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friday night

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you find yourself in the bar sat alone with a warm beer on a late friday night and a sigh escapes your lips, humiliation burning at the pit of your stomach. stood up again. no call, no text, you were pretty damn sure by now he was across town with another girl and god why were you still with him? you had no idea. 

 

you watched through the distorted reflection of your bottle as someone takes a seat next to you. silence, and then- 

 

"why the long face?" you stare at the table to avoid the question, willing tears away from spilling over from being asked with genuine concern for once if you’re okay. you shake your head as if that would answer his question.

 

"i'm alex. let me make your night better." the stranger's—alex's—voice fades slightly as he turns momentarily and you lose interest in just another guy looking to waste time on a friday night. everyone’s the same here.

 

"hey. have a drink." a fresh beer clinks softly against your warm one, unopened, an offer with no obligation. 

 

you stare at his reflection in the glass. what the hell is he playing at here? and you're about to ignore him before you think about your boyfriend standing you up for a moment.

 

what the hell.

 

you slam the bottle’s top against the edge of the table, letting the cap fall helplessly to the ground and watching the liquid fizz white and run over your fingers before looking at alex properly. 

 

a tiny smile graces your face as a name falls from your lips and he tests it on his tongue. suddenly you want him to say your name forever.

 

you take a swig of your beer as a pregnant pause hangs in the air, the two of you simply taking each other in for a moment.

 

“this bar fucking sucks,” he begins, and before he can finish you already know what he’s about to say, and you feel yourself stand up, a mutual understanding passing between the two of you.

 

you take a breath of fresh air as you step out of the bar, observing smooth pavement littered with tiny scuffs, washed in yellow light. 

 

you turn to look at him and forget to breathe for an instant. you’d barely looked at him back inside but here, here, you see him properly, bright shining eyes and hair a little long and an earnest smile, his face dotted with freckles.

 

he’s stunning.

 

his mouth moves and you step back into reality, barely catching the last of his question. 

 

“-take you somewhere?” he nods to his car and you notice the keys dangling between his fingers.

 

you fill in the gaps of his question. normally you’d say no somewhere around here but something about him pulls you in further, a sense of security washes over you and every part of you that would be screaming with alarm is silent. 

 

“okay” you hear yourself respond and you wonder quietly where he’ll take you as you walk towards the passenger seat. 

 

the comforting smell of fresh leather curls in your nose as you lean back in the seat and register that his car is surprisingly clean. unlike someone and you barely remember your boyfriend’s name, but does he remember yours at all?

 

fuck it, you think, as alex starts his car, and you send a careless we’re breaking up to what’s-his-name, conclusive and cold, watch as the tick turns blue. you put your phone away and feel a sense of relief as a song comes on and the car purrs softly before tires turn on asphalt and you pull away from the bar.

 

the road is empty and silent and you could swear you’ve heard this music before in another lifetime, it’s comforting and familiar and warm and even if you don’t know the words it feels like home.

 

you watch alex tap lightly to the beat on his steering wheel and observe the shadows passing over his face dancing on the slope of his cheek, making his eyes somehow brighter, watch the curve of a soft smile on his face as he hums the words to the song. 

 

you look away as his head turns suddenly to you and hear him chuckle softly, a teasing you’ve been caught like a silent message. 

 

you shut your eyes and try to will away heat rising on your cheeks only to blush even harder when you hear him laugh again. 

 

“we’re here” he murmurs into the empty air. you hear the car settle and open your eyes, stepping out of the car before looking around to see where he’s taken you.

 

it’s beautiful.

 

you’ve never seen the sky so clean and clear, stars so close you could take one for yourself, the lights of the city blinking below you like an untouched treasure, muted sounds of traffic touching your ears. the air is still and calm. there's no one around for miles but somehow it's comforting. you're at the top of the world and you've never felt more weightless.

 

you hear your name and turn to alex who’s sat on the hood of the car, patting the spot next to him in a silent invitation to you.

 

you sit and lean back and stare at the sky and an aching sense of longing and exhaustion overcomes you as you wish to be the sky, free and unfathomably huge, beautiful and loved in its own way, untroubled by trivial matters.

 

you feel a hand touch yours tentatively and pull you back to earth. you look over to see alex still looking up at the sky and you link your pinky finger with his and watch his face soften. you look back up at the sky but you are at peace. nothing in the world matters at this moment. 

 

you’re the only two people in the universe, and somewhere in the back of your mind contentment trickles through you, with the knowledge that somehow everything would be okay, as long as you had each other.