Affliction

The lounge was getting fuller as the hour passed. There was no more available seating at the counter, and all the other individual round tables were rapidly being taken by groups. Waiters were going from one table to the next, the variety of drinks being ordered ranging from Berliner Weisse to White Russian. The sounds of laughter and chatting increased highly; there was no mistake that today was a Friday evening.

“Would you like something to drink?” one of the waiters asked as he stood at her right, placing the drink menu in front of her.

“Huh?” were the only words that came out of her as she was brought back to reality.

The waiter sighed as he calmly repeated himself. “I asked if you would like anything to drink?”

“Yes, of course,” she replied, getting a hold of the menu.

She was in need of something strong—something that would help her forget—even  if it was only for a few seconds. “A Long Island Ice Tea please,” she decided. He jotteddown the order on his notepad and before closing it, he asked, “Will that be all?”

She nodded as she replied, “…for now.”

As soon as the waiter had excused himself, she brought her gaze back to where it was before he had intruded, once again staring at the entrance of the bar. She wasn’t expecting anyone tonight—it wasn’t planned—yet all those unwelcoming feelings preoccupying her mind began to stir once more.

“Your drink miss,” the waiter said, placing the drink gently on the table.

She gazed down at her order, as if it was the most fascinating commodity she had encountered. “Thank you,” she replied.

Sip after sip, drink after drink… how many had she had by now? She didn’t know nor cared, but the more she drank the more her emotions began to rise, the more she wanted to let it out. Unable to hold it in, those bothersome tears began trickling down her cheeks.

 

Not far from where she was sitting, three girls in their twenties, made their appearance at the bar, looking around apprehensively. Searching for someone. The shortest of the three seemed to have spotted the said individual and with her left elbow poked the one beside her, getting her attention. “There,” she said, as she pointed to one of the corner tables to the right.

Sitting alone was their friend, the one they had been desperately searching for, and they quickened their pace to where she was.

“Tesa…” the friend with the wavy hair spoke first as they arrived. Tesa, captivated by her now empty glass of Long Island Ice Tea, didn’t even bother to acknowledge them as she began.

“I saw him today and he saw me too,” Tesa began saying indistinctly, “but as our eyes met… all those emotions I thought I had gotten rid of came back. He smiled tenderly at me and I took it as a sign to approach him, but when I was about to take a step, a little girl ran towards him.” Tesa’s eyes started to water as she exhaled loudly, trying to keep her composure as she continued, “ ‘Daddy!’ the little girl said, and he bent down to hug her, picking her and right after, as if on cue, his wife came to join them—the perfect family.”

She began to laugh, her agony becoming rather amusing for some reason, “She has what I have always wanted with him.”

Her friends turned to look at each other, feeling helpless at that moment, not knowing what to do, how to help, completely frustrated. They wanted to contradict her—tell her that she was better off or that there was someone out there more suited for her—but in the end they couldn’t.

“Oh Tesa,” whispered the same friend that had spotted her at the beginning as she embraced her from behind.

“It’s not fair,” Tesa choked out as she shook her head, “Why? Why do I have to be the stronger one? Why do I have to be the one to pretend…”  She started to cry, finally letting her friends see how weak she had really become. The alcohol hadn’t helped after all.

 

 

 

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