She leaned against the bar; drink in one hand and cigarette in the other, her skirt barely covering her thigh and the alcohol barely covering her pain. Her eyes were glazed over, an effect that could be from the whiskey or from the day, she has had. She takes another puff of her cigarette and close her eyes as her heeled foot taps to the shitty band on stage.
“Can I buy you a drink?” she opens her eyes to find a man standing in front of her. She eyes him from head to toe. He is sporting a fresh haircut, freshly pressed pearl snap shirt, new Wrangler jeans, and scuff free cowboy boots. He is grinning ear to ear, and she hates him a little for it.
“First night out in your new costume?” her words come out bitter.
His smile falters. “You look like you need some company.” He waves his hand capturing the bartender’s attention
“I was going for non-approachable.” She says and throws her head back, shooting the rest of her drink.
“What can I get you?” the bartender asks and the cowboy turns to her and cocks an eyebrow.
With a sigh she says, “Whiskey. Neat.” She locks eyes with the cowboy, but speaks to the bartender, “Make it a double, Charlie.”
“Single for me.”
Charlie disappears down the bar to make the drinks. The woman twists her body to face the bar, while her legs continue face the stage and puts her cigarette out. “And what brings you to this small, shitty, town?”
“Funeral.” He says, and her head snaps up, showing her first sign of interest, so he continues, “a friend of the family died, I’m here to pay our respect.” Charlie drops off their drinks and returns to his other guests.
“Daniel’s?” the name is thick coming from her mouth, so much so, that it takes a beat for the cowboy to understand what she has said.
“Did you know him?” he asks, passing her, her drink.
She grabs the drink and drinks the whole glass in one swallow. She gathers her purse and heads for the door, before she leaves the bar, she throws sullen words behind her, “yes, that was my dad.”
Cover picture done by my brother Bryce Garoutte. Used with permission.
Follow him on intagram @brycegaroutte