“Excuse me, gentlemen. I need to use the little girls’ room.”

“By all means, sweetheart. May I have another drink ready for when you come back?” slurred Rob.

“Sure, thanks. But my name’s not sweetheart.” Joel could have sworn he saw the angel float right up off the stool and around his embarrassment of a friend from his past in one swift movement. He sunk his head into his hand, elbow propped up on the bar.

Rob sat down in Elend’s seat. He was too drunk to realize it wasn’t even warm. “Man, are you hitting that?” He put his arm around Joel. “cause if you aren’t. I am. Tonight.” He flashed a glazy-eyed grin.

“Dammit Rob! I don’t see you in years and you come in here and the one time, the one time, I’m actually able to hold onto a conversation with a woman, not to mention an insanely attractive woman, and you have to interrupt me!”

“Woah!” Rob’s jaw hung ajar for a few seconds, “Somebody’s got a case of Jungle Fever…easy brother, I’m ordering her a drink. She’ll be back. What was she having?” He distractedly started looking behind the bar for the bartender, lifting up Elend’s empty glass to sniff the ice. He then licked the edge where a bit of lip gloss remained.

“Rob, I may not have gotten the chance to tell you this in college, but I never liked you. And one would think that you may have matured a little bit in the ten years since then, but I can see that isn’t the case.” Joel, however, had matured in many ways. He would have never been able to express his opinion so assertively a decade ago. Having finished school and becoming a modestly successful accountant, the years had helped eased his introversion slightly.

“A’right dude. You can buy your lady a drink. But you better bang her, Joel. I need a cigarette.” And with that Rob stumbled away.

Sighing, Joel turned back to his journal, cracked it open to see what he had been writing only minutes before, then closed it again and ordered another round for him and the beautiful Elend. Perhaps it was wishful thinking to assume that she should even return. What is so special about me?  He wished he could have disappeared as easily as she had once Rob and wedged himself into their conversation. What a douchebag.


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