(A chance meeting with a stranger at a bar helps you recover from a bad breakup.)
Warnings: 11000+ words of mostly sex stuff. Bad ex boyfriends. People doing inadvisable things. Listen up kids: in real life you should be more cautious about who you let take naked pictures of you! Lots and lots of sex. If you’ve read my stuff before, you know the drill.
You thought it would be fun to work in sales after you graduated from university; you would travel around the country, meeting new people, holding meetings in fancy high rise office buildings in big cities, wining and dining clients at gourmet restaurants while you closed deals and made boatloads of money. The reality was that you were selling industrial wastewater management systems, making a moderate income, while traveling four days a week to factories and chemical refineries in some of the least glamorous locations on earth. You didn’t mind the work itself, but the evenings alone in small town hotel rooms were dull and disheartening, so you would frequently head out to a local movie theater or neighborhood bar to distract yourself from the loneliness on the road.
It was pouring down rain outside and you decide to run to the closest place you could find to grab a drink, rather than risk driving around and getting lost. That’s how you found yourself sitting alone at the bar of the Applebee’s restaurant that was adjacent to your hotel, sipping on something called a Blue Hawaiian, in a town you couldn’t even remember the name of.
Unruly children sat with their families having dinner in the nearby booths, while innocuously bland pop songs played overhead. You took one sip of the cloyingly sweet blue cocktail in front of you and immediately regretted your decision to come here tonight. Given the lousy week you had experienced, you would have been better off drinking cheap whiskey at a dive bar filled with unapologetic alcoholics. Here, the family friendly atmosphere mixed with the empty promises of a fruity cocktail that was designed to trick you into thinking you were on a tropical island vacation instead of in your real life. Your real crappy life.
You had totally blown the sale today. The clients had a million questions about the technical specifications of the products you were trying to sell, but you kept tripping over your words and making yourself sound like an idiot. You blamed your poor work performance on lack of sleep. And you blamed the lack of sleep on your boyfriend, David. Actually, he was your ex-boyfriend now. After more than a year together, you dumped him for cheating on you.
He claimed he was faithful, but you were certain he was lying. He never picked up his phone when you called him from out on the road. He would eventually call you back, but his stories about where he was and what he was doing always sounded a little off. The final blow came when your friend Stephanie told you she saw him going into a movie theater with another girl. David claimed Stephanie was mistaken and that you were just paranoid and jealous for no reason. You wanted to believe him, but deep down you were sure that Stephanie was right. All the unresolved questions you had about what David was doing while you were working could easily be answered if he had been cheating on you. David cried when you told him it was over, he begged you to reconsider, but you were resolute and just walked away.
That had been a week ago, and every day since then, you questioned whether or not you made the right decision. You had no hard proof that he had been unfaithful. Sure, Stephanie said she saw him, but she only saw from a distance. Maybe she was mistaken. Maybe it was just someone who looked like David.
“Is this seat taken?”