Meet Me In the Hallway

We had made love earlier that day with no strings attached, but I could tell that something had changed - how you looked at me then.

=

A story in which a college student and an ex-performer are brought together at a downtown bar by a twist of fate.




*characters are not affiliated with real people, just their physical appearances and anything stated*

[WARNING: Strong language, Drug abuse, Sexual content]

copyright © justins_only_babe 2017

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS ORIGINALLY UPLOADED ON MY WATTPAD ACCOUNT THE LINK IS IN MY BIO

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10. ten

= Layne =

 

The sun is beating down on my face. It's warming my cheeks and giving me a false sense of comfort. I can't remember why it's false but I know there is a reason I feel uneasy. I hear someone snoring across my apartment. Then I'm reminded of why it's a false sense of comfort.

 

I roll away from the window and open my eyes. Harry is sprawled across my couch. His mouth is hanging wide open and arms are wrapped around his torso. He looks so peaceful — the complete opposite of how he looked last night.

 

I was in deep sleep when he knocked on my door. The harsh banging against my door drew me out of my sleep, but I wasn't completely awake. I thought the sound came from a strange dream I was having. Then I heard a softer knock and I knew it wasn't something coming from my dream. When I got to the door, I realized I was wearing a t-shirt, but no underwear. While I was blindly putting my underwear, I heard Harry slam a fist against the opposite wall of my apartment's and rushed to answer the door. My head was in a fog and I was so confused as to why and how he was there.

 

He looked like someone had shot adrenaline straight into his veins and he was ready to tear the whole wall down.

 

When he walked into my apartment I was slightly terrified to go back in. I didn't know what was wrong with him or why he was acting the way that he was. I barely know him, so why would he show up at my apartment unannounced and act like a crazy, obsessed boyfriend?

 

I didn't want to deal with him in whatever state he was in last night. I assumed he was drunk, but looking back on it now, I'm not so sure. He seemed way too aware of what was going on, his words weren't slurred, and he was moving too fast. I've worked in a bar for a little over a month and I know when someone is drunk. And he was not drunk.

 

Rustling across the room pulls me from my thoughts. The blanket that was across Harry's legs is now on the floor. I see his boots placed neatly next to each other on the floor by the couch. His bag is placed next to them and I hear buzzing coming from it.

 

I don't bother checking what it is because I can assume it's his phone. It also isn't my business.

 

Instead, I throw the sheets from my body and climb out of bed. I carry myself to the bathroom. After I finish peeing, I walk into the kitchen and put on a pot of coffee. I haven't gone grocery shopping in about a week so I don't have any creamer. Sugar and milk it is.

 

The coffee maker beeps when it's ready and Harry sits up on the couch. His hair is a mess as he runs his hand through it with one hand, and rubs his eyes with the other. He scans his eyes across the apartment, probably confused as to where he is, and stops when they land on me.

 

I pour two cups of coffee. After I make mine to my liking, I walk both mugs over to the couch. Harry eyes me suspiciously as I hand a cup to him from behind the couch. I turn on my heel and walk to my bed, planting myself against the brick wall that I've decided is my headboard. I take a sip and stare at him while he gathers his surroundings.

 

"Thank you," he simply states before taking a drink.

 

I cut straight through the small talk. "Why did you come here last night?"

 

Harry's jaw clenches as he places the mug on the coffee table. His eyes meet mine and something about them makes me uneasy. There is a barrier up between whatever he's thinking and what I'm wondering.

 

He opens his mouth to speak but a faint buzzing starts coming from his bag.

 

His mouth closes and he breaks our gaze to check who's calling. He lifts open the main section of his bag and pulls out his phone. When he reads the caller's name, he immediately tenses and starts putting his shoes on. Once they're on, he grips his bag and looks at me again.

 

"I'm sorry." He says and walks out my front door.

 

I stare blankly at the door for a few minutes. Did he seriously just leave?

 

I quickly get up and look down at the sidewalk from my window. My eyes catch sight of him. He's walking quickly past Jack's with his phone held against his ear. By the way he's moving, he seems to be in a hurry and not at all happy about it. I lose sight of him in the crowd and give up on trying to find him. I fall back onto my bed with a loud sigh. What is his deal?

 

I decide to ignore the millions of questions running through my head and decide to take a shower. I already missed my first class of the day and my second doesn't start until afternoon, so I have plenty of time. Especially since I showered the night before. I don't bother washing my hair because it's already clean. I'm also shaven so that cuts back on time tremendously.

 

When I'm finished, I wrap the towel around my body and go to my closet — also known as, my living room floor. I find an oversized, black and white striped shirt and throw it over my head, replacing my towel. I throw some underwear on and check the weather for the day. It's supposed to be fairly warm so I decide a skirt is appropriate. My floor is basically a sea of black so it's hard to find the skirt I'm looking for. I see the zipper that runs all the way down the front, and I pull it from the mess. My outfit is almost complete when I tuck my shirt in. The only things left to do are my hair and makeup.

 

My hair doesn't look terrible in the messy bun it's in. I pull down some fly-always and secure the bun into place. Next, I do simple black liner and mascara. I fix my eyebrows and check the time. It isn't even eleven yet. Maybe I'll try the coffee shop across from campus.

 

That's a good idea, I think. I'm going to try one of their soufflés or something.

 

I find a pair of socks and pull them on, as well as my boots. I shove a pair of jeans into my purse, just in case it's colder than expected and I need to change. 

 

As I walk by Jack's, I remember that I picked up a double today. That means I won't have time to change or eat between my last class and my shift.

 

Lovely.

 

That means I deserve two soufflés. From what I saw in the casing, they weren't very big anyway.

 

=

 

When I walk into the coffee shop, I order two soufflés — I was right, they're small — and a latte. The food is absolutely delicious, and my coffee is just as good as it was the last time.

 

I catch up on a reading I was supposed to do for class today and take a quiz online as well. Once I'm finished, I gather my things and head off to class.

 

Everyone on campus seems to be in a great mood today and I wish I could relate. My morning with Harry is still nagging at me in the back of my mind, but I'm doing my best to ignore it. I wish I had his phone number so I  could text him, or call him, and ask him what the hell happened last night. But alas, I don't have his phone number, and whoever does took him away this morning.

 

Class is boring as always. No one talks to anyone unless the professor tells us to. Then we go our separate ways.

 

I walk as quickly as I can to work because my shift starts at two o'clock and it's already one-thirty. I'm tempted to take a taxi, just so I can possibly change out of my skirt, but I know I won't have luck with waving one down.

 

As I'm walking down the street, my music stops playing in my ears. I look at my phone and see Seth's name at the top of the screen. I swipe my thumb across the phone and answer the call.

 

"Hello?"

 

"Hey, Layne!" He chirps, "what are you doing tonight?"

 

I sigh, "I work. It's Friday."

 

"Oh yeah, shit. I was going to ask if you wanted to hang out with my friend Iris and I." He sounds disappointed.

 

"I'm sorry, Seth. I'd love to, but how about another time?" I suggest.

 

"Definitely! Let's shoot for next Wednesday?"

 

I smile. "Sounds good."

 

"Sweet. Iris says she's free that day, I'll text you on where to meet us later."

 

"Okay," I chuckle, "bye, Seth."

 

"Have fun at work, bye." And the line goes dead.

 

My hand pulls open the door to the bar and I walk straight to the mini-hallway to hang my bag up. I clock in right at two and walk behind the bar, relieving Diane from her shift. Nicole walks in as soon as Diane walks out. I'm extremely relieved to see her, tonight will be bearable.

 

"You look cute," Nicole says as she walks behind the bar.

 

I smile while I make someone a drink. "Thanks, I thought the skirt was appropriate because of the weather. Then I forgot I worked a double. I have a pair of jeans in my bag, but by how busy we are already, I doubt I'll be able to change."

 

She begins to count the drawer when she responds. "If you work a double, you're required a thirty minute break. Let me know when you want to take one tonight and I'll cover the bar."

 

"What about when you need a break?" I ask as I put a bottle of scotch on the shelf.

 

She finishes counting the fives and nods her head to the office. "I'll get Ed. He's quite the bartender."

 

I don't respond because someone just sat down and called me to get them a drink.

 

=

 

I don't know what time it is. All I know is that it's dark outside, and that the bar is three times as full as it was when I walked in. The band that usually plays on Friday is here - the one that Harry knows. They're setting up and the lead singer has come over a few times to get drinks for his band mates, as well as himself. I try to avoid him as much as I can. I'm not sure why because, as far as I know, he has no idea who I am.

 

Someone takes a seat by the door and I make my way over to them to take their order.

 

"Hello, there sir. What can I get for you?" I ask as cheerfully and calmly as I can.

 

This man is a regular. I don't know his name, but he comes in every Friday night at nine wearing a suit. If I had to guess, I'd say he is about in his mid-thirties and works at a law firm. Every week, he orders one shot of vodka, downs it, and leaves. He gives me a twenty dollar tip every time.

 

I haven't tried to get to know him, because something about him gives me the impression that he doesn't want to be associated with the people in this bar. His wedding band tells me that he doesn't want his wife to find out he's been down here.

 

"One shot of your finest vodka, please." His voice is one of authority, but full of politeness.

 

I flash him a smile and pull down a shot glass. "Should have guessed," is not something I would normally say, but today it slipped.

 

And for the first time since I started working here, I see him smile.

 

He doesn't say anything in return because his smile says enough. I pour his shot and slide it to him. I watch him take it, pull out his wallet, and leave enough money on the bar to pay for the drink and to tip me twenty. I take the money and watch as he stands from his seat and heads to the door. He begins to push on it, but someone pulls it open and his eyes go wide. He gives the person who opened it a smile and heads out the bar. As soon as he's out, a petite blonde girl steps inside. Her makeup is dark and her clothes are practically non-existent. I begin to turn around to take the money to the drawer, but the person behind her catches my eye.

 

Harry follows closely behind the girl, and his eyes avoid the bar completely. His bag is hung tightly across his chest and his hand is gripping the strap. He seems more tense now than he did this morning. My gaze stays locked on him until he walks into the dining room.

 

He knows I'm here. That why he wouldn't look at the bar. Coward.

 

"Layne!" I hear from behind me and immediately turn around. Nicole's eyes are concerned, silently asking me if I'm okay.

 

I nod and walk back to refill someone's beer. Nicole steps next to me and does the same with my customer's neighbor. "Everything okay with you and H?" She questions.

 

H? I have never heard anyone call him H. I'm not sure I like it.

 

"Yeah, we're fine. He just. . . Nothing." I don't want to dump my stupid drama on her. She's an adult woman, not a preteen girl.

 

She nudges me, "if you ever need to talk, I'm here."

 

"I don't want to dump my shit on you. You're not my therapist." I say while putting a glass in a bin.

 

"Honey, I'm a bartender, they're basically the same thing." She gives me a wink, and goes to help a customer.

 

Someone calls for me, drawing my focus from H and back to work.

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