Love The One You're With?
from near the beginning of #RiverNovel

I lead the way to a place beside a table full of guys. As soon as we sit, "Hi. Can I get you girls something to drink?"

I can't believe it. It's Him.

"Sure. I'll have a Kahlua and Cream. Becky?"

"Strawberry daiquiri for me please."

"Sure thing. Don't go away. I'll be right back." He winks at Becky, and goes to the bar. Becky looks at me, raises her eyebrows and giggles. I roll my eyes.

She leans forward, "So, what did you think of your first week at The Lemon Tree?"

I put on my Harry Bellafonte attitude and sing
"Lemon tree very pretty
And the lemon Flower is sweet --"

The guys at the next table are all looking at me. "Hi I'm Shari Bellafonte and I'll be your entertainment tonight." I laugh and wave, and turn back toward Becky long enough to roll my eyes, and then see that He is hitting on the bartender while she's making our drinks. Hmm. Maybe a regular here. I tap my fingers on the table to continue the melody, and ask Becky, "What's this place like when it gets hopping?"

"Oh, I don't know, just like any bar. Just an ordinary bar."

"I'll be right back." The jukebox beckons me, and I comply. I shake my head: "Please Mister Please" is number E 16. How could they goof that one up? I can't think of any reason to leave Reunited at D 17, so I use my nail polish to fix the labels on the buttons. I put in my quarter, and hit the new, real D 17, and close my eyes as I hit others.

As I bop back to my chair, I try to catch the eye of one of the guys at the table beside us. His attention is focused on a certain booth across the room, and he has a beautiful smile on. I brush against his chair, and he's not phased. I rattle my seat around before I sit in it. Still no response from him. He's a million miles away in Happy Land. He sure is cute.

Our drink man delivers. Becky offers to pay him, thinking he's a waiter. I pretend that I don't notice him. He calls "John" over from their table. Not the cute guy, but attentive. His attentiveness makes him attractive. He gets a bit too attentive. I shift my attention to our gift-bearer, and let Becky get John's spotlight.

"So, where are all you guys from?" I gesture toward their table.

"Oh, we just got offa work from the new doctor's office complex going up on Spring Street."

"Oh." I glance out of the corner of my eye at Mr. Cutie, who is still gazing at nothing. Sigh.The distant table is still clear, the wall is still dark, and the candle remains unlit.

"Love The One You're With" plays on the jukebox.

Mr. Drink asks me, "Wanna dance?"

"Sure." I learned from a magazine article to humor the worst bores. If the guy who you want to attract sees you having a great time with someone else, especially the worst bore, then he'll see you as being more attractive. I'm putting that to the test.

I try to turn my attention to my dance partner -- my key to Mr. Cutie -- and wonder how to arrange an introduction. As I work this out, I am having a hell of a time dancing my ass off.

On our way back to the table, I deliberately take a route between Mr. Cutie and his blank wall, but now his attention is on the girl who joined his table, sitting beside him, one bare leg extended like a wall between them and the rest of the world. My heart breaks. She pulls a pack of cigarettes out of her purse and offers him one. He takes it, and pulls a pack of matches out of his shirt pocket. Ewww. Kissing a smoker is like licking a dirty ashtray.

My jukebox selection comes up, and I ask my dance partner if he's ready to resume.
Everyone who "Likes" and makes suggestions motivates me to continue exploring this story. Some of the most effective comments ask for more detail about a moment, event or character.
This is a #SaturdayScenes from near the beginning of my #RiverNovel .

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Photo credits:
Ukraine dnepr at krementchug by Lutz Fischer-Lamprecht. Licensed by Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 Unported. Modified by Grace Buchanan.

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