Everyday a woman comes into the bar and sits at the same stool. It's the same times everyday, 8 in the evening until closing time. It's been this way since I began working here a month ago. I know her by name now, Esda. I've memorized what she drinks because it's the same, all the time, rye and coke. Esda doesn't leave drunk, but she does leave looking happier than she was when she first arrives.
As I look at the clock I see that it's already 8:00 and the bell that hangs above the door chimes. My head turns over and Esda walks in wearing her high waisted skirt and her button up shirt with a jacket in hand. Esda's high heels click against the hard wood floor as she walks over to her stool and takes her rightful place.
I toss my rag across my shoulder and walk over to Esda who sits there patiently waiting. All I can think as I walk over is how beautiful she is with her big brown eyes and her long curled dark brown hair. Esda's skin is so fair she would probably get the worst burn if she stayed in the direct sunlight for an hour.
"Good evening, Esda," I greeted the young woman with a warm smile like I would everyday. Esda glanced up at me and forced a smile. It seems to be this way everytime I greet her. You can tell by the vacant look in her eyes that she has seen things she wishes she hadn't.
Esda folded her hands on the bar top and flipped her hair out of her face with a simple movement of her head. "Hello Cameron," Esda responded still playing off the obvious false happiness. "The usual, please," Esda said without me even having to ask.
With a quick nod, I went to work on mixing Esda's drink. Everytime I got the chance to I'd look in Esda's direction, but everytime I'd look she would be on her iPhone texting non-stop.
I set a coaster infront of Esda before setting the glass upon it and once again, gave Esda a warm smile. "Just get off work?" I asked curiosly as I set my hands on the counter infront of me and leaned over to Esda.
Esda merely nodded and continued to text with one hand. The other hand picked up the glass as she began sipping at the drink. "What do you do?" I asked again trying to strike up a conversation.
The glass was set back down on the coaster and Esda unglued her eyes from her phone for a moment only to reply, "I'm a party planner."
"Oh, that must be fun! Getting to plan parties and such," I said with a grin. Never before had I met a party planner. But it makes me wonder, if working such a fun job, why does she come in everyday looking the way she does?
"No, it's stressful. There's always someone who isn't happy with what I've done and wish to sue me. They cannot though because they aren't the ones paying for the party," Esda told me as her eyes went back to her phone. The glow from the phone finally put some light on her face and I could see the bags under her eyes. I couldn't notice such a thing before due to the dim lighting in the bar.
I stood up right and just examined Esda for a moment. "Why be a party planner if it's so stressful?" I asked as I folded my arms across my chest. Being a bartender is stressful enough with having to deal with so many drunk people. I could never imagine doing Esda's job.
Esda set her phone down on the bar top with a sigh. "What's with all the questions tonight Cameron?" Esda questioned me in return this time.
It was very unexpected and my face flushed. I almost felt embarrassed by it. "Well, you're here for awhile every day and you never seem to talk to anyone when here, so I decided I'd start a conversation with you. But I'll stop if you want," I said awkwardly.
"Well, I'll tell you what, after your shift, we'll go to my apartment, I'll make coffee and you can ask as many questions as you would like," Esda said and leaned against the back of the bar stool, mirroring my stance and crossed her arms over her chest.
I was taken back by the response I recieved and just nodded in response. I wasn't expecting that from her, ever. "Alright, we'll do that I guess..." I replied rubbing my hand against the side of my face. I was starting to wonder if this was a dream or not.
Esda gave me another forced smile before going back to her phone and her drink. I was guessing it was an indication for me to leave her alone until I got off my shift, so I would do just that and I could only hope that the time would go by quickly.