Let’s fall in love for the night
Having worked in a bar, Yamato had seen all kinds of people. He stopped being surprised by them about a year in, when all he cared about was having a good time while working and leaving home with a generous tip. He was used to it all: assholes starting a fight, assholes believing he owed them something because they had money, women hitting on him, men hitting on him. It had all become a routine, really, yet he still managed to have a good time, somehow.
Most times he was a bartender, which he didn’t mind, he didn’t really have to hold a conversation if he wasn’t feeling like it. Sometimes, when he was lucky, the band that worked at the bar cancelled, and he was the backup. He loved playing his gig, even if the public payed more attention to the alcohol than to himself. That night, however, he had to double shift, which meant he would play the gig and bartender. He hated those nights, because all his energy evaporated once he stopped playing the last song. Yet, as soon as he started playing, he knew that night would be worth it.
She had short fiery hair, hard to miss. Skinny black jeans, and a green shirt that somehow made her red hair, redder. She wasn’t loud, not the center of attention; that had to be her friend with pink hair, or the other one with magenta one. His eyes, however, couldn’t stay away from her, he wondered if she had noticed. Yamato was extremely good at reading the room, and he knew right away that they were having a girl’s night, a bachelorette party because every time the girl with magenta hair raised her hand, they all screamed pointing at her finger.
He had decided, his mission for the night, would be to talk with the auburn-haired girl, even if it meant breaking his own rules of not flirting with girls at the bar. Not because he didn’t like them, but because it had become so old. He finished playing and he felt her eyes, as fiery as her hair, on him. He grinned, maybe his mission didn’t have to be an impossible one.
He noticed, as he got down from the stage, that the pink haired, and a petite one with short brown hair, were teasing the redhaired. She smiled, probably assuring them that she was definitely not staring at him. He knew she was, and for the first time wondered if maybe she had a boyfriend, or a girlfriend. It was the 20th century, after all. He positioned himself behind the bar, glad that Akira, a dude who sometimes played with him, had picked up a shift that night as well.
“They’re all so… loud.” Yamato agreed, looking at the girl group dancing.
“How much have they been drinking?”
“It depends on who you focus. The girl who’s getting married? A lot.” They both laughed, Yamato wasn’t much to pay attention to the guests in the bar, but that night he had a mission.
“How about the redhead?” he tried to be casual, his friend didn’t buy it.
“So that’s your type,” he teased.
“I’m just curious.”
“Well, Romeo, I think she’s the most sober one. Might be the designated driver.”
“So, I guess it wouldn’t be the smartest move if I bought her a drink,” he bit the inside of his cheek. How to help being this nervous? She was magnetic.
“I want another margarita!” speaking of the devil, the bride-to-be, hand in hand with the redhead got to the bar, Yamato jumped by the sudden surprise.
“Miyako, I don’t know if you should drink anymore…”
“But, Sora!!! I’M GETTING MARRIED!” She pointed to the ring on her right hand, Sora nodded as if it wasn’t obvious enough. So, Sora was her name…
“Can she get a glass of water first, please?” the redhead asked, almost begged.
“Count on it,” Yamato tried to remain calm, this could be his only chance at succeeding on his mission. “Here you go,” Miyako chugged her water, just to grab her margarita. Like a little kid doing their tasks because it meant having a reward afterwards.
“Thank you so much!!! This one’s way prettier than the last one!” and as fast as she got to the bar, she left. However, Sora stayed. Yamato’s heart skipped a beat.
“Anything for you?”
“Oh, no thanks. I’m not drinking tonight.”
“Something like that. Someone’s gotta take care of them,” she smiled softly, thanking him for the glass of water he offered. “Your gig was great, by the way, much better than the music that’s on right now.”
“Were you actually listening?”
“Of course,” she shrugged it off, as if it wasn’t a big deal, but it was. Most times Yamato felt like he was just playing for himself, because everyone around him was more focused on getting wasted. “And you were really good.”
“Since you seem, well, in all your senses I’ll tell you what I’ve thought is going on with your group of friends and you’ll let me know how close I am from the truth, fine?” Akira was being nice enough to take care to the rest of the customers while Yamato just talked with Sora. It was usually the other way around, so Yamato thought it was just fair.
“Have you actually been spying on us?”
“Well, you’re the loudest group,” Sora cackled, he wasn’t wrong.
“Ok, you can tell me your impressions and I might let you know If you’ve been correct,” it could be Sora’s imagination, but she felt they were flirting. Was it wrong?
“Obviously, your magenta-haired friend is getting married. The one with pink-hair might be a little jealous? She has been trying to steal her veil for a bit. The one with short-brown-hair was brought here but hates bars. The other two girls are the bride’s sisters. Am I close?”
“I’m very impressed,” Sora turned around to see her friends, they were giving one hell of a show. “You were pretty close to reality. Yet you missed out something.”
“What was it?”
“Well, me.” Was she crossing the line? She bit her tongue.
“There is just no way I’ll tell you what I thought of you.”
“That’s not fair! You have to let me know, you talked about the rest.”
“They’re not right in front of me, are they?”
“Soooooraaaaaa!” The pink haired hugged her friend from behind. “I thought you were lost until Miyako told me you were flirting with the hot bartender.”
“I’m not flirting, and I’m sure he has a name,” she gazed at him, aiming for help.
“His name is Yamato, and we were just talking.”
“Are you sure? Because you have a boyfriend…” Yamato opened his eyes wide, pretending to be drying some glasses as if he was minding his own business. Of course, she had a boyfriend, why wouldn’t she have a boyfriend.
“Do I have a boyfriend though?” she was talking to herself; Yamato chose not to say anything. Perhaps she could be his friend, he still thought she was magnetic. “He said we were on a break.”
“You should dump his ass,” the pink haired, whom Yamato later found out was called Mimi, took a seat next to Sora, stealing her glass of water. “He doesn’t deserve you. The fuck does a break mean? I have never understood why you’re with him anyway.”
“She has a point, though.” Akira joined the conversation, since the only people remaining in the bar were the bachelorette party girls. “You’re either together or you’re not, breaks are stupid.”
“See?? The other hot barista agrees with me.”
“Can we stop discussing my love-life? I suddenly need something to drink.”
“Gotcha,” Yamato served her a shot of tequila, and drank one for himself along her.
“Yamato would never ask for a break, just saying.”
“I feel something electric here as well,” Mimi asked for a shot for herself, both Sora and Yamato wished they could get swollen by the floor. “You should go out with hot barista; he obviously likes you too.”
“Mimi, can you, just stop?”
“And my name is Yamato.”
“Whatever you say, goldilocks,” Mimi looked behind her, to notice a very asleep Miyako on the couch. “I think we should get going.”
“Yeah, umm…” Akira started left to clean the tables, leaving Sora and Yamato alone. “Sorry about that.”
“I could say the same, but Akira was right, you know.”
“What do you mean?”
“I would never ask for a break, I believe that to be the weakest excuse.” He was serious for the first time in their whole conversation, Sora sighed. “And if you give me a chance, I would like this conversation to go on further than this night.”
Sora quickly grabbed a piece of paper and a pen, writing down her number.
“Don’t lose it,” she folded it, dropping it in the tip jar. “By the time you text me, I’ll be officially single.”
Sora seemed sincere; Yamato relieved. His mission hadn’t been a failure, and he hoped Sora would remain magnetic for a millionth conversations more.