She sits at the bar, the stool she sits upon rough and torn by years of abuse and minutes of faux cleaning. She gestures to the barman for another one, hoping this one may finally help her gather the courage she needs to try to speak to someone. She’s spent so long on her own, her constant fear of failure and rejection always present, always forcing her away from any attempts at conversation… from attempts at discovering community, discovering friendships and loves. She takes a small sip, she hates the taste, but the slight buzz it gives helps her build her confidence, helps her ignore the voices nagging at her, insisting she’ll fail and be rebuked. Her tumbling hair hugs her shoulders. Her shoulders are tight to her body, a habit she’s long developed to hide in plain sight, behind her own body. She wants to quickly scan the room. She wants to find a friendly face which will let her start something. She wants to start something.
She doesn’t look around, she can’t look around, she can only glance at the people down the bar, all engaged with each other. She can’t bring herself to leave, although she wants to. No, she can’t let herself leave, she’s resolute that she will do what she came for. She will find someone, someone who will help feel less lonely, someone who will help her ignore the voices, the sounds which tell her to hide. Her eyes are a dark green, a deep green which harbours her thoughts, they almost seem to swirl a darker black colour when she furrows her brow. Her flannel shirt runs down, even below the stool itself, acting more as a cape than a shirt, guarding her legs and her body from the cold of the door. She wants to say something at least to the barman, her drink is not low though, and she knows she’ll just once again gesture for more, to scared to dare let noise come from her mouth, for fear of stumbling, of falling over. She wants to tr
“Why don’t your try opening your body out a bit sweetie?”
“It might encourage people to try and come talk to you, so you don’t have to sit lonely at the bar.”
“You don’t have to be walled up and slouched all the time.”
“You’re not the most talkative are you?”
“Why not just turn and look at me sweetie, I don’t bite.”
She turned and saw a friendly half smile on the small girl’s face. She felt a surge of shyness and fear overcome her. Her body and mind insisted she turn away, she look back at her drink or the bar. She never found the source of that crack after all.
The girls smile grew larger as she kept looking.
“I’m Ashley, I’d love to learn your name, or ya know, you could just keep looking at me and I’ll try and guess it.” Ashley’s eyes became wider as Ashley spoke. Ashley just stared at her, almost daring her to say something back, to try and begin the interaction for herself.
“Well hi Rachel, I hope I didn’t bother you. I mean it’s not like I could have bothered much, unless you were looking for the source of that crack, but, I mean, who would do that.”
“It’s actually like two stools down by the way, you were getting close, but that guy would have blocked you off anyway. Hope I didn’t spoil it”
Rachel snorted a little, feeling more at ease the more the small girl engaged and spoke to her.
“I do see that, but, I think you’ll find the source is somewhere over the bar there, the crack only gets smaller from that bit” She pointed where Ashley had claimed “and then grows larger along the bar. The source is gonna be where the crack is the biggest.”
“OK, but, you seem to be ignoring the fact it could have been a really small knife jammed into the bar there, and then everyone who expanded the crack just used bigger knives.”
Rachel just stared at her.
“Listen, you’d be surprised how many bars have an open crack night, I mean I alone have added at least a foot to that crack, and I’ve always enlarged my tool as I got farther down. I started with a cleaver… You don’t know where I could get a broad sword do you?’
Rachel laughed a bit now, Ashley’s blue eyes inviting her to enjoy the comedy of her statement, confident she’d be getting the right response.
“I mean, I can’t argue with that. But I can help you with the broadsw-
The voices didn’t leave entirely, the sounds didn’t wane totally.
The glass of liquid never left the bar.
And the liquid never ended up leaving the glass.
*I hope you were able to enjoy this little story I’ve worked on as my grand return. I’m hoping I’ll be better now at getting writing pieces out at a frequency of greater than one a year. My sincerest apologies for that. Please leave any comments below, and feel free to contact me via the details left in the contact page. Thank you for reading.