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Eli




8:07 PM; Eli rushes into the tavern, finally escaping the onslaught of rain. He was running a little behind, but still managed to have enough time to settle into his usual seat towards the dimmer end of the bar.

He slides off his drenched trench coat and begins to loosen his tie. As the knot slowly gives way, he sighs realizing how much more of a leash it felt like compared to the gift it was meant to be from his beloved wife; however he wore it frequently because it was a unique shade of purple that he was rather fond of and was one of the few gifts he had received that showed she cared enough to remember something about him personally.

"You're late," Charlie the bartender reported while he poured Eli's usual, Whiskey Sour. "A few more minutes and your girl wouldv'e beaten you here," he joked.

"I know it, but man, it's like the all the water in the world is being poured on top of the city tonight. I could hardly make out the signs along the street. Luckily, yours is the only crap bar on 2nd Ave."

Eli had only been to the place once or twice a week for the last month or so, but he and Charlie had already developed quite the rapport and became fast friends.

"Is tonight the night you finally get the stones to speak to Ms. Wonderful or are we gonna stick to our usual stare and stalk routine..." Anything Charlie said after that was lost in the ether because at that moment, she entered, as paralyzingly beautiful as ever.

In a dress that, matched with her mile long legs, could bring the strongest man to his knees, she also had her usual smile & shine in her eyes. Her walk alone conveyed happiness; you knew from the moment she walked in that whoever she was there to see, she loved. She made her way to a booth by the window and patiently, no blissfully waited for her companion for the evening.

Eli dreamt of the day he could approach her and be given the chance to be the one to make her that happy. It seemed as if his "partner" at home couldn't be pleased. His failures, never assuaged by his attempts to bring a smile to her face.

He was finally jarred out of his recycled thoughts when Charlie swapped the empty glass out for a refill. "You know, she always comes, sits, and waits before her guy shows up. Maybe you should take advantage of that time and introduce yourself. Offer to take her out for a night outside of my piece of heaven." he joked.

"You know I'd love to, but you know very well that I've made previous arrangements and the fine print does say 'til death',"

"Doesn't stop most of the guys who stroll through here. Hell doesn't really stop some of the women either. I think you're just afraid to even approach her 'cause you have no idea what you would even say. You'd probably start stuttering or even..."

Eli was gone again. Lost in the grasp of his own pondering. How could he muster the courage to talk to her. What would he finally end up saying to her when he did? It wasn't like he could just saunter over and blurt out how he had fallen in love with what sat before him, a beautfiul stranger. That he wished his own wife would be willing to set aside the same kind of time she does just to simply go out with him and have drinks. That he wished he could have her look at him like this enigma of a woman does her sweetheart.

Charlie did not notice the silence echoing from Eli as he continued yet another speech meant to inspire his friend to take the plung and become a man of action; to make his presence felt by the girl he's been consumed by.

Eli saw his dream glide away to the restroom not long after her friend arrived and decided to call it an early night. He stopped Charlie in the middle of his ranting, "Perhaps next time. Maybe I'll even see her outside of this dump one day, if I'm lucky." He left his friend a tip and slid his chair back. "As always, it was a fine conversation shared with you, Charles." He fastened his leash and pulled his coat back on before trying to make a hasty exit.

Charlie called after him, "You're not gonna wait for the poor lady to come back out so you can get another look before you go? Or even get brave enough to wave?" he smiled sheepishly.

Eli had to grin at his buddy's remarks as he stepped outside. The rain had stopped and the sky was clear. "No, friend, I'll just wait to see her when she gets home tonight; like the good boy I am." Elli whispers softly.

He makes his way towards the door; a light breeze blowing his tie backwards over his shoulder as he exits.

As she walks out of the bathroom and sits next to her date, Candace sees a frightfully familiar shade of purple heading down the street.



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