(1st Person) Romance - Fiction - Drama

Updated: Sep 13

We live in a world where love seems necessary, and I admit that it is a valuable connection to have. Yet does it have to be a sexual connection? I've had not few, but not many, if that makes sense. I regret some, and the rest simply didn't work out, but I'm determined to keep trying.
In today's age, our friends encourage us to sleep with different partners as if it has no meaning. Or to meet different people and date simultaneously to filter them out. I, deep down, have never agreed with that, but I always hypocritically go with the crowd. Truth is, I try my best to make my world as carefree as possible, so I can avoid getting hurt. Not that it's always worked. And, somehow, it's inevitable that the ones I'm finally attracted to, as much as I try to avoid those types, become the ones I fall in love with the most. Social media explains time and time again how our childhood trauma is to blame, but it all seems like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, considering I've seen some of my friends have the worst fathers – and now are in healthy, committed relationships. WTF is going on with me! I had a great childhood. I can't seem to think of anything that made me weak and ignorant to gain such poor partnerships. In conclusion, some of my married friends – maybe they healed from unknown trauma, or maybe they learned how to block out the trauma. I never really asked them, but then again, I'm not a psychologist, so even if I did, how could I diagnose what the ultimate result should be for me or them?
I'm 27 years old as of last month, and I am still glad that I gave love a shot in the past, even though it ended with me throwing a wine bottle at him. It luckily hit the wall, but I wouldn't have been disappointed if it hit where I aimed –– just to be clear.
I know that sometimes we don't want to feel alone, and I know other times we feel there is hope for that "one guy" who still lives with his parents but has the potential to buy a house one day. You know... like...things are going to get better because you can HELP HIM. So, you count on that instead of the reality – which it's actually time to go -– leave him, I SAY! Hey...I hear you. I was supposed to leave Rick at least a year or two before that wine bottle made its big entrance. But like most, I didn't want to start over, and I loved him.
Some nights, to kill the loneliness, I go out with Casey and Stephanie. Two of my main friends. Casey is married, Stephanie is single, and we try to do a girl date once a month. Friends keep you busy, regardless of their status, so I'm glad I went out that night because Rick is on my mind, even though he doesn't deserve to be.
I was sipping on my drink when my friend Casey and Stephanie were laughing. They were conversing about some guy's stupid pickup lines when I looked at the corner of the bar and saw a very tall, bronzed-tan man with green eyes shimmering from the top of his lids –– complimenting long-short hair. It was a little stringy but ultimately still desirable. His face was chiseled like Brad Pitt. The music was booming, but he wasn't flinched by it while looking down at the bar top. Something must be on his mind while he took a drink from a four-inch glass with one big ball of ice that appeared to contain liquid the color of bourbon. I couldn't take my eyes off him, and I was sure he was oblivious to it.
"Hey girl, what you are staring at?" Casey said in her high-pitched, slurred voice. I returned a sigh instead of a straight answer, but they both stared at me as if I had something to confess.
"Oh, come on...tell us." Stephanie encouraged while she took a
shot of tequila, then looked around the room as if she was never really interested. I don't have proof, but I'm quite sure that the only reason she hangs out with Casey and me is that she's hoping some guy will come to sweep her off her feet. I'm pretty sure it would be the same type of guy she met about three months ago who landed her back on her feet all by herself. And right on cue, a guy came up to her, pulling her away. She is extremely attractive, so it wasn't a surprise that about every 10 to 20 minutes, she gets hit on as soon as she turns the corner or brushes her eyes in a different direction. However, Casey, on the other hand, was very interested in my love life at all costs. It was to the point where she constantly tried to hook me up with other people. Other people, I wouldn't be interested in at all. Maybe that's because they were good guys, but then again, I never gave them a chance, so how would I know? Yet, I decided to tell my insignificant tale happening, which is that I'm a loser, staring at a guy who doesn't even notice I'm here.
"Nothing... but he’s kinda hot." I finally answered, pointing
in his direction without making it obvious. Casey looked over, rolling her eyes, prompting me to recognize it was a bad idea because he looked like every other guy I dated. I wasn't surprised by her reaction. It was the truth. When I was just about to forget about him –– as she took her shot of tequila, I felt his stare. He picked up his drink and sipped while making direct eye contact with me, or at least I thought it was in my direction. I finally smiled after
taking a deep breath because my desperation admitted I was waiting for him to notice. My heart raced as I pushed my bar stool to swivel around back to grab Casey's
"Oh my God, he's coming over here," I mumbled.
Casey squinted, perplexed, but then realized the tall hot-stringy-haired guy was on his way.
"Um…I have to go to the bathroom." She whispered in my ear, totally ignoring the guy talking to her on the other side –– including me.
"Uh, no!" I said, frustrated under my breath. I tried to grab her wrist, but she was too fast, pushing my fingers away as she glided off into the crowd. When I looked back up in his direction. –– he pushed his hair back, trying to make eye contact once again as he got closer.
"Is that you?" He asked confusingly in the softest, but sexiest man voice I ever heard.
"What?" I drank my drink, hoping a buzz would jam my unexpected flare of heartbeats. I swallowed and waited for an answer with my neck slightly stretched forward to prompt one.
"I know you. You don't remember?"
"You do? From where?" My breath was hasty, pausing to think.
As I looked away, he grabbed my hand and said, "I" m Mark Lombardi, from high school. Evelyn right… the lead cheerleader?"
My breath returned to me, and so did all the memories that I didn't care to remember.
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