A Girl’s Night Out
I cannot believe I let her drag me here. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for people being free to love who they love, but I cannot believe I'm in a lesbian bar. I have this one friend, we've been friends since we met in college and since I love her so much I agreed to come to a lesbian bar with her. I feel awkward here. I'm not dressed like anyone else here. Most of the women here are dressed as one might describe as "lesbian". I have no idea what that means but apparently it means that compared to what they are wearing I scream "straight" or so says my friend. “Well that seems fitting” I tell her back, she just laughs and drags me further into the bar.
And then she was gone. I was never going to see her again. Or so I thought. One day in a restaurant in Chicago; a place I had only spoken of in adjectives. No name, no street address, just the story of a place I once loved to go to. On that day I walked into the small bar that was once a true speakeasy which was why I always remembered it in story but not in name. I took the small winding staircase down to the lower level where it had more of a lounge feeling rather than a loud bar like the upstairs area. I sat down at an empty table for two in the corner of the room and ordered a glass of Merlot. As I waited for my server to return with my drink I looked around the room and remembered the things that made this place a favorite of mine my eyes caught the side of her face. I couldn’t be sure it was her, it had been nearly 20 years since she disappeared from my life without a trace. But as she lifted the bottle of Merlot to refill her glass, I saw the tattoo on her arm that she got when we were on a trip in Thailand. I knew it was her. I slowly stood up from my table and walked over to hers. As I approached her table I said her name, “Samantha?”. She turned to look at me and for a moment I looked into the eyes of the woman I’d been mourning for decades.