Welcome to Day 2 of 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing, the creative writing challenge that 4 out of 5 coroners agree is a completely valid cause of death. Today’s prompt is Hold on, and is brought to you by the grim reaper himself, CheesyMike. Don’t forget to link up at the end of this post if you participated before you died.
During our first writing challenge, 30 Days of Writing, I wrote a post called Promises Of What I Seemed To Be. Several readers asked about the girl in the story, which led to a second part called Take Me With You. I really thought I was done with it but then found myself back in the bar with them, without really intending to be. You don’t need to read the first two parts to follow along with this one, but if you do, I hope you enjoy them.
Ready To Go
The bar was nearly empty; a drunk passed out in the corner booth, two older fellows at the bar watching football highlights on the television, a table with four young studs playing a drinking game, and another table with three young women desperately trying to get noticed without appearing at all interested. And on the dance floor, one lone couple swaying in time to the music.
“Take me with you,” she said.
The song ended but he didn’t let her go. Looking down at her, he smiled slightly. “You don’t even know my name,” he said.
“So tell me your name,” she replied.
He was silent for a moment, then laughed once, softly. He looked around, noticing that the music had ended and they were alone on the dance floor. He took her hand and led her to the far end of the bar.
“Listen, I’ve got money – not much, but I…”
“I don’t want your money,” he cut in quickly, then signaled the bartender. “A beer and a Tequila Sunrise, please.”
She was taking her first sip when a thought struck her. “How did you know what I was drinking?”
He pointed at the table where her friends, still desperately trying to attract the attention of the frat boys, were sitting. “Three girls, four drinks,” he said.
She looked at him then, studying him carefully. She noticed the shadows under his eyes and the tightness around his mouth. Taking a healthy swig of her drink, she turned her eyes to the frat boys.
“Three girls, four drunks,” she noted. “If I stay here, that’s what I’ll end up with. A drunk-ass husband, a couple of kids, and if I’m lucky, a double-wide at the front of the trailer park. On a good day, he’ll get drunk and pass out. On a bad one, he’ll smack me around a bit and then pass out. And eventually, there will be a really bad day, when he won’t pass out.
And I keep thinking, no. No, that won’t be me. I’ll leave before that happens.” She downed the rest of her drink. “But I won’t. I keep telling myself I’m just holding on until I have enough money. The truth is, I’m just waiting for the moment when staying is scarier than leaving.”
She turned and looked at him. She found him staring back at her and saw, for the first time, how dark his eyes were, the irises nearly indistinguishable from the pupils. She put her empty glass down on the bar. “You know, you’re right. I don’t know your name. I don’t know why I said what I said. Thanks for the drink.”
“Anyone ever tell you that you look like Emma Stone?” he asked. And before she had a chance to reply, “Ready to go?”
Now go and check out the others who are still holding on, still participating even though they’ve just realized that this is only Day 2.