At 11:00 PM, Bill Sherman sat on the leather-upholstered stool with his back to the oak and nickel bar, dividing his attention between his half-empty glass of scotch on the rocks and his half-full hope she’d show tonight.
Bill sagged as each woman entered, as each ice-cube melted to dilute the tawny puddle at the bottom of his glass, and any expectation she would answer his earlier call to talk things over evaporated.
“I’ll have another,” he said, turning to his friend Aja, the pert barmaid, who already had one waiting for him, along with warm conversation that lasted long past emptying this, his last drink of the night.
At closing time, Aja looked around the near-empty bar, removed her apron with the plastic nameplate that hid her real name, Amanda, and said, “Time for us to go, Bill; I guess whoever you were waiting for never showed up.”
“Oh, she was here all right,” Bill replied, smiling into her direct gaze in the dim barroom light,” I was just looking in the wrong direction most of the night.”
© Joseph Hesch 2012
Here’s a wee story I wrote for Lillie McFerrin’s weekly Five Sentence Fiction prompt during the boot-up this morning. I’d left a sentence on my pad at lunchtime Friday and forgot it. Those words must have had a busy weekend, because Closing Time was pretty much waiting for me when I got here.