In the Haze of the Night: Part 2
I checked my phone. It was ten-thirty. Another drunken text from Joey. I would have to block him if he kept it up. Hopefully, he would wise up and leave me alone, but every Saturday night it was the same damn thing. I knew he would never get the message, which was just one of the reasons I dumped him in the first place.
I deleted Joey’s text as we walked into a quiet little pub. It was our third bar of the night. Ryan went up to the bar while Paul and I scoped out a table. A few minutes later, Ryan joined us with a pitcher of beer and what looked like a gin and tonic.
“Tanqueray”, he said, “with a lime, not a lemon.”
My favorite drink. “You didn’t have to do that. ”
He shrugged and smiled, and we locked eyes for a good long moment. His light brown eyes were the exact same color as his hair, and if it weren’t for the chin, he would have looked a lot like Joey.
My phone dinged a second later. The moment was ruined. Joey and his damned texts. Speak of the devil.
“Are you alright?” Ryan asked as I sneered at my phone.
“I’m fine,” I replied, looking over at Paul. He was staring off into space while stroking his goatee. I forgot that he was my friend long before he introduced me to Ryan. I felt bad about ignoring him, and I decided to do something about it.
“Let’s do a round of shots,” I said.
“Only if you let me buy,” said Ryan.
The shots did a lot to bring us together. They took the focus off of me and Ryan. I hoped they made Paul feel like a third musketeer instead of a third wheel. Soon the awkwardness was gone, and I felt at ease with my friends. Both of them.
We did another round, and before too long, my mind was clouded in a tequila haze. Sometime after midnight, I remembered that I had to drive back to the ‘burbs. I started drinking water, trying to sober up before the night was over. I was doing pretty well for myself. Then I saw him, sitting two tables over.
I turned my head but it was too late. He saw me, and within an instant, he was walking my way.