She kept looking at her watch,as it enthralled her entire attention, she thought to herself “He’s late,as always”.
As her feet kept knocking on the pavement,impatiently.
It was then she heard a murmur, a figure materialize behind her, two hands blinded each of her eyes and then she knew,he had arrived.
She then quickly turned around, trying to kick him in the shin, but he was too quick.
“Fancy meeting you here” he said.And she smirked.It was a special occasion tonight.”Shall we go in?” he inquired, she stood still not answering.She looked up at the sign of the building they were standing in front of, “Tales and Spirits” the sign proudly proclaimed.Quite a suitable name, he thought to himself. He slightly beckoned her forward, he said “The day of reckoning,huh?” as a slight smile spread across his face. It was her 18th birthday and this meeting was actually two years in the making, for they always shared an interest in exploring uncharted territory. As teens they both talked of things that were “taboo”, but that’s what actually brought them closer, they found relief in one another, sharing their deepest yearnings, no matter how bizarre, some even perverse without fear of being judged.They had talked about this while both of them were too young to experience the High that liquor had to offer, curiosity had grasped them both. They talked of Scotch, mixed and single malt, of bourbon too, of vodka and gin and Rum and tonic, Wine and whiskey, Brandy and tequila even, also of beer and liquor and why the twain should never meet.
He was twenty-one now, he parted with her a bit of wisdom he had learned in the three years,
“beer before liquor never been sicker
liquor before beer, you’re in the clear.”
He finally managed to make her smile, the smile he often longed to see, the grin that spread from cheek to cheek,and the smile that makes her chin dimples materialize. He offered her his hand and she took it and they both entered. After the usual hassle of verification of age and the other such trivial matters, they went into the bar. He grabbed a pair of seats on the counter, closest to the bar tender. Now for the Tough part, “what’ll you be having tonight?” the bar tender asked.The menu was long and cumbersome to look at, but they both knew what they were having tonight.”Vodka martini, shaken not stirred” they both answered in unison, and at the end with a slight chuckle, it was evident that they both watched too much Bond movies.
As the order came up the counter, each glass with a single olive, he handed her over her glass,
“You ready, Lana?” he asked.
“ready as I’ll ever be” she responded.
And they he took a sip but to his amazement she had downed the whole of her drink. She had an even bigger grin on her face now, as the sensation spread across her throat down to the pits of her stomach, she was hooked, he could see.He then quickly emptied his glass.”Another round” He ordered.
They began talking about the days of old, stories were shared, memories were reminisced upon, jokes cracked, peels of laughter exchanged.As they went on round after round, they got slightly high. It seemed she could handle alcohol as well as he.They thought of broken barriers as a teenage Tamil Brahmin girl who drank vodka. Stereotypes that were broken.Bonds that were renewed.Rebels, both of them, in their own way and that is what drew them closer to each other.Best friends they were.
“I’ve never been happier!” she told him, while getting up from the seat and He stood up too “I couldn’t agree more” He said, as they both exited the bar onto the street, she told him ” I reckon we should try Butter-beer next!” and chuckled loudly.”Fire-whiskey for me!” he responded now catching hold of her,with his arms across her shoulder, not only to support her but also himself. They were both a bit tipsy now, and as He walked her home, both of them High on alcohol and conversation.
And the merry-making continued all the way home, and at that instant where he dropped her off at her home, he thought to himself, “We were both never lucky with love. There was none to be found” but as she let go of him and was about to venture in he realized at that instant, he did not want love, not at all. All he wanted was ecstatic days like this with his Best friend. She then turned around and kissed him on the cheek as though she agreed. and asked “Do I reek of vodka?” with a smile. He handed her a breath mint as he said good night.
A few years after, they were both regulars at the pub.Soul mates who met up every week and with the same excitement and fervor as years ago.