Once upon a time, there was a girl who was newly 21 and single. Like all fresh faced 21 year olds, she enjoyed going to the bars, drinking, being stupid and flirting with boys. This particular girl had a history of being a huge flirt, and falling in love easily. She’d been single for a while, but hadn’t been the same since the “love of her life” (who she’d dated from 12-2003 to around 4-2006) had ended things. She’d dated another guy for a bit, but ended it when she realized she’d been forcing herself to like him. She’d had flings, she’d “seen” guys, but all in all, she never got over “him” and didn’t think that he could unless she found someone amazing.
Poor, stupid, little girl…
She met the bartender at her favourite new bar and might as well have banged her head on the floor. She was done. bruised by the bite of the luv bug. That was it.
For the next few weeks, she’d dress cute, go to the bar & build a foundation with this drink slinger. He was too cute. Had the squinty eye smile, loud “santa claus” laugh that made her crack up, and before she knew it, she was painting a picture in her head that was just too perfect. (picket fences?)
Eventually, after a few months of the flirting and the free drinks, they ended up in a perfect tight situation. He ended up pulling her into the back room of the bar and kissing her neck (yum!). It was all fun & games and they laughed together through their blushing cheeks when another bartender (and friend to them both) came barging into the kitchen, catching them in the act of touchy feely, gropey kissing. They ended up in the office of the bar, but she was determined that nothing serious would happen. They kissed, he teased her, & she told him he was silly. Another bartender buddy walked in on them in the office and, to this day, it’s still one of her favourite stories with that bar.
Then, she blew it. She let her desperation, drunkenness, and longing for that perfect image to be a reality so bad that she tried to play it cool. She told him that she didn’t want to be in a relationship and that he didn’t have anything to worry about. She just wanted to spend time with him. Maybe dinner? It wasn’t for a LONG time later that she realized he wasn’t the one that needed convincing. She was lying to herself, & she was good at it. Until she saw him flirt with another girl, and her rationality would be gone as fast as the shot of tequila she took to cope.
She’d get a little nuts, yell at him, get upset and basically… be f’n crazy.
Fast Forward almost 2 years… the girl and the bartender decide that they’ll just be friends and, after apologies from the girl and no more making out, they get along great. She still sees him all the time and they laugh and have fun, but there’s nothing going on. Now it’s the summer of 2009 and the girl is being set up on a blind date. They meet at “the bar”. She shows up a half hour early on purpose to get herself comfortable with the idea of a blind date. When she walks in, of course, her bartender babe is working.
She says hello and tells him why she’s there. He gives her a free shot and says that he’ll keep an eye on her to make sure that she’s ok meeting this new guy. She does like the new guy and things seem to be good. (what she didn’t know at the time was that after 4 dates and an overnight date, HE wouldn’t call again…). New guy goes to the bathroom at one point and bartender comes over to tell the girl that things seem to be going well, and he seems like a nice guy. She can tell that he’s jealous… and she’s not being crazy.
A few weeks pass and she goes to the bar. Newly crushed by the New Guys crappy “hit it & quit it” attitude, she was looking to drink. Bartender asks where “the ball and chain” is… she laughs it off…
A few more weeks pass and the girl ends up at the bar. She finds herself tripping over the old feelings that she had for the Bartender. She flirts, he ends up pulling her into the back room again, but nothing happens. She leaves mad at herself for not letting anything happen.
After another week or two, she’s back. She knows what she wants and she makes sure that she gets it. She marches herself down to the office of the bar, where she knows the bartender is doing paper work to close up shop. She walks in, plants herself on the desk in front of him, and makes it very clear what she thinks should happen next. (but not before making sure that he covers up the security camera with a post it and rubber band!) – no, it was not how she’d hoped… but she was still happy that it had finally happened.
The next month, the girl ends up there, late night, having to use the bathroom when she came back from the city with her best friend. She ran in the bar to pee, having NO idea he’d be working. Of course, he was. This was the first time she’d seen him since their night. He asked her to stay for a beer. She complied. He asked her to stay to keep him and his friend (new bartender) company, then partake in some late night swimming. (Obviously she was going to go).
The boys go to the office to count the money, telling her that they won’t be long… but they were… too long. Something was wrong…
She goes down the stairs she’d been down way too many times, toward the room he’d held her hand and pulled her too only a few weeks before, and stepped into the doorway to the room they’d shared.
There were the boys, drinking beers and watching something on the security TV.
She asked them what they were watching, & the boys simply stated that there had been a robbery in the office and they were reviewing the footage… so, she took a seat to watch with them, hoping they’d figure it out soon because she was getting sleepy… & if she was going to pull an all nighter and go to work the next day, it was going to be because she was night swimming with her dream man, not watching security footage.
About 5 minutes passed & all of a sudden, her bartender babe was on camera, standing on the desk… leaning toward the camera… with a post-it… and a rubber band… and a goofy smile on his face. He successfully covered MOST of the camera lens, but left just enough for her to clearly see him... and another girl… on the exact spot on the grimy desk that she’d been with him only weeks before.
Her jaw was on the ground. She looked at him in disbelief, but the boys continued to point at the footage, laughing and making comments.
She didn’t know what the hell to do. She got up, walked out, walked back in & told him that she needed to talk to him… NOW!
"WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH
The bartender stood with a blank look on his face, beer clouding his mind and glazing his eyes.
“That was OUR tape” was the best thing he could come up with. Her eyes bugged out. She couldn’t believe that he was trying to convince her that she’d just seen a tape of the two of them… especially when the time stamp on the footage clearly stated that it had been about 48 hours previous to the moment they were living. It took 10 minutes of him trying to explain that the time stamp on the security camera is wrong, she’s wrong, it was a tape of them, etc. until he finally broke down stating simply “OK… I lied… it’s not you”.
The fighting, arguing, screaming, blaming, frustration, and disbelief continued for about 30 more minutes until she could see she wasn’t getting through to him. He was too drunk and too stupid to realize what he’d done. He’d never know that she was a good girl and good for him. She didn’t see how, even if he didn’t want to be with her, even if he was going to be with other girls, how he could POSSIBLY think that playing that tape, not stopping the tape in the 5 mins the three of them sat there looking at it, would have been a good idea, would have ended well, would have, what? Made her stoked to go night swimming with him?
That night, her fantasy reality crashed down. She’d never been so humiliated in her life. It wasn’t until she finally had been proved by another bartender friend that there wasn’t any footage of them, in actuality that she could fully breathe again, knowing there wasn’t a sex tape being watched by regulars, waiters and bartenders without her knowing.
She thought that she’d been different, but she was wrong. She told herself that she wasn’t going to be another girl, and that’s exactly what she was. She was just… “girl”.
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