Harry ordered another glass.
"Hey, can I get some nachos?"
"Thanks, Tom." Tom winked.
Harry raised an eyebrow. "I thought his name's Jerry."
"What?" I took a long drink while Insta-scrolling.
"You called him Jerry earlier. Then Tom."
"Uh, yeah. His name's Tom. I call him Jerry...like Tom and Jerry. An inside joke kinda thing." A game of cat-and-mouse in the dating game.
Harry stole a chip from the nachos that'd just arrived. "He keeps winking at you." Did I detect a hint of jealousy?
"Jerry, pour me something stronger, would ya?" He glanced at me from a pretty blond he was chatting up and gave me a thumbs-up.
I looked over my shoulder at the various booths. A few couples, some of them not talking, just....doing. A rowdy bunch of friends with a large jug of beer, probably sharing jokes about their co-workers or mutual friends.
"You come here often, then?"
I nodded, taking another long sip.
You owe me for making me do this.
Come on, he can't be that bad.
Oh yes, he can.
You'll thank me later.
Whatever it is, don't take too long to come home.
Oh? Do you have another birthday surprise for me?
I smirked, biting my lower lip.
Such a tease.
You know it ;)
What are you wearing?
It IS your birthday isn't it? ;) xxx
My desire to go home became even stronger. I wondered how long Harry wanted to stay here.
After a few more drinks, his company was becoming more tolerable. He was reminiscing memories from our younger years, when we used to hang out almost every day. We told each other everything, the typical best friend stuff. We were there for each other whenever one of us had a bad break-up, a result of all of our middle school relationships. I laughed along, pretending to feel the same way he was - sentimental. In all honesty, I couldn't care less. That phase of my life had come and gone.
Just like my soberness.
Words were slurring together, lights were getting too bright.
"Hey, you alright?" his accent was music to my ears.
I giggled. "Yes, Harry. I'm dandy." I patted his shoulder and slid off my bar stool, heading to the bathroom. "Excuse me."
I washed my face but that didn't do much. All I could hope for was that the inevitable headache the next day wouldn't be too bad.
"Hey, pretty lady."
Classic bar scumbag. Well-dressed dude, tie loose around his neck. Strangle material? Definitely.
Probably in some middle-age crisis.
"No, thanks." I started to walk away.
He grabbed me by my elbow. "You haven't even heard what I was gonna say."
"Something along the lines of 'let me buy you a drink' then 'let me drive you home'." I pulled my arm back. "Therefore, no thank you." I started walking away again.
"You're a smart girl. But come on, I'll get you a drink." He was persistent. "Don't you wanna have some fun?" He made a grab for my ass. I slapped his hand away before he could. I was done being polite.
"You need to back off." His breath reeked of alcohol as he came uncomfortably close. I gave him a rough shove.
The bar had gotten more busy so it was hard for anyone to see what was going on.
"Feisty." He leaned in. My fist came into contact with the side of his temple. He reeled back in shock. "You bitch," he wrapped his hand around my wrist and yanked. I cried out in pain, trying to get anyone's attention as he dragged me towards the back door. I kicked him in the shin. Suddenly, he stopped dragging.
"You need to let her go."
"This is none of your business."
Harry's eyes were uncharacteristically dark. Perhaps it was the lighting but it was enough to make the douchebag take a step back.
"Move, man." He let go of my wrist.
"Harry," I warned. I sensed a bar fight. The douche threw a punch that was meet with an open palm. It barely touched Harry's face.
He whimpered in pain and crumbled to the floor.
Harry looked up at me. I didn't recognise him.
I headed straight for the door. The alcohol must've really gone to my brain.
"Where are you going?" Harry called. I turned around and he was right behind me.
"You can't do that."
I tried to formulate my words to make them understandable.
Harry's eyes softened and he smirked. "Be your hero? From saving you, a damsel in distress. A 'thank you' is enough."
He misunderstood my silence. "You don't have the right to swoop in and do that."
"Why not?" His eyebrows furrowed, his smirk turned into a frown. "I care-"
"No." I backed away. "Don't you dare say it. You don't have the right to say that."
Harry took a step closer, causing me to take a step back. "You know it's true. I ca-"
"I told you not to." I was getting mad.
"Why are you behaving like this? Blake, tell me what's wrong."
I put my palm to my forehead, the heat comforting me. "You don't get it." He approached me, wanting to pull me in for a hug. I shoved him hard, harder than the scumbag in the bar. "Don't." He tried again. " I said don't!"
"What's going on?"
I paced around. "You left! We had a good thing going and then you picked up all your stuff and left."
A long moment of silence followed and he looked around, as if he could find a reasonable answer in the dark. "I had to. I couldn't stay around you." He shifted his face away. "I've always cared about you, Blake. I could never bear to see you get hurt. I won't apologise for that."
I scoffed and looked up at him. That didn't make any sense. In a soft voice, I replied, "if that were true, then why'd you leave?"
I refused to stay any longer to wait for an answer that I didn't want. I passed him my keys. "You take the car. I'll walk." I was in no condition to drive anyway. Perhaps a walk along my usual route would help clear my mind.