Only For You(13)

By: Genna Rulon

A horn blared pulling me from my revelation, and I realized I was a statue in the middle of the parking lot. With an apologetic wave to the inconvenienced driver, I proceeded to my car. The mystery was solved to my relief. While there was no excuse for his rude behavior, I better understood Hunter. It wasn’t personal, just a couple of body parts I possessed that were not his preference. I smiled with indulgent understanding. Actually, he was amusing in a Machiavellian kind of way, entertaining though sharp and judgmental. Despite his character flaws, if Hunter was a woman, I would befriend her. As a straight man, he unsettled me and was patronizing. However, as a gay man…what girl doesn’t want a brooding, snarky, beautiful, gay best friend?

I had yet to consider the possibilities of his friendship as it pertained to my dating pool. Gay or straight, hot guys were friends with hot guys—birds of a feather. Hunter was my ticket to a new selection of drop-dead sexy fresh meat.

Crystal must have secretly hoped to convert him to team hetero. No wonder Hunter didn’t reciprocate her advances. He didn’t reject her outright to protect her pride, far more empathetic than I had given him credit.

I couldn’t wait to tell Sam about my epiphany. She would be equally excited to expand our duo to a trio. As I drove to work, I turned on Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” and sang along enthusiastically.

After work, I headed home and found Sam sitting on the sofa reading a textbook.

“Hi, girlie. How was work?” Sam asked, looking up from her text.

“Great. I had an enlightening day.” I geared up to share my revelation with Sam.

“I want to hear all about it, but before you share the details, I need a favor. I have been reading this calculus textbook for the last four hours. I’m in desperate need of fun before I turn into an automaton. Will you come to The Stop with me tonight?” The Bus Stop, commonly referred to as The Stop, was our favorite local bar.

“Sam, it’s only the first week of classes, not even a full week, how can you possibly be turning into a robot already?” I didn’t want to go out after working an eight-hour shift.

“You read one page of ‘Theorems of Calculus’ and you will understand the danger. Just a couple of drinks. Neither of us have class tomorrow,” Sam pleaded.

“Okay, let’s get dressed and head out. Are we wearing pants or dresses? Subtle or flashy?”

Sam grinned at my quick change of tune. “Pants, it’s freezing outside. Understated sexy is the theme for clothing, hair, and make-up. Heels are required, there is no snow on the ground, so don’t even bother trying to come up with an excuse. Now, scoot!”

After I showered, styled my hair, and applied my make-up, I slid into a vintage pair of black cigarette pants and a pin-tucked tuxedo shirt. I added a wide patent leather cincher belt, gold cuff bracelet, and a string of pearls. I completed the outfit with my black patent leather stilettos. Finished, I glance in the full-length mirror, pleased with the results.

Sam met me near the door appraising my wardrobe selection, “Well done. I have taught you well, young Jedi.”

I shook my head at her Star Wars film reference. “Shall we?”

The Stop was the most popular bar in the area for the over twenty-one crowd, servicing mostly university students and young professionals. Designed as a pub, the exposed brick walls and wood floors established an atmosphere of relaxed sophistication. A small stage where local artists performed and a separate game room (including pool, foosball, and shuffleboard tables) exemplified the bar’s laid-back recreational appeal. The Stop defied every cliché by strictly carding at the door, requiring valid identification verified by scanner. An additional benefit, the lack of underage girls deterred slime balls who sought inexperienced, easily persuaded, and less self-possessed targets.

We proceeded directly to the bar to find warmth of the liquid variety. I was surprised to hear piped music, as Thursdays promised live performers until midnight. The atmosphere was subdued despite the crowd, as if the music was dictating the temperament of the patrons.

We secured two stools at the long mahogany bar and spied our favorite bartender, Griffin, approaching.