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Thursday, December 23, 2021

Chance Encounter: A Short Story

    Keith had just finished his second beer while watching the Bears get trounced by the Vikings on Monday Night Football. He normally went straight home after a hard day’s work but decided to break his routine for a change and hang out awhile. He was supposed to meet some of his coworkers from the bank there, but nobody had shown up yet.

    “Can I get you another Miller Draft?” the bartender asked.

    “Yeah, I’ll take another one,” Keith answered.

    “Coming right up.”

    Keith already had a ten-dollar bill by his empty bottle, so the bartender took the ten and the empty bottle and placed another ice-cold Miller Draft in front of him. The bartender subsequently placed five singles in front of Keith before he took a sip and scanned the perimeter of the pub. It was then that he spotted his best friend Tommy’s girlfriend Marissa with another guy sitting two tables over from the bar. She didn’t notice him as she was totally engaged in conversation with her new beau―they were holding hands, and her gorgeous smile widened when the dude leaned in and whispered something in her ear.

    Marissa was the epitome of sexy―a five-foot nine bombshell with a thirty-six-inch inseam and curves in all the right places. They all met in college, and Keith and Marissa were good friends up to this point. However, Marissa’s indiscretion had put their friendship in serious jeopardy.

    Keith chugged his beer and left the five singles on the bar as a tip before he motioned toward the exit. Marissa looked up at Keith and smiled at him for a split second before continuing her conversation with the mystery guy as if Keith was a total stranger. He was taken aback by her blatant disregard for her relationship with Tommy and their friendship, which dated back to freshman year at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

    Still fuming from the brief encounter at the bar, Keith found a parking space a half of block from his apartment complex on the fringes of Chicago’s Hyde Park community. It was a seasonably cold thirty-nine degrees in mid-November as Keith briskly walked to the entrance and opened the second door with his key. His one-bedroom apartment was on the third floor, so he lumbered up the flight of stairs because there was no elevator. 

    He didn’t want to cut his night short, but he felt too uncomfortable watching Marissa betray his friend of ten years in that fashion. He grabbed another beer from his fridge and plopped down on his living room sofa before turning on the boob tube. Nothing piqued his interest, so he settled for the old 80s movie Platoon on TMC.

    There was a knock on his door almost two hours later, as he had dozed off midway through drinking his Miller Draft.

Happy Couple

    “Who is it?” he was still groggy.

    “It’s Marissa,” she answered. “Can I come in?”

    “How the hell did you get inside?”

    “I came in with one of your neighbors.”

    He then unlocked the door and let her inside.

    “What do you want?” he was curt.

    “I can explain,” she offered.

    “You’re foul, Marissa. You know that, right?”

    “You have no right to judge me…”

    “You’re wrong about that. I have every right to judge your ass…Tommy is my best friend, and you play him like that?”

    “He cheated on me first…”

    “What?”

    “Right. Don’t judge anyone until you know the entire story.”

    “When? Because he never said anything to me about it.”

    “Yeah, right. Do you really expect me to believe that?”

    “I swear I didn’t know.”

    “So, are you going to tell him about me?”

    He paused for a moment and then said, “I don’t know if I should…I mean, he’s keeping secrets from me, and you’re keeping secrets from him. I think I should just stay the hell out of it.”

    “Good. So, we have an understanding, right?”

    “I think you should leave. Maybe it’s best if I distance myself from the both of you.”

    She motioned toward him and grabbed his crotch before she said, “I know that you always had a thing for me, Keith. You also never got over the fact that I chose Tommy instead of you…”

    He pushed her hand away and said, “You’re really feelin’ yourself right now, aren’t you?”

    “I see you’re much bigger than Tommy is.”

    “Get out.”

    “Okay, I’ll leave, but if you ever change your mind, you know where to find me.”

    “You ain’t shit, Marissa.”

    “And neither is Tommy.”

    “Whatever.”

    She walked out, and he slammed the door behind her.

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