Jake had been waiting on his barstool for an hour already and had started to lose patience with his date. Oh, he knew she’d come eventually, she always did. Even with knowing Sly’s usual M.O., he never failed to show up on time, because he knew the one time he decided to be late would be the one time she’d be on time. He sighed and checked his watch again. How much longer would he have to wait?
He called Tony over with a hasty jerk of his hand. The bartender rolled his eyes and shook his head. Tony was a man in his mid-fifties with gray hair—what was left of it. He wore a white dress shirt under a black vest. The only thing he was missing was the black armband reminiscent of the style at the turn of the twentieth century. Sly told him once that Tony had been tending bar there for thirty years, which could explain his gruff attitude. Jake never had any problems with the old man but thought he had a funny way of treating paying customers. After a minute or two, Tony begrudgingly set a fresh glass of soda on a clean little napkin and sternly eyed his teetotaler.
“Hope she’s worth it, boy,” he said with a grunt and a little too much emphasis on boy, as far as Jake was concerned. Jake watched the back of the bartender’s shiny head as he turned to tend to his more lucrative patrons.
He sighed again and glanced at the door. Still no Sly. Yeah, she was worth it, but it didn’t mean he had to enjoy complying with all her demands. Abstaining from drink was one of them. He had to admit that her reasoning was sound; how could she be in control if he was drunk? And, of course, waiting for her late ass all the time was another.
The more Jake thought about her controlling nature, the more agitated he grew. Why the hell did he subject himself to this . . . this . . . her control? It’s not right that she makes me jump through all of these ridiculous hoops, he thought as he glanced at Tony, who, simultaneously, gave him another disgusted look and shook his head. Jake’s blood boiled. That’s it, Jake thought, I’m not going to take this anymore.
Born in Florida but raised in various towns in New England, R. Renée Vickers now lives in a small town just outside of Charleston, South Carolina, with her husband and children. And although work and family life leave her little free time, she spends every available moment indulging in her favorite passion, writing.