General Fiction posted January 18, 2022

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It's not what you might think.

I Have a Secret

by Wayne Fowler

Two women are seated at a lonely, off the main drag bar, five seats apart, four empty barstools between them. They happened, quite coincidentally, to glance to one another at the exact same moment. The bartender looked to them, drawn to the pantomiming movement, expecting them to raise their arms and hands for refills in a continuation. They did. "Margarita." the only difference that the reddish-blond said "please" a half second later than the blondish-red head. Both shoulder length do's parted in the middle, Farrah Faucet style.

They both got up to move closer to each other, each moving closer by one stool. The bartender hid his smirk, bowing slightly to fix the drinks.

"Heather and I have a secret," the blondish-red headed one said.

"Not if you tell me, you don't," the reddish-blond said, raising her glass to the bartender who'd just replaced Heather's with a fresh one, placing Reddish-blond's on a new napkin.

"It ain't a secret unless at least two people know it," Heather quipped, inspecting the salted rim of her glass before sipping it.

"You just made that up, didn't you?" Not waiting for an answer, but continuing despite hearing Heather taking a breath as if to begin speaking, sort of like claiming the space with a louder than normal in-breath. "Anyway, you can keep your secret safe. I like boys. Amber, by the way."

Snapping her head to peer more intently, Heather returned concentration to her drink. "Not my secret." She glanced around the small, vacant barroom. Seeing no one, she lowered her voice to a whisper. "Not even close."

Amber glanced from her drink to the mirror behind the bartender who was emptying the cash register of all the one-dollar bills. She then looked back to her new friend. Eyeing her to verify that she didn't have a third eye, or limb.

"I have a secret. That's why I'm here. You?"

Amber's eyes darted toward Heather, her head remaining steady in its Margarita focus. After a pause long enough to qualify as secret-divulging, she owned again to liking boys. Too many of them, as a matter of fact. Well, at least one too many. She'd just moved in with her boyfriend, a great guy with a great job at the Sanitation Department, and then she met the mailman to the apartment building - the most handsome, funniest, sweetest man she'd ever met. When he asked her to share his thirty-minute lunch break with him, she'd said "yes" before once considering What's-His-Name, Mr. Great Guy. So here she was, post lunch, pre-dinner.

Heather furrowed her brow. "Wow! Can I have one of 'em?" She downed the rest of her drink, her third, signaling to the bartender who looked as if he was considering whether to give it to her.

Amber shook her head, telling him that she would be quitting after her second.

"Whaddya gonna do?" Heather asked.

Amber sighed deeply. "I already gave up my flat."

Heather sighed, though not as deeply. "Another lunch with the mailman tomorrow?"

"And hope he's not so cute, or funny, or ... perfect."

Heather nodded her understanding.

"So, you gonna tell me your secret?" Amber asked.

"Better'n that. I'm going to give it to you." She reached to floor, lifting a fairly heavy zippered nylon sports bag. First, I have a dream job at NBC. I make plenty. Second, I was at First National today. Got there in time to see my now ex-boyfriend Vice President kissing and handling another gal like he owned her. Third ..."

"Wait, wasn't that the one that was robbed today?"

"Third, I was getting into a cab when some guy threw this," she patted the sports bag, "into the cab on top of me."

Amber stared at the bag.

"Sixty-one thousand. All the banded bundles. The red dye explosive thing was a dud. I don't need it. Don't want it. And am not giving it back to ..."

"Butthead," Amber offered.

"Butthead." Writing her name and number on a napkin, she handed it to Amber along with the bag. "Call me, I'll let you and the mailman take me to lunch."

Heather left, followed by Amber carrying the sports bag and a smile a few minutes after.

Two women sit at a deserted bar writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
Write a story using the premise two woman sit at an otherwise deserted bar. They share a secret. They strike up a friendship.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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