Bob swirled the glass of whiskey on his hand, as he listened to the two cubes of ice fight to stay solid in now over-chilled drink. It would be two years next Tuesday since he taken a sip of this delicious Scottish miracle, and he was just seconds from throwing the twenty four months of self sacrifice out the window he thought was long shut. The smell of the oak barrel fermented single-malt rushed into his eager nostrils, immediately getting rid of the mucus caused blockage he had been feeling for a while. Heaven must smell like this, he thought, like crushed old barley with a hint of the wood it was fermented in.
He had had one hell of a life so far. His mother died when giving birth to him, denying him the chance to feel a mother’s love. His father took to alcohol immediately after he was born, almost immediately replacing his mother with anything that got him high, the real love of his life. Having an alcoholic for a father was hard. He knew from a young age that he not only had to take care of himself, but, ironically, his father too. Experience with an alcoholic dad would be enough motivation to keep him sober all his life, but life has its way of throwing curveballs you don’t expect.
He looked up from his slight daze, almost suddenly aware of eyes focused on him, suddenly looking away after locking eyes with easily the most beautiful girl in the small pub. She was leaning slightly on the bar table, the brown of her almost exposed cleavage distracting anyone at first glance from her face. She had deep blue, slightly oval, large eyes that somehow perfectly fit in her radiating small face. Her gloss covered lips cut just below her freckling nose, giving an angelic hue to her already beautiful face. Her dark hair fell elegantly on the covered shoulder of her low-cut one-shoulder sequinned dress, leaving her other arm naked and exposed to his now perverted mind. He may not have met an angel in person, but he was sure that they had nothing on her.
She looked up from her drink, catching him staring directly at her. She smiled, successfully dispelling his minute long theory that she could not be any more beautiful. He was in love.
“Hey there,” he blurted when he finally walked over to her, three shots of liquid courage later.
“Can I buy you a drink?”
“I have this thing where I don’t let strangers buy me drinks.”
“Fair enough! I am Robert Michaels but my friends call me Bob…”
“Two English names… You know that makes you sound like a jerk, Robert Michaels but your friends call you Bob,” she said smiling just enough to show him that she was pulling his leg. “I am Barbra Wahu… but my friends call me Barbra Wahu,” her smile broadened, seemingly pleased at her own joke.
“Now that we are no longer strangers Barbra Wahu, can I buy you a drink?”
“Actually, I am just about to leave for home…”
She watched as disappointment spread over his face like an undertaker’s when watching a man being swallowed by a shark.
“You could walk me home though,” she said taking what was remaining of her drink in one huge gulp.
He always had a thing for a girl that could handle her liquor.
Barbra’s house was but ten minutes away from the bar, but hours later they found themselves in a park in the opposite direction, heavy into an argument on who was a better author, Jeffrey Archer or Sidney Sheldon. Bob was never an avid reader, but he had fallen in love with Sidney Sheldon since he was forced to read ‘Windmills of the Gods’ by his High School English tutor. Barbra on the other hand read a book once in a while, and although she was not particularly into political thrillers but the life of President Kane as portrayed by author Jeffrey Archer had a way of inspiring any little girl.
The sun had began its slow ascend, peering like a peeping Tom from the hilly East. They stared into the distant sky as the orange rays burst beautifully into the visible blue hue of the distant hills. A short silence punctured the air, almost as if they simultaneously discovered that the amazing night was over, literally.
“You are so lucky I carried a copy of ‘Kane and Abel’, “ she said pulling the Jeffrey Archer book out of her clearly overworked bag. “Now you have to call me and tell me how good it is,” she finished, scribbling her phone number on the first page of the novel.
“You don’t go around handing novels to strangers, do you Barbra Wahu?
(Chuckling) “Only to jerks with two English names and amazing smiles.”
A smile involuntarily crept to his lips. He did not remember ever being as happy as he was at that moment. He looked across at her, still blushing from her unexpected comment. Maybe, just maybe, for the first time in his life, he had a chance at love.