There was a woman at the bar; a guy shaking with nervousness; a guy waiting for his chance to take the woman home when she’s drunk; and a guy concerned enough to be everybody’s father.

A typical but odd setting in a bar called “Orange”. A cold day to end with a pail or two of beer on the table.

It is painful to like somebody who does not want publicity, she thought. Eyeing the man she slept with from across the table, she can sense his fear of her telling the world about them. She plans to, after drinking a pail of beer. So the words would come naturally and won’t regret what she is about to reveal. But then the people around her kept the pails coming, the topics of conversation went from life in general to relationships and all. It is the right time to tell the group about them. But she’s just smiling like she cannot talk. He on the other hand is shaking his legs, nervous to death that she might talk any moment now. His hands kept moving and shaking, trembling with fear. He watches her carefully. He cannot show any sign of care or interest with her here. Because his friend was her ex. Because he wants to avoid any kind of conflict with a friend. So he stayed silent.

The dim lights, the blurred music in the background, the smoke, and the feeling of beer on her lips. Everything is in place–everything but her.

A tall guy sat across her. He is the fatherly father of the group. He is matured enough to know that something is not right. He watches her carefully, thinking that he should protect her from any malice that is about to happen after this night.

The guy beside her was her ex. They never slept together. All they had were sweaty palms touched and kisses after dark. They broke up two months ago because she realized he isn’t what she was looking for. They broke up because she thought she can never be with a man like him, so manly and pure, so dull and does not understand her interests. He is the guy waiting for his chance to take her home when she’s already drunk. Because it feels natural for him, that he was the one whom that woman fell in love with, before.

She stands up, headed for the ladies’ room in a zigzag motion. She is definitely drunk than what she was expecting. She wants to scream. Why can’t I say it out loud?!” she thought. While waiting in line, she looks back at their table where the guys are looking at one another with a knowing look of heat and uneasiness. She wakes up a little and giggled. When she went back on her seat, everyone is quiet. She looks around and on the empty pails.

” Are we done? Okay, let’s go.” But she can barely stand the second time. She stands up and the alcohol works its way in into her. Her head aches and and she is a bit dizzy. She is about to faint when Mr. Concerned guy went to her aid. No one seems surprised because it was him and it is normal with his kind of man that he is. They led her to the stairs out of the entrance. She’s mumbling words. They laugh at that and she smiled with the thought that they are all alright, that she does not have to worry.

Outside, she turns her head on each face of the guys she is with. She points at each of them and mumbles words she cannot understand herself. Then she went beside the road and bent to vomit. When she is a little okay, she smiled. She looked at them and their faces are filled with anger and disgust. With a blank face she asked, “what’s wrong?” And they pulled her in between them, called for a cab and went inside with her. They all accompanied her home. In the cab they were silent. No one is talking until they are nearly at her house. Ex says, “I cannot believe this…” they shook their heads in unison. That was all that she heard that night.

She went home and went straight to bed. The following day Mr. Shaky guy called.

Mr. Shaky: do you remember what happened last night?

Woman: no. Why? What happened?

Mr. Shaky: you told us everything when you pointed out each one of us. You said you broke up with him because you fell in love with me, then you had a great day with me, and you wanted Mr. Concerned guy to be your best friend.

Woman: what?? No!!

Mr. Shaky: and you know what?

…silence…

Woman: what?

Mr. Shaky: I liked you last night more than ever. But our friendship was ruined, we’re now on our separate ways because of you. Thank you.

And he hung up. She is left crying alone. Regretting her plans to get drunk and be frank. She despises herself. For falling in love with a boring guy, for falling in love with his friend who happens to look like her old playmate, and for wanting and longing for an older brother to care for her.

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