The music was too alive for the occasion, too happy. It made everything that much more awkward. The trumpets and horns blasted out while three Mexican men in cheesy sombreros pounded on hand drums of different sizes. Everyone was laughing and dancing in the center area where some tables were pushed aside to allow for a crude, makeshift dance floor. Only several older couples were still seated on the outskirts. Only them and us.
What did she expect me to say? Was there anything I could say? I felt like I had said it all. She hadn’t looked up since I confessed. I guess I was expecting tears and such. She didn’t do any of that. She stayed very silent and still, but kept her eyes down.
I took a sip of my margarita. It was mostly melted ice.
“I’m not sure really what else I should say,” I said. The sound of my voice sounded like it didn’t belong in the air. Like it was selfish for me to have spoken at all.
Her lips quivered as she tried to form her infamous smirk but she couldn’t form it. I thought here is where the crying would begin, but I was wrong.
“Is there anything else?” she asked. Her eyes continued to look downward.
I wasn’t sure if the music was salsa or samba. I’m not sure if I ever really understood the difference. It was very energetic and fast. There were margaritas that were half drunk and frozen concertinos with various fruit that decorated the tables around us. People everywhere were having a great time.The crowd formed a circle in the center of the dance floor and was clapping in unison to a couple in the middle stealing the show. I couldn’t see much of the couple since we were so far away.
“I’m sorry,” I said. I wasn’t, but I felt like it was the appropriate thing to say. Her eyelids pulled back and more than ever I thought she was going to cry. Once again I was wrong.
She nodded instead.
I tapped my finger on the table and stared at her. Her blonde hair was wavy and longer then when I first met her. I tried to imagine what she looked like then. I pictured the bar, my friends, the scene, her friends, the table, the booth, the cab, and the kiss, but I couldn’t remember. I just kept inserting what she looked like now.
Her eyes continued to stare at the ground. It was eery. I was expecting something much different. I was expecting crying and a big scene. That’s why I took her here, so I would have a reasonable excuse to leave when she freaked out. The whole plan backfired if she doesn’t freak out. Now I feel like I’m stuck here. I feel like I’m still stuck with her, even now, even after everything that was just said.
I scooted my chair around so that I was next to her. I was going to try to say something consoling, something that might help her deal with all of this, but instead I watched her face grow into a look of disgust as I crept closer to her, so I ended up not saying anything at all. I tapped my hands on my knees as if I didn’t just move around the table to be close to her. It was now my eyes that couldn’t look at her.
Eventually I just got angry at it all.
“I’m going to get a drink,” I said. I didn’t say it in her direction, I just said it. I stood up, walked over to the bar and ordered a shot of tequila. I took the shot and then looked back over to the table. She was gone. I stood there forcing myself to be happy that I was finally free. I took another shot of tequila to convince myself a little more.