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Author Topic: Luck and Sorrow [guildmage42]  (Read 1114 times)

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Offline CaeliTopic starter

Luck and Sorrow [guildmage42]
« on: May 13, 2008, 06:43:20 PM »
Slightly bemused and no little concerned, the bartender of the small bar frowned when his only customer, a regular that he saw often on weekend nights, indicated that he should fill up her mug again. "Are you sure you should be drinking this much, Alyssa?" He questioned, though he did pour her some more beer. She shrugged carelessly, sending tendrils of her dark hair falling down her shoulders. What was formerly a neat bun at the nape of her neck had become a mess of bobby pins and hair, as Alyssa nursed drink after drink in her favorite bar.

More customers entered the bar, taking the bartender away from his friendly concern over the young woman's well-being. Normally, she would never be seen in a bar on a weeknight; work ensured that she returned home every night, a restraint on the wild child that wanted to go out clubbing. However, she had only earlier that day gotten fired because of someone else's mistake and her hot temper, which would free her nights until she found another job. Even worse, upon returning to her flat, she'd discovered that her upstairs neighbors had flooded their bathroom, which had sent water cascading merrily into her own apartment.

After almost being hit by a car on her way to the bar, Alyssa figured she was due for a drink or two. Or three. Well, what did it matter anyway, if she didn't have to go in for work tomorrow?

At that moment, she heard the tiny bell ring, signaling the arrival of yet another customer. Alyssa turned (almost spilling her drink over the sleeve of her pristine white blouse), then squinted when she saw the familiar face. It looked like... but was that just the drink talking?

"Sam?" She called out curiously, raking a hand through her hair and replacing the mug of beer on the counter. "Is that you?"

Offline guildmage42

Re: Luck and Sorrow [guildmage42]
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2008, 06:59:50 PM »
The gentleman had barely taken off his windbreaker and placed it on the back of a chair before he was recognized. Recognized? Here? In this dump? He adjusted his eyes and cocked his head, looking remembering the face vaguely. He was tired from a long night's work and wanted little more than to have a beer and forget about his desparity.

Alyssa. It came to him out of the blue.

"Alyssa?" he asked, rather than exclaimed, unsure if she was just a crazy homeless woman who'd guessed right. As he took some steps toward her he saw, yes, this was the same Alyssa from high school. The confident, surefire woman who always seemed unattainable, but that was fine as they were good friends.

"How are you, girl?" He asked, pulling out a seat instinctively. "And what in the world are you doing here?"

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: Luck and Sorrow [guildmage42]
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2008, 07:14:28 PM »
She had to laugh when he asked how she was; for all that Alyssa was still confident and sure of herself, she was a far cry from even herself from earlier that day. It had been a sore blow to lose her job, especially when it wasn't her fault - at least, mostly not her fault. Calling my supervisor a racist bastard was probably the final kicker, she thought sourly.

To Sam, Alyssa smiled warmly. She was suddenly glad that she hadn't gotten so deep in her cups that she was drunk off her ass - though she and Sam were friends, it probably wouldn't show the best side of her if the first time that they had seen each other in months was with her completely smashed in a bar, wailing about her misfortunes in life.

"I lost my job today after calling my boss a racist prick, I almost got hit by a car, and my apartment is in the process of being flooded by my stupid upstairs neighbors. That's what brings me here," she answered sourly, taking a large swallow of beer. "What about you, Sam? I come here during some of my weekends off, but I've never seen you here before."

Offline guildmage42

Re: Luck and Sorrow [guildmage42]
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2008, 07:25:23 PM »
Sam stammered. That certainly wasn't the reaction he was expecting. He signaled to the bartender that he'd like a beer, and sat down. "Well, uh, I just got off work, nothing really exciting there. Stocking shelves overnight. It pays the bills, I guess."

He fidgeted with his knuckle, looking down at it, for whatever reason unable to meet her gaze. Alyssa still had a fire in her eyes, and clearly in her wit, too.

"Nothing nearly as exciting as that, though," he raised his head and looked at her again. "So, ah, I take it there's a good story behind your boss being an ass?"

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: Luck and Sorrow [guildmage42]
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2008, 07:28:35 PM »
"There isn't much behind it," she sighed, leaning forward on the counter and shifting the mug of beer in her hands. "He said I did something wrong, I claimed it wasn't me, he said some things, I shot back, and then I was suddenly without a job." She glanced over at Sam, raising a brow curiously.

"Tell me more about your job. I haven't seen you in awhile, but last time I heard, you weren't working the late shift."

Offline guildmage42

Re: Luck and Sorrow [guildmage42]
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2008, 07:34:33 PM »
"Yeah, well," he took a beer from the 'tender, handed him a five, and continued, "management told me that there was only one way I kept working. Either work overnight or don't work at all. So I had to take a pay cut, because I would rather have a job than not. I get to waste the management training they sent me for making sure there are enough reams of paper out for the morning." A little disgruntled, he shook his head and sipped.

"It's honestly not that bad, though. It's relaxing most nights." He sat back in his chair, reaching his arms over his head and stretching, his work clothes clearly needing a wash.

"So, you still with..." he fumbled a name, knowing it was horribly incorrect, but he figured he'd try to keep polite conversation going anyway.

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: Luck and Sorrow [guildmage42]
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2008, 07:50:30 PM »
"Chase? Since he moved to New York for his job, we've been talking less often... but the relationship is going well enough, considering our busy schedules and the time difference." Alyssa sipped at her beer again, but this time she kept her gaze fixed on Sam, who seemed to be having some rough times himself. He looked a little more disheveled than she remembered him being, likely a consequence of the late shift and some mild discontent with his current lot in life.

She nodded vaguely as she drank her beer, more comfortable here than she would be anywhere else. Others might describe the bar as a dump, but Alyssa didn't see it that way - it was small and comfortable, and Jake, the bartender, was more hospitable than many of the snooty bartenders she'd met in the past (and at the so-called "fancier" bars, no less!). She'd come to like the quiet atmosphere, the worn and padded chairs, and even the stained tables beyond the main bar.

"Are you going to look for a new job, then? With your skills, I'm sure you could find a better-paying job with better hours at some other company," Alyssa pointed out.

Offline guildmage42

Re: Luck and Sorrow [guildmage42]
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2008, 07:59:45 PM »
"I keep thinking I should," Sam started, but he trailed off into thought.

"And why don't you, man?" he thought to himself. "You've got the talent to do it, but your lazy ass goes home, sits on the couch, and watches TV until you fall asleep, only to get up and do it again tomorrow." The self-bullying monologue was knocking around in his head more and more these days, but more and more he drowned the voice out with a beer or four. He knew his lot in life, he'd say, and it was getting dumped on, over and over. So why try to change things?

Angry, Sam put his beer down with a little more force than he'd intended, making a loud noise against the table. Jake looked up from cleaning some glasses, and Alyssa looked a little puzzled. "And?" she asked.

"And, I should. You're right." He said. "But... I dunno." He shrugged, attempting to drown that voice away with one large swig.