A few months ago, I shared another “Ellise, why?” story featuring one hipster, Hot Bartender and one idiot head-nodder (me, it was me). Well here’s a semi-update.
I returned to Pearls for the first time two months post-offense with a large group of friends. Hot Bartender (HB) was not at the bar and I sighed with relief. The group of friends knew all too well of my mishap and would not easily let me forget, so HB’s absence was a #blessing.
We sat down at the back of the dive bar for a nice, quiet evening with friends.
THEN HB WALKED IN, a bike on his shoulder and his signature black t-shirt with rolled-up sleeves. My heart fluttered and I took a ol’ big gulp of my beer. I was going to have to face that beautiful man. With any luck, he wouldn’t remember me.
As I’m sure you’ve gathered, I have no such luck.
I approached the bar for my second drink and the moment I arrived, HB looked straight into my soul and said, “Hey! It’s Ellise, right?”
TWO. WHOLE. AMERICAN. MONTHS. That’s how long had passed since the head-nod. And yet he remembered me by name. (Granted, I was wearing the exact same outfit.)
He proceeded to introduce himself to me and rather than vomit and run as my fight-or-flight would’ve preferred, we shook hands like grown AH-dults.
While HB poured my beer, he asked me about my day, told me about his motorcycle ride in the snow and mentioned that IT WAS GOOD TO SEE ME AGAIN.
At this point, I didn’t know what to think. I didn’t know what to do. So as blasé as I could manage, I grabbed my drink, flashed a grin and returned to my pack.
Through gritted teeth, I shared my tale. All six friends had to immediately turn around and stare at HB, causing me to blush two shades past crimson.
“BE COOL,” I kept reminding my gaggle. “He’ll see and know the head-nodder is talking about him.”
Finally, everyone calmed down and fell back into conversation. But I needed another drink.
This was my last drink of the night. I was honestly ready to go to bed by 8pm, but my early-20 genes were judging me. I made my way through the mass of bodies and went straight for HB.
I asked for my final drink and we started to chat about the weather, when HB interrupted me.
“Do you want to take a shot with me?” he asked with a smile in his eyes.
I swear I blacked out for a second. Not only had HB remembered my name after TWO MONTHS, but now he was buying me a drink? WHAT SORCERY WAS THIS?
Of course I obliged, choosing whiskey because I’m full Missourian.
After the shot, he started ah-NOTHER conversation when I remembered I really needed to close my tab and get back to the group so we could bounce on outta there.
As I closed my tab, HB mentioned again how good it was to see me. TWICE. I was so flustered that I made a rookie mistake in not writing my phone number on the receipt before retreating to my inner circle.
We finished the night with me retelling my tale while blushing furiously, only to be interrupted by HB picking up glasses. The entire table became silent until he walked away.
As we packed up to leave, the group demanded I leave a phone number. Embarrassed and bumbling, I raced for the door before anyone could say anything. But not before my devious roommate (let’s call her Nicola) left my name and number on a coaster and slid it across the bar to HB with an air of mischief.
Now I don’t want to get your hopes up. HB never called. Nicola is convinced he thinks she left her number. I’m convinced I’m an idiot. But I haven’t been back since and my two month return policy is creeping up on us.
So keep your eyes out for Pearls Part III, y’all. I’m sure it’ll be an awkward one.