Lance McElroy trudged to his car. He never felt so humiliated in all his life. The girl of his dreams, his boss, Talia Roberts, was engaged… to his best friend Paul no less. Sure they had been dating for three years, but they fought everyday. That couldn’t be good for a relationship, right?
Lance really didn’t know. He had never had a real relationship before. The closest thing he had to a relationship was the made up ones he created when jerking off at 10 pm.
He didn’t know why he did it; it started when he was younger. He couldn’t talk to girls so it was easier to create a phony relationships, clean up and go to bed. Do people in love fight?
Lance spotted his car on the 2nd floor of a nearly empty parking garage. The December air gripped his knuckles as he held on to his attache case, its handle chilled as he switched hands to dig into his long, wool coat’s right pocket for his keys. With a quick movement, he pulled them and inserted the key into hole. Click. Opening the door, he gently set his case on the passenger seat and ducked into his lowly, old car.
For a moment, he stared at the dashboard, closing his eyes, he prayed for a quick start as he placed the key into the ignition. He twisted the key, jerking his wrist till it ached. “One more time,” he said out loud and the engine grunted awake, no doubt agitated by the constant key twisting.
It just couldn’t get any worse. He had a crappy car, a low-end job and now the woman he admired from a far was getting married to his best friend of three years. He remembered the night they met…
Lance sat in a lonely bar, on a shaky bar stool, sipping from a bottle of Bud. His eyes wandered across the smiling faces of strangers as they drank in each other’s company and swayed under each other’s influence. He wished he could be like that…
“Hey barkeep, two Buds, one for my friend here,” he said this gesturing to Lance. Lance looked up to see a man in blue jeans and a flannel shirt. He gave Lance a quick smile before turning back to the bartender. Lance’s eyes began to well up. He hadn’t had much human interaction since he left home for his new job.
‘Oh no,’ thought Lance, ‘Does this guy think I’m gay?’
“So dude,” the man said after taking a sip of his beer, “Why are you all alone?”
Lance looked up and tried to keep his voice from shaking. “I’m just having a drink.” He took a hardy slurp from his previous beer. “Thank you for the second, but I’ll have you know that I am not gay and I am sorry for the misunderstanding.”
The man looked at him for a moment and then he laughed. “Dude! It’s Paul,” he said, as if this was supposed to make sense, “I just got hired on like you. Didn’t you see me today at orientation?”
Lance stared at him, blankly, trying to remember if he had seen this man or not.
“Geez, I guess don’t give a lasting impression,” he said, taking a seat, “Drink up, bud, loosen up, if you really want to talk to women, you have to stop thinking about it and do it.”
Lance immediately became interested in the ingredient label. ‘How does he know my problem?’
“I’m Paul Branson,” said Paul, extending a hand.
“Sorry,” said Lance, a little agitated, shaking Paul’s hand, “Sorry, I’m Lance… I just… crowds just make me nervous.”
“No reason to be nervous,” said Paul, “These people want the same thing you want. They’re either too shy, too stuck-up or too drunk to make the first move. Confidence my friend. You need to just do it and stop thinking about it.”
“Is that what you do? Stop thinking?”
“Oh a wise guy, eh?” said Paul smiling, “So you have a sense of humor. That’s a start. Hey baby!”
Lance, bewildered by that last remark, turned away from his beer bottle towards Paul to see the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen, and she also worked with them at the company.
She was an hour-glass, Lance had never seen a girl like her before. Great top, great bottom, slim, voluptuous, Barbie… with long black hair, dark green eyes and the most kissable lips he had ever seen.
“Paul,” she said, sidling up to him, “Isn’t that Lance McElroy? Hi Lance! How are you?”
She had the best smile too…
“I’m fine, Ms. Roberts,” said Lance blushing a little.
“Oh,” she said, “Call me Talia. It’s nice to see you out and about. You sitting with anyone?”
Lance looked uncomfortable. “He’s sitting with us, Talia,” said Paul.
“Oh…” She said, “So where’s my drink, Paul?”
“I wasn’t sure what you wanted so I thought I’d…”
“I told you I wanted a sex-on-the-beach,” she said grinding her teeth, “You need to listen.”
“Whoah, time out,” he said, “You need to chill. Barkeep, sex-on-the-beach for the lady.”
Lance would always remember that sex-on-the-beach was Talia’s favorite drink…