The ex and the wish-she-was

I deflated into the tacky, sticky vinyl of the corner booth as Christian’s fingers resumed their slow, melancholic jumbling of notes.

“How,” I asked no one in particular, “does he manage to play happy songs like they’re the saddest fucking story on Earth? Christ,” I mumbled into the shot glass as I readied to tip more vodka past my lips, “it’s just fucking depressing. Needs to learn something, I don’t know, cheerful.”

Downing the shot, I inverted the glass on the table, because I figured that was just what was done when you took a shot. I didn’t know. Up until tonight I’d never tasted alcohol.

People drank alcohol when they were depressed, or so I understood from TV. And so that’s what I was doing, here at the piano bar, while Christian played steadily along, mournfully plinking out “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” like it was a dirge.

Across the table, Sonja leaned her chin on steepled fingers, the movement deepening the tantalizing sloping line between her breasts.

I scowled.

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