Part 2 of 3
Deke paused, glancing around. Too many eyes were on him, too many titters of laughter echoed in his ears. He wanted to retreat, run away; he avoided being the center of attention now. She was right though, he should know better. Taking a deep breath and relaxing his shoulders he picked up the grey cloth off the wall and set to wiping down the bar. “So what’s so terrible about your sister getting married?”
“It’s not that she’s getting married,” Katherine sighed. “It’s that she’s two years younger.”
The locals all started to toddle home. They’d never needed a bell in Fall’s Bar. The grey rag was enough.
Deke took the empty glass from her, “I still don’t get it.”
“I had it and I gave it up.”
“Five years ago I had the great relationship. I gave it up for a British visa.”
“So you made a choice?” Deke asked.
“I guess you could say that.”
The bar was empty now and Jake kept shooting him get-rid-of-her-now looks. “Where are you staying tonight?”
“Where’s the nearest motel?”
“I’ve got a pullout in my apartment?”
Katherine paused, her eyes narrowing. “I don’t know you.”
“And I don’t know you.”
They looked at each another evenly. Katherine wasn’t sure, but through the gauzy alcoholic vale she’d drawn over her face, she couldn’t bring herself to care. “Sure,” she shrugged, “Thanks.”
Deke led Katherine through the kitchens and up some stairs. His apartment was sparse: a faded couch opposite a television, a kitchenette with a folding table and a chair. There was nothing in the way of decorations. Nothing hung on the walls, nothing to say anything about him. There weren’t even doors. “Have a seat,” Deke offered, motioning to the couch.
“Can I get you anything?”
“No more alcohol?”
“I’m expected to be a maid of honour tomorrow.”
Deke filled a glass from the cupboard above the sink and brought it back to her.
“No problem…” he paused as Katherine took a gulp. “Making the choice the other way isn’t any easier you know.”
© Jessica Becking 2010