Wine gave the illusion of courage, yet Alex’s heart thudded a rapid drumbeat, beads of sweat on his forehead and lower back from the heat of the imagined bonfire around which several dancers frolicked to the rhythm of that rapid drumbeat.
In reality, Alex maneuvered around the other patrons in the bar. He arrived at the lady’s side, then he murmured, “Hi.”
“Hi there,” she replied, louder than him.
A frown on her lovely face, and she said, “Do you mean the ice cream flavor, or that you’ve gone down a difficult path?”
“The former. No, the ladder. No, I don’t mean a tool you can use to climb to second-floor bedroom windows. That’s creepy. I mean the latter. With t’s, not d’s. The second one.”
Thankfully, the lady’s frown eased away. “Do you mean your life in general has been rocky, or that recent events have been rocky?”
“Recent,” Alex said. “Very recent. The path to get to you. I’m not saying the bar’s floor is strewn with rocks. I’m speaking metaphorically.”
One of her eyebrows raised, a gesture that communicated some of the lady’s opinions and ideas. If only Alex could’ve translated the gesture, he would’ve understood her better. However, that was part of the mystery. Which was maddening and enticing at the same time.
She said, “Now that you’ve achieved your destination, do you expect a reward?”
“I already have it.”
“Oh? What’s that?”
“You’re talking to me.”
This time she let out a little laugh, and the sound was sweet to his ears. “And what an unusual conversation it is.”
Encouraged, Alex said, “Do you have a taste for rocky road ice cream right now? Or is it just me?”
“I’m not sure.”
“We could try to find an ice cream shop and see if you’re up for it,” he said. “Or we could put it to the side for later. Down the road.”
The same eyebrow raised, along with the corner of her mouth directly underneath it. “You’re original. How about we have a drink, then we’ll go from there.”
copyright © 2021 Dave Williams