The sun receded as she walk into the cool atmosphere of her favorite restaurant. She hadn’t come in to eat. She headed toward the bar. Sliding on to the stool, the friendly bartender greeted her.
“Long time no see,”he smiled.
“I know. Right?” she smiled back.
“What can I get you?” he asked while whiping a glass with a bar keeper’s towel.
“Im just ordering take out so a menu will do and a glass of pino grigio while I wait.”
It had been a long time. There were a couple of reasons that she had shied away from her haunt. Money was first in her thinking. The last few months she had burned through her money having lunch out every day and joining in at TGIFs. The other was her weight. If she ate her meal at noon she really didn’t need to eat again at dinner. The other reason she had shied away was the temptation to go past the one glass rule for wine. She was finding it harder as pressure built at work.
“Try this and see if you like it.” He poured a tasting pour and then realized he didn’t have any more of that particular wine. “Here. Just take the full glass no charge.”
She smiled as she replied, “Thank you. That is really sweet of you.”
“Listen do you like Creme Brûlée?” He was full of enthusiasm
“I don’t know, why?”
“It’s new on the menu. It is really good. I can give you a taste.”
“Just add it to the Grilled Chicken Penne to go,” she smiled as she handed the menu back. “I trust you.” She also noticed the three gentlemen at the end of the bar watching her and the exchange with the bar tender.
A woman came in and took the stool next to her. She was nervous. Her hand tremors were noticeable as she tried to take out her wallet. Her age seemed to be close to her own.
“Marnie, right?” The bartender shot across the bar pointing her out.
“Right, you remembered after all this time? I’m impressed. Andy right?” She cocked her thumb and forefinger toward him.
“Wow, good memory!!” He retorted.
The woman turned and asked her if she knew him. She said yes. The woman asked if she had a recommendation for wine and food. She said almost everything is good and the bartender has always suggested good wines when I have asked.
The two women went on chatting getting to know one another. She learned the woman is divorced and still not reconciled to it. Her husband left her and she was still in mourning and off her mooring. When asked how long it had been the woman replied fifteen years… She couldn’t help but feel better about herself. It had only been eight and her new life provided many wonderful experiences. She was at peace knowing the divorce was the best thing for both she and the man she married. Soon it became obvious this woman had no direction other than to relive the loss of her marriage and hang on the dream that the marriage would be renewed.
Her order was ready and she took her last sip of wine. She smiled toward Andy and gave a wave. Turning toward the door she did not see him come out from behind the bar. As she pushed the door she felt a familiar hand at her waist.
“I just wanted to ask,” he said.
“No don’t. It was grand to see you.” She pushed through the door waving to him as she went.