host is just as shameless.
"Yes it is! That's really admirable. Not enough billionaires in silicone valley think the way you do, man. I guess you're a special breed of billionaire!"
The audience laughs and applauds wildly.
"Well I dunno about that..." Jackoff shrugs sheepishly.
"So despite all of your obvious gifts as a human being, I heard you just recently had a bad break up? I mean, how stupid does that person have to be?" The audience laughs and applauds.
Jack responds graciously. "I normally don't talk about my private life, all I can say is she hurt me pretty badly and it's still pretty fresh in my heart. She ended up lying to me, and she blew it off like it was no big deal. I value trust in a relationship too much to look past dishonesty, so we had to part ways."
The audience claps respectfully. Sabrina hears a few "awwww"s.
The starlet is now literally readying herself to pounce on him.
"Her loss! pretty stupid..."
As the starlet delivers this line, Sabrina looks at the empty seat next to her. She looks at the bartender in a stupor. He is staring back at her, mouth agape.
"Um. I'll have another." She whispers.
The bartender nods solemnly as he turns to make her another drink.
"Make it a double please."