The text from my friend Allison had suggested we grab a drink at Jack’s Tavern, and to my surprise we each literally grabbed a single drink. She had already ordered herself a gin and tonic by the time I arrived. At the bar, I ordered an IPA, and as soon as I sat down with my beer she gestured that we should leave soon.
“Shit. I would’ve just gotten Bud Light if I knew we’d be heading out so soon.”
I took a swig. Thought of how stupid I was going to look closing my tab with one beer on it.
“You don’t want to hang out here?”
She shook her head.
I took another swig. Her drink was almost empty so I was trying to down mine quick, and it didn’t even taste all that great this way and it stung my mouth. She watched me, while shifting the ice cubes in her drink using her plastic straw.
“Well why come here at all? We could’ve gone somewhere different. It’s not like Trevor hung out here.”
There was a moment of silence.
“I wanted to go somewhere I knew nobody would be.”
I looked around. It wasn’t hopping, but there definitely were people. She probably meant people we knew. That was reasonable for her to want. I nodded to let her know that I understood.
At the bar, I jokingly apologized for only buying a beer on my tab while closed it, leaving a hefty tip. Then we headed out. There was no snow, but it was freezing with a lot of wind. The setting and timing, which is actually part of the setting, really affects how things go down. Trevor was dead; if he had died smack dab in the middle of the semester, I probably wouldn’t have been here reminiscing about him outside Jack’s Tavern with Allison. She would have probably come, no matter the time of year. She was a better friend. She would postpone midterms and came at the drop of a dime while I would’ve probably been sitting inside a Starbucks trying to read PDF documents on my laptop. But since Trevor died right at the start of winter break, here I was. Being a good friend. Conveniently.
Had the weather been not unbearable Allison and I could’ve just walked the nature trail beside Jack’s Tavern, but instead we went inside her giant SUV with seat warmers and a nice heater.