I wasn't sure if I was going to write this up, because for one, I don't even know what to think about it right now, and two--even though it's been less than two days--the story is long. Due to that, I'm going to break it down in parts.
Most reading this are in the know as to who Emily is, mainly because this whole relationship dates back 1/3 of my life. For those that have no clue what I'm talking about, read this.Most people that don't already know about her, probably don't care. No biggie, but it's a good story, nonetheless.
To be concise, Emily is the girl I shared an incredible trip to Ireland with 2 years ago, and susequently had a fiery falling-out with a few months after that. We've been on this relationship rollercoaster since we met during her freshman year in college. She just turned 27 late last month.
Hope that helps.
Early Saturday evening I was at Canterbury Park, figuratively getting my ass handed to me at the poker tables by a fat man with an emornous tuft of white chest hair poking out from the neckline of his orange t-shirt. It's a good thing that Jeremy did so poorly, otherwise I would've been down much more than I happened to win on my first casino trip on Wednesday.
We left around 10 pm because both Jeremy and I had lost a large chunk of money to bad players, and Josh had to get back to the city for a night out with one of his buddies that's moving out of state in a few weeks. When we arrived at my apartment around 11, I wasn't even sure I wanted to go out. Josh was going to the Red Dragon, which, though I like, I didn't want to sit at after losing money at the tables. I'd absentmindedly left my celly at home that afternoon, and when I checked to see if anybody else had any other options for me, I noticed that Anthony had called just a few minutes before, saying that they were going to be at the Independent.
It's times like these that I take a step beck and realize just how absurdly different my life would be today, Monday, if I opted to minutely change my plans and stay in for the night. If you would've told me sometime last week that, Saturday, I'd run into Emily, at my bar of all places, the only reaction I'd have is to give a slight laugh and follow it up by puking in your shoe.
As I walked in the bar, nothing was out of the ordinary. My friends were drunk and hitting on all the suburban girls that were too dumb to admit that the tag on their Kate Spade purse really read "Kate Spode", and just like normal, the bartender shook my hand and said "Miller Lite?"
I nodded and scanned the room, looking for anyone that I know outside the friends that I'd planned on hanging out with. My friends are great, and a hell-of-a lotta drunken fun, but I was sober and they were completely ass-faced drunk. I don't deal well when I'm that sober.
I didn't notice anyone that I knew. I did, however, see a few people that I thought I might, possibly, maybe, sort of recognize. Minneapolis is a small town and that type of thing happens all the time. I know that person from somewhere, but where? Most of the time you just occupy a lot of the same bars on the same nights, but there are few times that you really don't want figure out how you know them.
Two inparticular, stuck out to me; a tall guy with curly blond hair, and a shorter girl with long blonde hair. I know my descriptions are terrible, but I have trouble remembering details when I'm sober. Deal with it.
I know those people, but from where?
I had them pegged for people that attended Minnesota State University-Mankato at the same time I did, but there's something more. I knew them better than that. As in, we'd probably talked on numerous occasions, and I could even hear the girl's voice ringing through my head.
Oh shit. Shit. SHIT!
After her voice left my head, it was immediately followed by Emily's voice, and at that moment, I realized who they two people were, and where I knew them from. They both went to high school with Emily, and we all attended the same college at the same time. The were both very good friends with Emily, and in a hometown that small, everyone usually goes out to the bar in a group.
So, where was she? She had to be there.
I turned my eyes towards the floor, silently weighing my options. What would I do if she really was at the bar? There was the whole punching in face vs. hate-fucking scenario, but the only outcome those produced ended in me getting 86'ed from the bar where everybody knows my name. Or, at least a few people know it.
Fine, I'm the only one that knows my name there, but at least everybody recognizes my face. And that's enough for me.
With those options being out of the question, I requested a refill on my empty beer. I don't know what it is about The Hoppy Goodness, but it makes me have to pee. I'm an odd duck, I know. As a reflex of the having to pee, I looked back towards the bathroom to see if a line had formed, and as I looked over and around people walking, I saw Emily.
She was sitting right off to the side of where I had to walk if I wanted to empty the ol' bladder. I closed my eyes, put my full pint of beer to my lips, and chugged. I've never done a beer bong in my life, and I'm not a chugger, but it wasn't until I opened my eyes again that I noticed my glass was empty, and the only thing I'd been swallowing for the last 4 or 5 seconds was air.
The swallowed air combined with the nervousness I felt over seeing Emily for the first time in over two years produced a feeling deep inside my body that can only be described as "puketastic". And as the beer settled deeper into my stomach, the pukey feeling shifted more towards something I like to call "shit-a-riffic".
Whatever you call it, it wasn't good.
Emily was sitting with a guy that I didn't recognize, so I wasn't about to walk up to her, though, surprise is probably the best plan of attack with a girl like this. There's no reason to announce my arrival, just barge in and fuck things up like I feel I should be allowed.
In the span of 10 minutes, I think I drank 3 pints of Miller Lite. I don't remember if that's exactly right, as my head was too fuzzy with things that I wanted to say and the conflicting orders that my brain was sending my arms.
"You better punch her"
"No, we're going to work as a team and hug the damn girl."
Considering that conversation, it seems like I could've had closer to 5 beers, who knows. I did know for sure that I wasn't leaving that bar without talking to her, and the conversation was going to take place with me, hopefully, at least partially drunk.
I took a sip from my pint, and as I removed the edge of it from my lips, I noticed that her friend, the blonde, was walking by me, followed by a straggling Emily. And best of all, no guy.
This was my chance. As she walked by, I yelled out.
[to be continued]