Part 1 of 3
“Check out the muckymuck,” Jake whispered to Deke as Katherine rolled into Falls’ Bar. She’d looked like a frozen tumbleweed then, blond waves crisped with frost. Every face had turned to stare at her as she perched on a barstool. Her body and the plunging V of her black dress, created crisp contemporary lines against the old, scrubbed bar and the round velvet stool. Deke had been pouring a pint at the time. She had waved the manicured hand she draped across the bar lazily in an over-confidant attempt to get his attention. It had made him want to ignore her and he did, until, Jake started chatting her up. Jake’s grey, husky drawl smoked through the bar asking her where her toque and boots were and whether her mom had forgotten to attach idiot strings to her mittens. Deke had gone to her rescue. He’d served her four double Irish coffees, a plate of poutine, and a butter tart since then.
“Can I get you anything else?”
Katherine laughed, “A twenty-sixer of vodka, no mixer.”
“You’ve already had four doubles.”
Katherine shrugged, “You’ve been counting?”
“Bad month more like it,”
“What happened?” Deke asked compulsively.
“Let’s just say that today alone, freezing rain and black ice both tried to stick nails in my coffin.”
“Why’d you even leave home?”
“I’ve been asking myself that for almost twenty four hours now.”
“So you don’t live around here then?”
“Nope,” she paused. “I’m Katherine.”
“That’s an unusual name.”
“It’s a nickname that stuck.”
“Get me another?” Katherine asked swaying her mug back and forth.
“How about some water?”
“Sure,” she shrugged.
“So what’s so terrible?”
“My sister’s getting married.”
“Aren’t weddings supposed to be happy affairs?”
“Yeah, if you’re the one getting married,” Katherine bit back sarcastically.
“Did you just get a divorce or something?”
“Do I look that old?” She knew she was asking for a fight or for him to ignore her. Somehow, she couldn’t be bothered to care which he gave her—or nothing at all.
“No, you look too good to be single.”
Deke handed her a glass of water with a smirk. “Ten years of bartending.”
“So you started serving when you were what, fourteen?”
“High school drop-out?” Katherine sneered. She shouldn’t have had so much; alcohol always made her mean.
“Don’t judge me!” Deke said, getting in her face.
“You judged me.”
A number of the locals were watching them now. Deke lowered his voice, “No, I didn’t.”
“Yes you did!” Katherine shot back, her voice far too loud. “You assumed I was taken. You looked at me and you saw nice hair, great boobs, expensive clothes, and thought she must have a great job and a great relationship, but guess what? I don’t.”
© Jessica Becking 2010