I was bartending and I still had another three hours, before I was going to get off. Overall, I’d been having an extraordinarily shitty night. All I wanted to do at this point was go home and pass out.
The bar started to clear out around midnight because the club down the street offered a half-off deal on select food and drinks after midnight. I was enjoying the break when I saw Abby walk into the bar and I was thrown off a little. She’d never come in here before and she didn't even live on this side of town. She walked in quietly and slid onto a barstool. “Whiskey," she demanded without so much as looking up, and I quickly obliged.
"What brings you to this side of town?" I wondered aloud as I set the glass of whiskey in front of her.
"I was on a date," she responded dryly.
"Oh," I said, my voice wavering a little. It wasn't a secret to anyone that I had a thing for Abby. Hell, everyone besides Abby and Clarke knew, and even though I knew nothing was ever going to happen between us it still upset me to hear that she had been on a date. "How was it?" I asked, but I assumed the date couldn't have gone that well if she was sitting here on a barstool in front of me, not off in some guy's apartment.
"Fine, I suppose," she said, mumbling something to herself afterward that I couldn't quite hear.
"Who were you with?"
"Marcus Kane," she replied after a long bout of silence, "he works with me at the hospital. He's my boss."
"Did you want to go on the date?" I blurted out before I could stop myself. Something about the way she was acting felt weird, like she’d been tricked into going on this date or something of the sort.
"Not really, but I didn't have a choice. Marcus has been after me for a while, and he always gets what he wants," she replied, sounding utterly defeated. I hated that she was being treated like this, but I knew there was no way for her to stop it.
"Abby," I said as I reached out to touch her hand and I knew I was getting too close, letting myself feel too much, but I couldn't stop, "you don't have to date him if you don't want to. You have a choice.” She shook her head quietly and took a sip of the whiskey that had remained mostly untouched.
She sat there in silence for the rest of my shift. I refilled her drink without a word every time it got low. If I tried to speak to her she would shrug it off, so I just let her be. I closed down the bar while she was still sitting on that same barstool and I didn't even bother telling her to leave like I should have. I didn't want her to leave; I liked her company even if she was only partially there. When it was time for me to officially close the doors and lock up, I walked over her with a soft smile and whispered, "Come home with me,” in her ear. I grabbed her hand and led her to the door. We walked out of the bar and I locked the door behind us before leading her to my car. She stayed silent as I drove her to my apartment and led her inside. "You're exhausted. You need sleep. Take my bed," I said, as I guided her to the bedroom.
"I–" she said, trying to talk me out of it and I shook my head.
"I'll take the couch. It's fine," I promised, and I was sincere. For me, giving up my bed and sleeping on the couch was the first sign that I was fucked. I was completely and utterly in love with Abby Griffin.