Mere Happenstance Part 1

There was nothing better than Thursdays for Phil. He would constantly joke about how everything of great importance happened on a Thursday, or at least what was important to him. It was all about Thursdays for him, he joked that when the world ended, it would be on a Thursday, or maybe if the universe truly wanted to spite him, on a Monday. Of course, if you asked him, he would laugh and tell you “I was born on a Friday, but I’m not that important.” A Friday at approximately 5:35 PM. A time he was keenly aware of and would let people know about when asked. His mother had often reminded him about it growing up because it had made her miss dinner.  This made him surmise when he was younger, that being in labor and hungry at the same time, is one of the worst ways to go about it. She would tell him this, but she would continue to tell him it was a short labor. When it came to the time of delivery he jumped out into the world. So fast, in fact, the doctor nearly dropped him.

On this Thursday however, he was sitting at his usual spot, playing a rather bland round of bar trivia. Phil wasn’t very good at trivia he was sure of this. He came for the beers, the companionship, and the rare chance to see “her.” She was only here on trivia night. He didn’t even know her name, but he thought she was beautiful. She had auburn hair, pale skin, just enough curves, and was only a little shorter than him. He knew he could never talk to her, or at least he thought. He had not once mentioned her to his friends. He was afraid they might insist he try to talk to her, and he knew he would blow it, he always did. So, he watched her from afar.

She was younger than him, but he could not quite tell her age. She had that timeless look of a woman who could be anywhere from her early twenties to mid-thirties, and he was afraid to get closer to try and figure it out. He also noted that she came here with enough different people that he assumed one of them had to be “with” her, and he ended up just watching as he always did. Wanting a better life as he saw it, but he was old enough he recognized the nonsense that thought was, but that only helped him a fraction on this crush.

It was to his great surprise that this night she was walking up to him. “You know, your eyes are gonna fall out of your head if you don’t stop staring so hard,” she said. “I…I’m…I’m sorry!” he responded. She smiled and said, “You are cute though, I’ll give you that.” He just looked at her dumbstruck. The confused look on his face gave way to a slow smile “Thank you” he said. Her smile widened, “Maybe not the smartest, why don’t you stop staring and buy me a drink.” She said. The initial shock wore off in an instant, he might be slow, but not that slow. “What would you like?” he asked and smiled back. “By the way, my name is Phil, what’s yours?” She tilted her head to the side and looked at him, a coy expression on her face. “Guess” was all she responded. A confused look crossed his face again, “Guess what? The drink? Your name?” he said. “let’s say both” she said still smiling, “or maybe if you guess one, I’ll let you have the other.”

Phil was at a loss. He had never had any woman, approach him, and act in this manner. “How would I even begin to guess?” he said. She looked at him and raised an eyebrow. Her eyes were beautiful he realized. They were the perfect shade of blue, with a touch of green and brown near the center, he was captivated. “Ahem! You’re starring again” she said, but he saw a shine in her eyes. Having nothing to lose he guessed “Tiffany?” he paused looking her up and down. “And, let’s say Miller Lite Bottle?” She responded “Oh! So close, but not this time! Good luck next time.” She smiled, turned oh he heels, and walked away. Phil stood there not knowing what to do. “What was that all about?” One of his friends asked. “I dunno, but I think I just blew it,” Phil said. He wanted to follow her, but he was a self-proclaimed coward and did not. The rest of the night progressed as most of his Thursday’s trivia nights do. This time his team came in second, and there were celebratory shots. Win or lose that would happen most nights. He also watched her walk out the door, which happened every trivia night.

Phil knew most of the staff, so he walked up to the server who had been helping her table. “Hey! What’s up?” he said with a smile. “Forget about it!” Was the instant response. “Forget about what?” Phil said a little agitated. “I said forget about it! I never got her name, and she tipped me to not tell you what she was drinking.” The server smiled “She did tell me to let you know, better luck next week.” The server laughed and walked away. Phil realized that he would get another chance and was beside himself. All he would have to do is wait a week, and he was already feeling impatient.


The weekend came and went as most do, in a blur. The slow progression of the week followed. Finally, it was Thursday. Phil went through most of his day feeling nervous and excited. He tried to dress well without overdressing. This was not easy for him seeing as other than work clothes, almost everything he owned was just a t-shirt or jeans. He found his most decent pair of jeans, and a polo he dug out of his closet. He was on a mission, he wasn’t going to screw up this time, or so he hoped.

He walked into the bar and was greeted by the other regulars and his friends. “So, you gonna go talk to her tonight, or what?” A friend asked, and another supplied “DO IT! DO IT!” Then the whole side of the bar joined in “DO IT! DO IT!” they shouted. Phil just stood there, turning red. He was saved, or maybe he wasn’t, by the mystery girl walking up with a huge grin on her face. “Do what?” she asked once again tilting her head. “They wanted me to go talk to you” Phil responded with the truth and lowered his eyes to look at his shoes.

“Phil, you are hopeless, aren’t you?” She said and laughed. “You are cute though I’ll take that Miller tonight.” Phil looked up at her, thinking she might be messing with him. Realizing she as serious he ordered for himself and her. “Umm, would you like to sit down and talk?” He said with a nervous smile. “No, but thanks for the drink,” she said smiling at him. He was flabbergasted and didn’t know what to do, he blurted out “Would you at least talk with me…”

She took a long pull on her beer and set it on the counter. “Now, what would you like to talk about…? The geopolitical state of our country, or maybe the current locust plague in Africa?” He was taken aback, lost as to how to respond, she was watching him with her beautiful gaze. As her lips continued to curve in a slight smirk, he realized she was playing with him, or at least he hoped she was. He tried to have a little bravado and said “How about I tell you about myself?” She picked up her beer and sat down next to him. He was still standing and quickly sat down. She hadn’t responded, she was just sitting there watching him through her gorgeous eyes.

“Well, I can’t say I’m anything special. I work in retail, have my whole life…” Phil went through the paces of what he did and the back-breaking hours it involved. The trials of never being able to actually stop the crazy customers who would rampage if the slightest thing wasn’t to their liking. He talked about his life up north, before he had moved here. How he missed his friends but had made new ones here. He talked about everything except how lonely he was. He knew better than that.

She sat and listened, watching him the whole time. Inserting the occasional comment to help him keep his train of thought. He had been talking for a while, he realized he was only talking about himself. He stopped and said, “I’m sorry, I’m blabbering and I still don’t even know your name?” She smiled and said, “I told you, you have to guess.” Her smirk was a living thing taunting him and at the same time so tempting.

He had no idea what to do, so he simply said, “Jessica?” She drained the last of her beer and stood up, close but no cigar… I’ll see you next week Phil.” She smiled and walked away. His friends who had been giving him space come all at him in a rush “What happened?” “Did you get her number?” “What’s her name?” Phil just sat there and said, “I don’t know…”

The night went through its pace’s drinks all around. He watched her leave, as he always did. Her Red locks bouncing as she walked, he liked watching her walk. He was confused because he wasn’t sure if she was just playing with him, or if he was blowing it. Women didn’t talk to him often, and never first. He just didn’t know what to do. He knew he just needed to try not to overthink it all. It would only be another whole week.


Continue Reading Part 2 Here

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