I picked up the small, crystal glass, examining its malty contents. Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey soon filled my mouth to meet my lingering taste buds. The pungent odor overwhelms my nostrils, filling every inch of my nose with the strong, bitter sensation. Peace settles in and I slide farther down into the uncomfortable bar stool seat, making a slight squeaky noise as my pants brush upon the smooth, red plastic covering of the stool. I look down at my scrawny chest to find my shark-tooth necklace dangling upon my clavicle. A sweet reminiscence of a better time. I look around and notice the bar is still as empty as it was when I arrived at 10 am. The clock chimes three. Afternoon is setting in. I begin to sense that empty feeling in the pit of my stomach but I quickly take a swig of my whiskey, sharply silencing the pain. It's been five years since Caroline has passed, but it still feels like it happened five minutes ago. I look across to the other side of the mahogany bar counter and wave to my good friend Louie. Louie tops me off with a wink to his smile. The liquid heaven meets my glass. Pure satisfaction has been met and my concentration drifts.
Abruptly, the red door of the bar swings back and forth, chiming that old, familiar bell. I turn to see the disruption. I swivel around only to find the most jaw-dropping, mesmerizing human being I have ever laid my eyes on. I am speechless. My muscles tighten in nervousness. Her graceful body makes its way down the steps into the bar scene as her elegant red, shimmery dress sways from side to side. I look around and no one seems to notice this angel. She is all mine. It must be destiny. She is the one who will take my suffering away; it was meant to be. Her straight, jet-black hair and soft face woe me. Her shape remains alluring yet confident as she descends down the steps of the bar. Her tiny, perfect hands grace upon the dark-wooded railing as if she knows that every one of her micro-movements is tempting me. She is coming over. I have to say something. Anything.
"He-hey there," I slur out, trying to maintain my composure, a little drunken.
The woman moves with her ocean-like flow down next to me, seating herself on one of the shiny bar stool seats. She cooly looks in my direction.
"Hey there," she says with a smirk.
Without moving my eyes from her mesmerizing face, I snap my fingers at Louie. "Scotch on the rocks for my beautiful lady in red," I order.
"What do you mean?" Louie says, confused.
"Just get me the damn drink!" I bark at Louie, my eyes still focused on the woman's dreamy, brown eyes.
Louie, skittish and confused, pours the drink and sets it next to me. He must be jealous that a beautiful woman like this came up to me and not his pathetic self.
I hand the drink to the wonderful woman, "-Ere you go, thought you might like a lil' something while we talk."
"Thank you. This is always my drink of choice," the woman said smiling, showing her perfect teeth. "How'd you know?"
"I just had a feeling," I say flirtatiously, looking her up and down. "So...what's your name? I never see you around -ere" I burped out, noticing I'm pretty hammered.
She smirked a bit, letting her dimples tell me the rest of her story, "Violet Bloom. I'm just traveling through. It's Clyde right?" she says as she takes a sip of her scotch.
"Yeah, yeah. Clyde Bevington… s-ayy how'd you know that? I ask.
"I suppose 'I just had a feeling?'" She grins.
I suddenly become relaxed, I feel like I know this woman. For the first time in five years, I'm not thinking about Caroline. I'm not thinking about that wrong turn I made as the snow that hailed down on our 2003 Ford F1-50. I'm not thinking about the fact I walked away with a broken arm, and Caroline walked up the stairs to heaven. No. For once in forever, I'm thinking about the color Violet and the beautiful soul that encompasses the name of the shade. Her cool tone and witty humor ignited a conversation that seemed to last for hours. I found out that she is traveling around the states to seek some "adventure" as she put it. It's funny how we are so similar. She seemed to know nearly everything about me. Perfection envelopes her. Every time her lips moved, the pain I once felt was lifted. Every sip of whiskey made me fall more and more in love with her. It felt true to something, I don't know what, but I never wanted this sensation to leave me. Is this what true love feels like? I ask myself.
I look around the bar and notice together we had accumulated ten or so drinks. Violet, however, doesn't seem drunk at all as I look into her deep brown eyes. Suddenly, our conversation drops to an intimate silence. The clock chimes 8. Night is setting in. I feel my moment approaching. My rugged, dirty hands graze her soft arm, covered with the vibrant red
fabric. I look over to see Louie giving me the most bizarre and confusing look. Never mind him. This is my happy ending. I shut my eyes and begin to lean in. A wobbly sensation disorients my senses. I hear a knock and crash. Immediately, I open my eyes and discover a broken glass my beautiful Violet had knocked over by accident. We both look down to the floor and see the shards of delicate china displayed below our feet.
Violet lets out a little laugh. 'Oopsie, I think I broke a glass."
"Sorry -bout that haha," I say, barely competent enough to get my words out "-Ey Louie, grab me a towel, will ya?"
I look over at Louie. Louie is remaining still, not moving at all, looking at me with a puzzled look on his face. "I-I don't understand," Louie says
"What the hell is there to understand? Violet here broke a glass -wuz-n't her fault. Just need a towel or somthin'," I say, a little more upset.
"VIOLET. God damn it, Louie. I. Need. A. Towel. For. The. Glass. What do you not understand?!" I yell
"What glass?" whispers Louie, a little nervous
"THIS GLASS!" I bend down past the bar stool area to the floor where the glass is. I pause. I look around the floor. The glass is gone! What...I....? I swear to God it was just here.
I raise my body back up and face Louie. "I could have sworn it was just there; Violet accidentally dropped it."
"Again, who is Violet? I don't understand…" Louie says suspiciously.
"Who is Violet?!" I mock aggressively. "This is Violet!" I turn to point when I notice the barstool seat next to me is empty. I turn back to Louie to see he has a confused, worried look on his face. "I don't understand…" I say. "She must be around here somewhere…VIOLET?" I shout out "VIOLET? Where are you?" I begin to look around the bar area frantically. "Where did she go, Louie? You must've scared her off with your rude remarks."
"Brother, I don't know what you are talking about… You've been alone all night. I've been setting you up drinks all night. You came here alone, and as far as I'm concerned, no woman by the name of 'Violet' has stopped by," Louie says, concerned
"That doesn't make sense… We were talking and drinking all night long… Say, what time is it?"
"It's just 3:15 man… You've been ordering drinks, pulling 'em back one-by-one for like the past 15 or so minutes..."
"That makes no sense! We were talking for hours… I-I I'm so confused!" I plead. Suddenly that sense of emptiness fills the pit of my stomach. 'No… no, not again' I think to myself. Ever since Caroline left, everything has been so confused. My life is a blur and every day feels like nothing and everything at the same time. I don't want Violet… I want my sweet, graceful Caroline back. Why did she have to leave so soon? Sometimes I wish we never met so I wouldn't have to feel this pain. I quickly brush away the thought. I feel a salty tear journey down my warm cheek, still flushed from anger. Soon the sensation envelopes my entire body and brain. Pure loneliness encompasses me once again.
"Louie, pour me another whiskey, will ya?" I say, clenching my heart, waiting for the pain to subside
Louie nods and grabs the shiny, glass bottle I will forever be in love with. "For my most loyal customer? Sure I will." Louie smirks.
My hands grip the glass. The sweet, bitter smell invades my nostrils once more. "This one's for you Caroline," I say as a set back the whiskey, letting the liquid mute my senses and numb my suffering.