If you would have told Nicole Haught two years ago that she would spend every waking hour in a bar that she now owned, she would have called you crazy.
What led her to that reality was just one bad inconvenience after another. She first got injured and hurt her spine so bad that she could no longer be a cop. Then a few weeks later she found out that her parents had died in a car accident.
It wasn’t that she was really close to them, but they loved her in their own way since they left her the bar they owned. Her parents had named the bar, The Stetson. She really despised it at first but didn’t have the heart to ever change it. Two years later and the name was finally starting to grow on her.
The thing about owning a bar though is that Nicole never had to actually tend the bar. She had employees for that , which were way more qualified in that department. Instead she always worked in her office even until way after closing time.
It was late Friday night when the closing bartender knocked on her office door. He had a family emergency and asked if he could leave a bit earlier. The bar was already closed so Nicole knew she could handle tidying up a bit.
She had just put all the chairs on top of the tables and was sweeping up the floor when the door creaked open. “Sorry, we’re closed.”
“I know. I was in here earlier for a bachelorette party and I’m afraid I might have left my purse.”
Nicole finally turned towards the door after hearing quite possibly the most beautiful voice ever.
“Oh of course. I found one while I was cleaning up and placed it behind the bar, hopefully it’s yours.”
Nicole rounded the bar to grab the purse as Waverly walked further into the room towards the other side of the bar. “This it?”
“Yes. Thank you so much. I was almost all the way home when I realized I didn’t have it.”
“No worries. I’m just glad you got it back…” She paused waiting for a name to go with the beautiful angelic voice.
“Waverly. Waverly Earp.”
“It’s very nice to meet you, Waverly Earp. I’m Nicole Haught.”
“Well, Nicole Haught, you weren’t by chance tending the bar earlier were you? Because I swear I would have remembered seeing you.”
Nicole chuckled. “Great observation. I’m actually the owner. So I usually work in the back. What about you though? You said you were here for a bachelorette party right? Are you the bride to be?”
“Definitely not. My love life is practically non existent. I’ve heard of these epic love stories from my friend, who's getting married and my sister, who's already married about how after just one date they knew they’d found the one. All the first dates I go on just seem so dull.”
“I get that. I figure that’s how you know they’re not the one for you then.”
“I suppose you have a point there.” Waverly smiled.
“So Waverly, what do you do? You know, besides running into closed bars after hours, in search of your lost purse.”
“Very funny. I’m a curator at the Calgary History Museum. Most people find it lame but it’s my passion so I love it.”
“I don’t find it lame at all…. I’ve actually been meaning to check it out since I moved here and took over the bar. Now that I’m on a first name basis with the curator I definitely have more reason to.”
“I’d be happy to be your tour guide anytime, Nicole”
They just sat across the bar shyly smiling at each other.
They both spoke again at the same time. “Sorry I got really lost in conversation with you.” “This is one of my favorite songs.”
“In that case” Nicole walked around the bar holding Waverly’s purse in her hand, “I’ll happily give this back if you’ll dance with me?” She sat the purse back on the bar top and held her hand out, “Since this is one of your favorite songs and all.”
Waverly accepted the offer and took Nicole's hand as they moved further onto the hardwood floor. The lights were turned way down low which helped set the mood even more.
When they got to the middle of the floor, Nicole released Waverly’s hand and gently lifted both hands to rest on each of her sides as Waverly wrapped her arms around the back of Nicole’s neck.
They just looked at each other and swayed, holding on tight for what seemed like hours but was only the duration of the soft song playing softly in the background.
Their smiles were so big even when they let go and Waverly grabbed her purse to leave.
Nicole reached for Waverly’s hand, “Can I see you again?”
“I think that can be arranged, plus we both know where to find each other.” Waverly squeezed Nicole’s hand one last time before walking towards the door.
Before she exited she turned to find Nicole’s eyes still looking at her, she sent her one more smile and a small wave before pushing the door open and leaving.
They both knew they would be seeing each other again very soon.
From the moment they met they both knew that they had finally found the one that they dreamed about.
Before Waverly, Nicole always spent way too many hours at work but she figured it was better working and going over the same papers dozens of times than going home to the silence of an empty house. Now she spends way more time at home with her girlfriend than at the bar.
Before Nicole, Waverly would find every excuse she possibly could in order to not go on a date. But months of dating Nicole and she was just as excited for every date night as she was for their first date. Even if some date nights were just sitting at home, cooking and watching a movie together.
It was their life and for the first time in as long as each of them could remember, they were truly happy.
Mondays were always the worst. They had to go back into the real world after having the weekends just to themselves.
It was like any other Monday. They both got up, got dressed and left the house together. Waverly dropped Nicole off at the bar before heading to the museum. She would stop back by the bar after work to pick Nicole up and drive home. They could have driven separately but they never did. That Monday was the same but it also wasn’t…
Nicole was really distracted. She verily said a word the whole drive to the bar. There were goodbye kisses and ‘I love yous’ but that still didn’t stop Waverly from worrying all day.
Waverly returned from work later that afternoon and walked inside the bar. The image was very familiar to the first time they met. The bar was closed, but instead of Nicole holding a broom she was just standing there looking at Waverly. “Hey”
Waverly released a shaky breath she didn’t realize she was holding in, “Hi. What’s going on?”
Nicole moved closer to stand in front of Waverly and released her own shaky breath, “I’m so nervous. Um I’ve been planning this day for a while now and I thought I had all the words I wanted to say but I feel like they’ve all disappeared. So I'll just go with what I feel here.” She pulled a small velvet box out of her shirt pocket and got down on one knee.
“You are my whole entire world. And you make me happier than I've ever been. I wanna feel that happiness for the rest of our lives. Will you marry me?”
Waverly joined Nicole down on the floor and kissed her “This was really not what I was expecting. I love you so much.”
“Is that a yes?”
“It is. But only if you dance with me?” Waverly pointed up to the bar speakers, “It sounds like our dance song is playing again.”
Nicole slid the ring onto Waverly’s finger and stood up, pulling her up with her. Nicole wrapped her arms around her back as Waverly wrapped hers around Nicole’s neck.
They just swayed together to the music. It was unlike anyone who had ever danced before. In that moment it was an unspoken promise to continue to dance like that together for the rest of their lives.