I took a glance around the bar, looking around at all the kind people who showed up today. Although it was my usual Thursday night, there was a much different feel floating around in the air.
The bar was known for its specialist choice in music—even though every bar in the area more-or-less played the same kind of music. Blaring, head-shaking music if you’re stuck directly underneath one of the speakers, music that managed to go through the closed windows and river into the streets. The food was consistent every time I went, their burgers juicy with every bite and the tacos flavorful and crunchy. The people who went always enjoyed themselves, often arriving by themselves and somehow leaving with a new group of friends. Throw in the friendly wait staff and bar staff, and this entire place had the right to call themselves “the best on the block.” At least, in my eyes.
But tonight, the usual vibe was off for sure.
The music was blasting like normal, jumping from the latest songs that topped the charts, to throwbacks from the late 90’s. It was just as crowded like always: all of the tables were moved back and the walkway for the main floor was practically shoulder-to-shoulder. Orders were flying out of the kitchen at a rapid pace, not a single order wrong or having to return to be cooked longer or add seasoning. My eyes looked all around the bar, and I still couldn’t understand why tonight felt different
Eventually, after another minute of quick scanning, I gave up my desire to know and shrugged, turning back to the bar and taking another sip of the green drink in front of me; I had to force it down despite its fruity flavor. I gritted my teeth, sucking in air as I let the harsh burning go down my throat.
“Shit,” I mumbled, “this drink only gets more harsh the longer it sits out.” Well aware of the consequences, I took another sip before the first one was gone, tensing up and shivering for a second. After regaining my composure, I went for another sip but paused, my lips resting on the tip of the straw. I brought my eyes up from my drink and looked at the bar, catching my bartender looking directly at me; Sheila had a big grin on her face, hands on her hips.
“What?” I asked. “Somethin’ on mah face?”
Shelia tried to hide her laughter, but it failed, “Sorry, love. Nothing against you. Just watching you drink that monstrosity of a cocktail.” She approached me, leaning over to rest her arms on the counter. “Sometimes I think it’s a bad thing that I share my secrets with you.”
“Didn’t you tell me that you only make certain cocktails for me?”
“I also said that anytime I’m here and you’re here, I’m the only person allowed to make your drinks.” Shelia leaned down a bit more, the top of her cleavage clearly visible in her black tank top. “You’re my personal client.”