I decided to keep the same liquor train flowing and got another margharita. The sugar will likely result in a worse hangover, but right now, I couldn’t care less. I wanted to drink, and they taste delicious.
I walked to up to the bar with Tony and he placed our order.
“Can we get two margaritas?” He yelled, trying to make the bartender hear him over the bustle of noise we walked into as we neared the counter.
The bartender nodded and started mixing our drinks. We stood in silence until they were ready, unable to talk anyway with the noise. Drinks in hand, we headed back towards the table I had been sitting at, remarkably, no one had taken residence while I was away.
I took off my jacket and sat down across from Tony, then took a long sip of my icy drink through the straw. He placed his straw on the table then lifted his drink to his lips, mixing the salt with the liquid.
It was considerably quieter over here, so conversation was easier.
“You know that much salt is bad for you?”
“So is tequila.” His face lights up with laughter.
“Touché’,” I say and do the same, enjoying the blend of salty and sweet. “Mmm, but god it tastes good.”
“Yeah, it does.”
“Tony, you can’t tell anyone you ran into me tonight. I plan on getting very drunk and I have no doubt it will be embarrassing.”
He is still alight with laughter, “Your secret is safe with me.” His face got slightly more serious then added, “I wouldn’t do anything to make you more upset than you already are.”
“Thanks,” I say then take another long pull of my drink.
“So,” he asked gently, “what happened?”
I tense up, but answer him, “You know how I was going to surprise my boyfriend tonight?” He nods, so I continue, “Well he had is own surprise in store for me, I showed up at his house and a little blonde thing wearing nothing but one of his button-down shirts opened the door.”
“Seriously? Why would he cheat on you?”
“That’s the million-dollar question.”
He surprised me with the next question, “Did you love him?”
I shake my head, “I really wanted to, but the relationship never got serious enough to get me to that point.”
“That’s a relief, at least.”
A few minutes with Tony and I already feel better. He is much easier to talk to than my girlfriends, if they were here they would be cursing his name, being loud and distracting and not really consoling me.
“I think I am more just frustrated,” I say, “all my relationships seem to end in disaster, one way or the other.”
“You can say that again.” He holds up his glass, “Let’s drink then, not to your cheating ex-boyfriend, but to the amusement of both of our failed love lives.”
I laugh, “I am not drinking to that.”
“And why not?” He asks, still holding his drink in the air.
“Because it’s depressing.”
“Embracing it might make it a little better, besides this will be much more fun, I can tell you some stories that will make you laugh.”
“What kind of stories?”
“You’re not the only one that has made bad dating choices.” He laughs, and I find it infectious.
“This is weird therapy, but what the hell.” I raise my glass and clink it with his. I drink the rest of mine during the cheer, for luck, I tell myself then add, “I am going to get us another round.”
He still has about half left, but says, “Okay, I will hold down the table.”
The crowd around the bar is still busy, so it takes me close to ten minutes to get back to our table.
He helps me grab the drinks from my hands, and asks, “Four margaritas?”
I shrug, “The line is brutal, I didn’t want to go back up anytime soon.”
I sit down, and he starts to tell me one of his stories.
“A few years ago, I was with this woman – let’s call her Cindy – for five months.”
I sat entranced listening to him animatedly talk about his past lover, nodding along and laughing with each funny detail he added. His story about Cindy lasted almost my whole drink.
“I came home that night and she had literally destroyed everything in my room. The bed was slashed to pieces, feathers were all over the place, my clothes were shredded, I had nothing to wear and had to go shopping immediately, but since it was right in the middle of grad school, I couldn’t afford to buy more than new clothes, so I slept on an air mattress for the next year.”
My eyes were tearing up from laughing so hard, “Why did you let it last so long with her, she sounded crazy from the beginning.”
He says frankly, “I was young, and she was smoking hot.” He let out a bellow of a laugh, “Believe me, I learned my lesson after that.”
“An air mattress – that sounds awful.”
“It actually wasn’t too bad, I only stopped using it when it got a leak.” Seeing that mine was nearly finished, he took a long drink of his margarita then said, “alright, you’re turn.”
We spent the next few hours joking about our pasts and I felt insanely better. I can’t give all the credit to Tony, my multiple drinks really helped.
I finished my final drink, feeling deliriously drunk and stood clumsily to leave, “Tony, I am so glad I ran into you tonight, but I think it is time for me to head home.”
I tried to take my first step, but I wobbled in my high heels. Tony was at my side in a flash, giving me a helping hand to steady me.
“Do you need me to call you an uber?”
“No need, I just live around the corner.”
“I can walk you home then.”
“Thank you, that would be great.” I don’t know if I would make it without falling if I didn’t have his help.
We made the short two-minute walk back to my place and standing at the front door and now that I was here, I realized I wasn’t ready to be alone in there.
“Would you like to come in for a cup of coffee?
He hesitates, but nodded anyway, “Sure.”
Check back later for the next installment of Meredith and Tony
(hint, you won’t want to miss what’s coming).
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