Sunday, August 24, 2008

Wine 02: Merlot

Note: Read Wine 01 first

The wine glass feels heavy in my hand as I look out the window and across the street to the market where I got the now forgotten bread and cheese and I think about the girl there. I look down at my glass as Steve pours me another glass of wine. I look at him with a mixture of contempt and gratefulness.

“A merlot you’re going to love.” He shows me the label, but I don’t pay attention to what’s there.
“Am I?” I look at the contents of the glass with disdain.

“What is with you, James? Angry at me for not letting you sit at home with your books and self pity?”

I fucking hate you, you pompus turd. You and all these asshole, hipster douchbags.

“I’m just not feeling very social right now. The wine is making me tired and the crowd is a little out of my league, I think.” I look up from my glass in time to see Steve walking away with some brunette. He pours her a glass of the merlot and disappears with her into the kitchen. “And you’re gone again.”

“Sorry, I keep doing that to you, don’t I?”

I turn and face the hippy girl. She stares at me with big, gray eyes and pouts. “I guess I never got over the cheese stealing. It’s just hard to bare. But, I'm sorry to keep running off on you.” Her smile is enchanting.

I freeze up not knowing how to reply. I’m happy that I have not made a fool of myself when I see a man move towards her and slip his arm around her shoulder. I play off everything like the jokes they obviously are and sip my merlot with a goofy grin plastered to my face. The merlot is amazing and I frown and look at my glass before looking back at the couple.

“Is this woman bothering you?” the man laughs and hugs her to him. “She’s a menace.”

“I came from a broken home.” She removes her hat and places it on the mans head. “My siblings were all cruel monsters.”

“No excuses.” He adjusts the hat and holds out his hand. “David.”

“James.” I shake his hand and spill a little of the merlot on my hand. Without thinking, I wipe it on the side of my jeans and wince slightly as I think about the stain.

“The cheese stealer at the store.” She frowns and it looks real to me though I know she’s playing.
“I couldn’t resist.” I sip my wine and glance around the room for Steve. He’s nowhere to be seen.
“Oh?” The man raises his brows and cocks his head to the side. “Are you flirting?”

I laugh. My heart starts to race. While awkward, the whole of the situation is somewhat exciting.
“Well, I’ll leave you two it then. Sorry to interrupt.” He winks and moves away as quickly as he arrived.

“Well?”

I grip my glass so hard I think I’ll shatter it. “Excuse me?”

“Go on. I’m waiting.” She folds her arms and cradles the glass against her bicep.

“I’m sorry, I don’t understand.” I laugh.

“I thought you were flirting? I was waiting for more. You were off to a good start before he arrived.” She smiles.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t know you were with him at the time. Um, all my best moves work on married women or women with boyfriends.” I try to play the whole thing off as I sip at my wine. Where the hell is Steve?

“David’s my brother. I’m not married and I don’t currently have anyone I refer to as boyfriend.” She looks back at the man and he waves his fingers towards us. “So, Cheese Stealer James, you were saying?” She sips her wine and levels her eyes at me.

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