I see you at the bar. It’s a fancy bar, trimmed with gold overhead lights and black surfaces. You’re wearing your white Nikes and cropped black hoodie, back hunched, repeating your habit of correcting your posture then giving up and slouching over again. You flex the reflex once, and that’s when I recognise you. I’m with a new group of friends – they’re faceless and they don’t know about you. Well, okay, maybe I explained the situation to them in elusive terms, used words like “situationship” and “hell-fire crush”, but essentially they don’t know you. I – wearing a dress, looking good – cross the room and take the seat next to you. I order an Old Fashioned. Okay, so it’s a Bond movie. Whatever. I ordered the old fashioned already, so whatever. In front of you is a Redbull vodka. You swirl the thin black straw with your alien fingers (that’s what I used to call them: E.T.-esque, freakishly long fingers. I called them this because I wanted to put them in my mouth and I didn’t want you to know this. It’s a whole thing). The bartender slides the old fashioned over. I thank them. I take a sip and I hate it. I make a noise and you look over. You look the same and different and I realise that you’re wearing eyeliner. We start talking and the conversation flows like it never used to. We have so much to catch up on. Your degree sounds fun in the sort of way that I understand, objectively, how other people would find fun. My degree is boring and I hate talking about it, but you say it suits me, and I take the compliment, then wonder whether I should have taken it. I order a Redbull vodka, and you order an Old Fashioned. Your lips are dry. I’m biting the inside of my cheeks. We order a Redbull vodka Old Fashioned. Your two set of lips are chapped and hovering in my eyes. The inside of my cheeks hurt. The bell rings, and it’s confession time. Isn’t it crazy, I blurt, how I was so in love with you? Three years is a long time. I don’t remember much from those years, but the thick, cord-like string binding them all together is you.
In my head, this is where the scene ends. Partly because I don’t know how you would react. Mostly because I know how you would react and I don’t want to imagine it.
1. Buy a Cruiser (preferably Raspberry flavoured)
2. Pour the Cruiser in your mum’s cocktail glass over ice.
3. Attach a slice of orange to the rim of the glass, and maybe even a mini umbrella.
4. Drink. Feel posh while drinking.
Ledya Khamou is currently studying English & Theatre Studies and Creative Writing at the University of Melbourne. Her degree is boring and she hates talking about it.
image: MM Kaufman