There it Goes
By: Kate Ward ‘23
The club was packed with bodies but Christa didn’t care much for anyone in the crowd. She frequented this club and was here even on its slower nights just to get a drink or two. She and the bartender had gotten quite close over the past couple of years.
“Ysabel!” Christa called to the bartender once she fought her way to the front to be pressed up against the bar.
The brunette turned her head and smiled, lifting the shaker over her shoulder as she prepared some fancy cocktail.
“Your usual?” Ysabel replied over the loud bass, her face lit up by the extreme strobe lights.
Christa nodded and wormed her way onto the barstool closest to her. She took out her phone, scrolling through various social media accounts before checking her texts; as usual, nothing. She pulled up Tinder, swiping idly. None of the women in this city caught her eye. More to the point, none of them caught her eye like Ysabel. Christa passed Ysabel her card while she took the drink with her other hand. “What time do you get off tonight?”
Ysabel swiped her card and passed it back. “Around three, so,” she looked at her watch. “three hours.”
“Would you like to come back to mine when you’re done?” Christa sipped her drink, a dirty shirley. Perfectly made as usual.
Ysabel glanced down at the glass she was coating with salt. “Will you be here until three?”
Christa laughed, clutching at her chest. “Are you doubting my ability to stay up? I’m hurt!”
Ysabel moved down the bar to give the frenzied drunks their drinks. “I’m not doubting, I’m just asking!”
The drunks down the bar swept the drinks towards them like a dragon bringing jewels closer to his horde. Christa liked to watch them; they were like the stingrays you could feed at the aquarium. Ysabel returned and started wiping down the bar. Christa pressed her, “so are you saying yes?”
“Christa, I don’t know, I kind of want to sleep in my own bed,” Ysabel sighed, taking a few more credit cards that had been slid her way.
Christa frowned. “But you sleep in your bed seven out of seven days of the week! Spice it up!”
Ysabel pinched the bridge of her nose, exhaling slowly. “Christa, I have a thing about not getting involved with customers.”
The words crashed over her like a ton of bricks, ruining her buzz. Christa took a long drink, the ice bumping her nose, reminding her that she had to reply at some point. She looked through the glass at the distorted image of Ysabel and lowered the glass. “I thought we were friends…I was wondering if we could hang out?”
Ysabel laughed coldly, “There was no way in hell you thought we were just friends. I know how you look at me Christa.”
Christa felt her cheeks and ears go red. “I-I don’t know what to say.”
“Tell me the truth. Are we just friends or do you think something else of me?” Ysabel packed the shaker full of ice.
Christa looked down into her drink, frowning, “I like you. Like-like you.”
“There it goes,” Ysabel murmured as she poured the drink.
“Take a chance,” Christa pleaded and finished her drink, shoving the glass towards the bartender.
“Don’t beg me,” Ysabel retorted, “I did like you too but then you kept coming back every night. It wasn’t special anymore.”
Christa’s heart cracked in two. “Okay. There it goes.” She slid off the barstool. “See you around.”
Ysabel watched her go. Though disappointed in herself and the younger woman leaving, she would not chase her. She couldn’t chase her.