I had finished my
business meeting early. Tired and spent I had about three hours
to kill before my flight would take me home. I traveled to
Houston on company business once a month and would be just as
happy to leave this time around. I was not unfamiliar with the
night life and decided to have a drink while waiting for my
departure. The Mercury bar and lounge was not too far from the
hotel I was staying at. A phone call later and I rode away in the
I arrived at the
club somewhere around nine thirty. I was still dressed in my
business clothing and felt more than a little uncomfortable.
Everywhere I looked the clothing was a wave of denim and cowboy
boots. Silently and swiftly I made my way to the first vacant
barstool and parked myself.
A rather large
burly looking man with a cowboy hat on greeted me with a grin and
said in a heavy southern drawl, "Howdy Missy, what's your
I could not help
but smile as the words left his mouth. It had been many years
since my last drink and I sat for a moment wondering what my
pleasure really was.
"An amaretto sour
frozen," I finally answered hoping he would take my order and fix
"Here on business
or pleasure?" the bartender asked trying to make small
replied, "Say is there a band tonight?"
"Yep," he said
smiling, "He plays here all the time. Think you might like him.
He's a pretty popular fella."
"Okay, thanks," I
replied taking a drink of my cocktail, "You did great on the
He smiled and
tipped his hat at me. I sat and sipped my drink waiting for the
show to start. I could feel that first little buzz I always got
from any type of alcohol and hoped the bartender was right about
the entertainment. I did not have to wait long to find out. The
band returned and started to play. I was flying high and loving
it. It was then I noticed the singer. He stood about six foot
tall and had dark hair. I did not know for sure but he looked to
be a least part Mexican. His eyes are what caught me off guard;
they were the most beautiful shade of blue I had ever seen. He
had on a ripped pair of tight jeans and a loose fitting shirt he
wore unbuttoned thus exposing the white T-shirt he had on. There
was something that drew me to him, maybe it was the drink, or
perhaps that aura of sadness he possessed. He approached the mike
and started singing.
"Was a ruby that
she wore on a chain around her neck in the shape of a heart," he
sang with that southern drawl I loved so well.
I sat on my
barstool and absorbed the song. It was so sad and heart
wrenching. The song without him singing it would probably not
have brought the tears to my eyes. It was magic as he belted out
"People speak of
love, don't know what they're thinking of, wait around for the
one who fits just like a glove, speak in terms of belief and
belonging try to put some name to their longing. People speak of
love," he sang and I sat at the edge of my barstool melting like
snow in springtime.
I had never seen
anyone put so much of their heart and soul into a performance as
he did, guess I never will again. He finished the song and his
set. I eyed him as he found a table and sat down. Generally I am
a very shy person, but this guy I really wanted to meet. Taking a
big gulp of my drink for courage I casually walked to where he
was. The rest of the band members after mingling with the crowd
were making their way to his table as well. I stood there for a
moment just staring at him. I must have looked a total fool or
one of those people who stalks celebrities.
somethin' wrong, Ma'am?" one of the band members finally asked
with a grin on his face.
"Oh!" I finally
said snapping out of my daydream and staring at the vocalist, "I
just wondered if I might talk with you for a second? That song
you performed and the way you sang it was just
The band members
started laughing and clapping each other on the back. I could
feel the color rising in my cheeks and I wondered what had
possessed me to express my excitement in such a
"Okay boys," he
finally said glaring at his band, "Get lost for a few. Me and
this lady here are going to have a talk."
With his foot he
pushed one of the chairs out and motioned for me to have a seat.
I did so not sure what it was about him I found so attractive and
"Can I freshen up
your drink?" he asked looking me up and down as if I were some
type of bizarre creature from another planet.
"No," I stammered
placing my hand over my drink, "Could I buy you one?"
Even though he
laughed at my comment a deep hollow sadness resounded in his
voice. I wondered what had brought him down so low.
"Swore off the
sauce about two year ago," he replied pointing to the glass in
front of him, "These days Coke is about all I drink."
We sat for a
moment in a rather uncomfortable silence when he looked me dead
in the eyes and said, "I wrote that song for a friend of
"Well it was just
the best," I answered as I waited for more of his
"The guy I wrote
it for well he and his childhood sweetheart got married right
after high school. He was a singer and the girl fancied herself
in love with him. He gave her the necklace right after they were
married. That girl wore it all the time. A cheap little necklace
with a stone that looked like a heart-shaped ruby," he said with
a far away look in those beautiful blue eyes.
"He adored her and
she said she loved him. I wonder sometimes if she really did.
Well to make a long story short he ran the bars performing, she
for awhile till the baby came along went with him. They had
troubles and problems along the way, but she rode it out with
him. He started drinking heavy and smoking dope, she took care of
the baby and tried to hold the marriage together as best she
could. It wasn't long before the fighting started between the two
of them. She wanted better and he just would not give up his life
style," he said and then took a drink of his Coke.
"Guess he just
didn't realize what she was going through," I said
sympathetically, "You know her having the baby and
"Yep," he said
going back into that trance like state, "Like I sang in the song,
she up and left him one night. She packed her stuff and headed
back to her parents with the baby. He knew it was over when he
found the necklace on the nightstand. She didn't have to leave a
note. He knew she was done."
I watched him as
he ran his fingers through his hair. Not sure whether he had
finished his story or not I sat waiting. In the corner of his
eyes I saw what looked like tears. I placed my hand over his. He
sighed and tried to smile.
"He went on with
his music career," he said choking the words out, "She filed for
divorce. I guess some good did come from it all. He cleaned up
his act and maybe one day she'll see that he still loves
I thought about
all he had told me in his story. How love blossoms and grows and
then when left unattended it withers and dies. I had been in love
so many times and felt the sting of disappointment and
frustration. I wondered if anyone really knew what love was and
if they did know could they even see how fragile it
"I think it was
kind of you to write the song for him," I finally answered, "It
is a beautiful song and anyone who's been there can relate to it.
I hope the two of them can work things out. It sounds as if they
might if they really love each other."
"Do you think so?"
he asked flashing me a genuine smile.
"I think all
things are possible," I replied smiling back at him, "If we just
put a little effort into it."
I noticed what
time it was and thanked him for the song and story. He thanked me
for the ear and friendship, but as I got up to leave he reached
into his shirt pocket and withdrew something. In his hand he held
the necklace she had worn so faithfully around her
"I already knew,"
I said as I headed for the door.
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