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SAD in May — Day Twelve

May 15, 2014

prompt: write a story mostly in dialogue


Missed Opportunity

By Lori Carlson


            The tall brunette walked into the bar and took a seat at the far side. She raised two well-manicured fingers painted deep red. Carlos, the bartender, headed over to her.

            “Hey, Nell. What ya havin’ tonight?”

            “Just a martini with two olives,” Nell said, placing a five dollar bill on the counter.

            “This one’s on me, Carlos,” the man sitting beside Nell explained, pushing Nell’s five back at her.

            “That’s not necessary. I won’t be going home with you,” Nell said, handing the five back to Carlos.

            The man laughed and shrugged, admitting defeat. “I never thought you would, ma’am. I just wanted to buy a beautiful lady a drink.”

            Nell looked down at her watch. “I’m expecting company,” she said.

            “Sure thing,” the man said, leaning back over at his side of the bar. He took a sip of his drink and then said, “So does this mean I can’t even talk to you?”

            Nell turned her head and stared at the man. “You may do whatever you like,” she said matter-of-factly.

            “The name’s Mike,” he said, extending his hand toward hers.

            Nell didn’t take it. Instead she took the drink that Carlos brought to her and sipped on it.

            “She’s a tough cookie to crack, Carlos,” Mike said.

            Carlos laughed. “That she is.”

            Mike sat his drink down and turned completely around in his seat until he was facing Nell. “So you are a quiet one, I see.”

            Nell looked over at him, then back to her drink. She took a long drink and sat the empty glass down. “Another one, Carlos. Make this one a double though.”

            “I am a lawyer. What do you do for a living?” Mike asked. He was ready to give up on a conversation with Nell.

            Nell glanced at her watch again and began drumming her fingers on the counter. She leaned back and looked toward the doorway. When Carlos returned with her drink, she handed him a ten dollar bill.

            “Looks like your company is running late,” Mike tried again. “You sure you don’t want to talk to me?”

            “If I found you even remotely interesting, then perhaps I would talk to you. Now please, just leave me alone.”

            Mike shook his head. He’d seen his share of stubborn women before, but this one really wore stubborn as a suit. He turned back in his seat and leaned over the bar, motioning to Carlos. They exchanged a few short words quietly and then Mike handed the man a card and some bills to settle his tab.

            “Well, it looks like you win, ma’am. I’ll be leaving now. You have a great night.” Mike hopped down off his stool and nodded to Carlos as he walked out of the bar.

            A few minutes after Mike left, Carlos came over to Nell and handed her the card. “He said you would understand.”

            Nell looked at the card. M.K. Stafford, Attorney at Law. He was M.K.? Nell looked up at Carlos with her mouth agape. She’d just missed her million dollar ticket to a partnership with Stafford & Sons.

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