“Wasn’t he just adorable when he was trying to dance?” chuckled an amused Elaine as they made their way to the long line for the bathroom.
“Yeah...what was he doing anyways? A two step?” countered Leila, trying to adjust her legs so that she wouldn’t pee herself while they waited for the line to move.
“Who knows? I had fun though! Why haven’t you been dancing?” asked Elaine, looking annoyed that Leila wasn’t some sort of party animal.
“I’m just not seeing any good prospective dance partners out there yet. When I find one, I will dance! You worry too much,” claimed Leila.
Elaine looked at her friend with one perfectly groomed, light brown eyebrow raised until Leila said, “What?” while chuckling at her friend’s inane expression.
“Just trying to determine if you’re lying to me, but I believe you,” Elaine offered.
“Well thank you darling,” said Leila, pronouncing the word like dah-ling.
They both burst out laughing as they pictured the stuck up girls at Freedmont’s Private School. They always thought that they were superior to Elaine and Leila, but the two girls didn’t pay any attention to them whatsoever. When they could both catch their breath from their giggling fit they hugged.
“God this line is way too long…”
Elaine stood up on her tippy toes to try and see how far the line went, which was an amusing thing for Leila to watch since she was so much shorter than her. Elaine wasn’t what could be called “petite,” but she was short next to Leila, who looked like an Amazon woman in comparison.
“Do you have to go to the bathroom, too?”
“No, not really. I just didn’t want you to go alone. There’s a bunch of weirdos here tonight. In masks no less.”
“I can pee by myself, Elaine. I’m a big girl in case you hadn’t noticed, I promise I can handle it.”
“Are you sure it’s okay?”
Elaine bit her lip, her eyes wide and innocent-like and Leila laughed. She could tell that she really wanted to get back onto the dance floor by how shifty and impatient she was being.
“Yes, I promise it’s fine. Go dance. I’ll be there in a sec.”
Elaine clapped her hands, grinning big.
“Yay! Goody! ’Cuz this really cute guy asked me to dance just before you walked over and I never gave him an answer.”
Leila watched her friend practically skip off from all of that excess energy she seemed to possess, a wide grin spreading across her face. Elaine never turned down a dance. She believed everyone deserved a fair chance. Although, Leila admired her friend for her boldness, she was also sickened sometimes by how nice she was. It might just have been because she was cynical or jealous, but Leila had always thought that people who were happy all the time had deep psychological issues because it seemed so artificial. Elaine, however, had proved her wrong time and again. Leila was compassionate as well, but she tended to be quite a bit pickier about whom she danced with. She liked a man to be all and decent looking. The problem is, the ones that were decent looking and tall were usually gay, married or touchy-feely. She didn’t like it when she got the impression that she was being frisked rather than being held. What happened to chivalry? Was it dead?
The line finally moved and she sighed with relief, her bladder threatening to burst. She took care of business and washed her hands, noticing that the bathroom was quiet since everyone had left her in there all alone. She enjoyed the peace she felt without someone looking over her shoulder. Sometimes it was just nice to be alone for a minute to collect yourself. Leila took a long, hard look at herself in the mirror. She looked beautiful, but for some reason she just wasn’t feeling very lively. She had read once that smiling into the mirror at yourself tricks your mind into believing that someone is smiling at you. So, then that triggers a smile from you in return.
She found it hard to believe, but at this point she’d try anything to make herself feel less rattled about being back at The Cathedral since her last encounter here hadn’t gone so well. She was doubtful it would work, especially in this awful white tiled, cream colored bathroom, but she thought it was worth a try anyways. Looking behind her to make sure the stalls were unoccupied to stave off embarrassment, she smiled at her reflection, beginning to feel really stupid. At first she thought it wasn’t going to work, but after a few seconds the fake smile became real and then finally reached her eyes. It made sense, then, that smiling releases endorphins.
She felt much better, less grumpy even. In fact, she was going to walk up to the first guy she thought looked interesting and strike up a conversation! Elaine would be so proud. She sometimes envied her friend for her positive outlook on life, but at the same time she felt like Elaine was very naive and way too trusting. Yes, they do say that ignorance is bliss, but she couldn’t help feeling super protective of her long-time buddy. After all, they were practically sisters. Leila double checked her make-up, admiring the dark smoky eyeshadow that stood out from behind the black mask she wore that covered most of her face and how long her eyelashes looked with the new mascara Elaine had loaned her. She pulled her shoulders back, trying to convey confidence. Truthfully she was really nervous. Leila wasn’t exactly great at conversations with people in general, let alone men.
Men just naturally flocked to Elaine, and next to her Leila usually felt invisible to the opposite sex. She wasn’t going to let that stop her tonight! Hopefully Elaine would be occupied with some other random guy and then Leila would actually stand more of a chance of being noticed. The big wooden door to the bathroom was pushed open and Leila jumped slightly as the loud creaking noise it made interrupted her thoughts. In walked a petite blonde girl who was dressed like Alice In Wonderland, the Disney version. She even sported the apron and headband.
“Oh, nice costume!” the Alice wannabe said a little too loudly, clearly deaf from the pounding music in the club.
“Thank you. I like yours too.” replied Leila with a small smile.
At least the bathroom was mostly quiet thought Leila, thankful for a reprieve from the deafening music that waited just outside the door. The girl stumbled to the nearest stall and proceeded to throw up all over the toilet.
“Are...are you okay?” asked Leila, feeling a bit squeamish at this point.
The Alice look alike didn’t answer and Leila stepped forward to help her. She was debating whether she should hold her hair back or get a cold, wet paper towel for her forehead first when the girls friend walked in and rushed to her side, asking if she was alright. Her retching sounds and the smell of vomit were too much for Leila and she decided that she had hid out long enough. Time to get back out there. She made her way through the crowded bar, looking for Elaine in the enormous throng of people. Not seeing her anywhere, she headed towards her seat. She had completely forgotten about the beer she had ordered, which she left open when she went to the bathroom. Because of what happened the last time, she decided to order another one. She recognized the bar keep as she gestured him over.
Usually beer wasn’t her drink of choice, but she was broke and it was cheap! She sat down, noticing a man in all black who was nursing his beer sitting near her seat. He looks like….no. Snap out of it! Shaking her head to clear the thought, knowing it was an impossibility, she turned her attention to the bartender and grinned great big. It was Jay! She wondered if he had heard about the incident with the guy from last weekend. She really hoped not, that would be super embarrassing to her if he had heard.
“Well I’ll be damned! If it isn’t little miss Spark herself. How the heck are ya?” bellowed Jay, apparently happy to see her.
“Hey Jay. I’m great, you?” she replied, relieved. If he knew about it, he was kind enough not to mention it.
“I’m good, I’m good. What would you like tonight, sweetie?” asked Jay, joyfully. When that man smiled, he smiled with his eyes as well. It was what she liked most about him.
“Just another one of these please,” Leila said, motioning to her empty bottle.
Jay set a new one in front of her after putting her cash in the drawer.
“Here you go, beautiful. Let me know if you need anything else alright?”
Jay winked at her and Leila smiled back at him, flattered and annoyed at the same time by his insatiable flirting. She was flattered because was extremely sexy, but she was annoyed because he was way, way too charming to be someone whom she could see herself getting with. Leila tried to enjoy the cheap taste of her beer. ‘How do people drink this stuff?’ she wondered to herself. It was positively dreadful tasting! After Jay walked off to help another pretty girl, flirting shamelessly, she shook her head, a wry amused grin on her face as she looked around the room. She noticed one guy in particular right off the bat. He sat all alone. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it, but it was something about the way his hair fell down across the front of his mask.
His smile was guarded, but friendly as he nonchalantly sipped his beer. He made a slightly disgusted face as he stared at the label on his Coors Light. She studied his profile, drinking him in. He had dark hair that fell to just about chin level, a chiseled jaw, a tan muscular body and a startling eye color. It was hard to see since she wasn’t up close, but when she moved closer to him it appeared to be a deep golden shade with flecks of green, making his eyes look hazel until you got up close. It was hard to see the rest of his face due to the almost Zorro-like mask he wore. She really wanted to see the man behind the mask, but she resisted asking him. When he noticed her looking at him, her first instinct was to bolt, but the way his eyes narrowed inside of his mask made her freeze in her tracks.