Last night I sat in my local bar, sipping gin, reading my book, ignoring everyone around me except the barman.
I love doing that, I don’t know why; it gives me a sense of girl power. That I can sit in a bar, happily alone, enjoy my drink, and feel comfortable and confident.
I was on page 42 when the Barman slipped me a note with my gin.
Ignore the man on your right.
That’s all it said.
I crumpled up the note and turned the page of my book, but now – I was curious.
I looked at the man on my right.
Hipster. Quite young. Tattooed, wearing a loose vest, great muscles, very sexy with a perfectly groomed beard.
I loved everything about his looks.
Everything. And now there was no way I could ignore him. I’d seen him. Made eye contact with him.
And he was crying.
I passed him a serviette.
Hey. You okay?
He started sobbing. It was really awful. What do you do when a stranger weeps next to you?
You hold that person, if they want holding.
I moved across and hugged him. I was tentative at first. I didn’t know him, after all. Also, his bulging muscles were kinda in the way!
He gave me the tightest hug back. Tight, like hard tight, never letting go.
I started weeping too.
It’ll be okay, hey, it’ll be okay.
We reassured each other, in the tightest of embraces.
He sobbed over page 43. I sobbed into his man bun.
I fucking knew this was going to happen, muttered the barman, fucking knew it.
He gave us a box of tissues and brought us two more gins. After a while I put my soggy book away. He tidied up his man bun.
And then we started drinking.
His name is Joe. He’s lovely. Sensitive. Super bright. Cries every time he drinks gin.
As apparently so do I.
We both swore off gin. Switched to whisky.
Single malt. Delicious. Just like he was.
It was one of the nicest nights I’ve had!