The lights were dimmed low as she walked out onto the stage headed to the center where her mic was, a huge piano to the right of the stage but so big it took up most of the tiny stage. She looked out to the audience smiling, this was the best place on earth, and she always felt at home when she was there. Tom, the pianist started playing softly, and her heart warmed with nerves and her stomach ached a bit. She closed her eyes dreaming she was singing to someone, anyone that would love her or needed her like the words from the song she was about to sing. One of her favorites "need you now" from Lady Antebellum.
I've been coming here since the day I laid eyes on her, about 2 weeks now. Finding this bar was pure luck I don't even live here. I'm from a town over which was about 45 mins away, but it is still smaller than mine. I was surprised that it even has a bar, either way, I was pissed off with one of my brothers and stormed out of the house and just drove not knowing where I was going but I needed to get out of that house. After driving a while, I decided I needed a strong drink to take my mind off of things and found a small bar next to what looked like a old diner. Weird I thought but I parked anyway. As I opened the heavy wooden door, I immediately heard her voice. My heart raced and quickly found a seat at the end of the bar. She's beautiful, not like anything I've ever seen yet nothing like my usual type. I ordered a whiskey and sat down; I couldn't take my eyes off of her. I've been coming back almost every night just to hear her sing, planning my introduction.
When I finish my set I smile, gave a little nod and said my goodnights, and walked off the stage. I walk around to a tiny storage closet which I made into a changing room/office for me to switch my clothes. I then go to help Henry, my bartender/best friend, he’s one of my closest friends and has been like a brother since we were young. We are unusually packed for a Tuesday night and that’s saying a lot since we live in a small town. I usually leave after my set since I bar-tend before I sing and Henry closes for me.
"Hey Hen need help?" I ask he's pouring some shots for our regulars that sit close to the stage. The bar runs along the left side of the building as I look out from the stage even with the lights low, they are shining right on me so I usually can't see anyone except people who are sitting at the tables close to the stage or I see these guys who have permanent seats at the end of the bar as they are there every night.
"Hi, guys how's your night," I ask helping pass out their shots then returning to Henry.
"Yea babe, yea will you run this to the man at the end of the bar, he has a tab open, so you don't have to take payment," he said as I grab what looks like whiskey and coke and start walking.
When I get to the guy, I look at him and almost drop the glass, his eyes are beautiful a hazel color with what looks like gold flecks. he’s sitting right under a light which is making them look like a color I’ve never seen before it’s like they are gold, rather than brown. I can tell they probably change between the two depending on his mood or if the light hits them just right.
"Hi, here's your drink" I manage to get out of my throat ...really that's all I could say! I mentally slap myself. He's not from here since I don’t immediately recognize him like I would our many other regulars.
"Umm, do you need anything else? " I asked and smiled softly, still trying to grab a handle on my s**t before I make a fool out of myself for staring at him like I'm about to eat him. He has tan skin that looks like it sees the sun a lot, a clean hair cut that's faded in the sides yet really long on top and it's slicked back with enough hair product I could probably use some, but his beard is a bit long and scraggly, the sudden urge to reach out and touch it hit me out of nowhere and from the looks of it He’s been running his own hands through it. He is wearing a tight black V-neck shirt that's showing off his muscles and tattooed arms, sleeves on both of them, and dark jeans. He smiles, a half-smile/smirk and I think I lost it. He's extremely handsome
"No, thank you, ma'am," he says, and if I wasn’t an already wet mess, hearing his voice definitely melted the rest of me.
"Well let me know if I can help you with anything, my name is Stella” I hesitate a tad but turn and walk away.
"Holy fuckin’ hell who the heck is that " I whisper yell to Henry as I get to him, he laughs stacking some glasses to take to the back.
"I don't know but he's been coming here for a little bit, I think because of you" he nudges my shoulder as I help grab a few glasses that didn't fit in the crate we walk to the back where we put dirty cups away.
"Whatever" I push him back " I haven't seen him" trying to remember if I had but I'd seriously know if he's been here before. He grabs a crate with clean cups and then we walk back out.
"He usually gets here when you're on stage sits at the end and leaves after you walk off, orders a whiskey or something strong never just a beer. Tonight's been the first night he's stayed after you finished.”
I grab some glasses and start restocking them as we talk luckily, we are far from him. We are almost about to close, and I like to keep things restocked. Less for Henry and me to do when we open the next day. I casually look over to him to see if he's finished but he's on the phone and his calmness is gone, now replaced with madness and a tight brow. He catches me looking and I smile trying to make it as if I'm just checking on him and not drooling, I noticed he shakes his head and for a second, he looked sad. I don't know what comes over me I walk over just as he's hanging up.
"Would you like another?" I ask
"No," he says as he stands "I'd like to close out" and looks away dismissing me. I walk over to the register and print out his receipt, but he's gone. Damn, there went my chance. I laugh because I probably wasn't going to do anything but the idea of asking him out or even flirting seemed like a great idea even if I wouldn't have done it.
I don't know what Henry was thinking, I'm clearly not his type