The dynamic of the room was pleasant. Jared’s friends were funny and solicitous. Chatty. Food was delicious. Sky was having a decent time but for some reason she just couldn’t get in to it full heart. Jared seemed quite pleased when he’d look over to Sky’s end of the table, toothy smile on his face, but there was way too much distance for her taste. He belonged to everyone tonight and she was not pleased with that for one second. When Jared winked at her after she told a particularly well received joke, she decided the night had been long enough.
“Excuse me?” she whispered to the waitress “Can I have a shot from the bar?”
“Of course, what would you like?”
“I will see what I can do.” the waitress said
“Thanks.” Sky sighed.
The rest of the table cackled at one of Benji’s dry jokes and Sky snickered as if she had heard the punchline too.
“And fucking – fucking – whats his face walks right the fuck in to the boom and I’m like ahhh! Your forehead cost us four hours!” and everyone snorted and someone slapped the table and someone else stomped the floor. Sky rolled her eyes.
When the waitress returned with Sky’s shot no one but Jared noticed. She downed it, thought about asking for another but instead excused herself and followed the waitress to the bar.
“Uppity assholes.” she mumbled to the bartender as she ordered a whiskey and diet.
“Not having a good time ma’am?”
Sky shrugged her shoulders and then panned around the empty restaurant. No one was here but Jared’s group but their laughter and storytelling filled the place just fine. Gave it ambience. Happiness. Sky was not amused.
Patrick was sitting by the front door so Sky strolled over to him, drink in hand.
Patrick looked around the restaurant to see if perhaps there was anything else he should be doing but then said “Yeah, ok.”
They exited the restaurant together and Sky regaled Patrick of the night thus far.
“Everything is an inside joke. Like they all have fucking umbilical cords leading from them to Jared’s nutsack. It’s just so goddamn…incestuous.” She tossed in a few fibs about pretension and snoot to help sell her version of events. Patrick sighed on her behalf.
“So much potential, yet …they’re really fucking boring people.”
Patrick took a drag off of Sky’s cigarette but said nothing.
“It’s like oh hey look at me I’m so goddamn great ‘cuz I can get a line right after 42 takes. And Patrick…” Sky put her hand on Patrick’s wrist for emphasis “He fucking winked at me! Winked! AT.ME!”
“Oh hell naw.” Patrick teased “How dare he.”
“Don’t tease. That shit is just…yuck. What are you, my Grandpa? I mean..come on.”
Patrick grabbed Sky’s cigarette from her hand and pushed her shoulder so she’d turn around and see Jared at the door.
“Sky?” Jared asked sweetly from the door of the restaurant. “There you are. Everything ok?” He walked up to Sky and immediately extended his hand to Patrick. “Hey man, I’m Jared.”
“Hi.” Patrick said as he looked at the floor.
Jared slid his hand on to the small of Sky’s back and nudged her forward just a teeny tiny bit. “Everyone’s saying their goodbyes … should we?” and he nodded towards the restaurant. “Would you like to join us …?”
“His name is Patrick.”
“Would you like to join us Patrick?”
Sky snorted and reached out for the cigarette one last time but Patrick saved her from herself and stomped it out. He did his best to say not in front of him emphatically with his eyes.
“I’m working but thanks for the invite.”
“No sweat.” Jared said and he patted Patrick on the shoulder. Bro-to-bro.
“Were you smoking? I didn’t know you smoked.” Jared asked casually as they walked back inside. Sky didn’t answer him. She just walked ahead of him a few paces back to the semi-private room. When she entered her face lit up and she started chatting again.
“Sorry about that everyone. Had to answer an important email. Early call time tomorrow!” Everyone nodded in understanding and Zoe started asking about the call. Zoe is a stylist and a little bit familiar with some of Sky’s clients. She was very complimentary and Sky was very fake in return.
Jared stood close by, half an ear on his conversation with Benji, the other (and all of his attention) on Zoe and Sky’s exchange. He started to pick at a string hanging from the sleeve of his button down shirt, twisting it and pulling it. Smoothing it down then ripping it out of the hem all together as they conversed.
“Yeah. I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be doing makeup.” Sky was saying “It’s just not fulfilling you know?”
“What about getting on a few sets? Doing some theatrical stuff? That’d be a change of pace right? I know this guy doing a zombie series … I could slip your name by him if you want?”
“Oh I don’t know …this isn’t really my scene. I think I might go back to school so I can get a real job.”
“Oh.” Zoe took a sip of her water and stepped back from Sky. She widened her eyes a little and passed Sky off to Jared who was just moving in to save Sky from putting her foot all the way down her own throat.
“Don’t like Zombies, eh?” he teased.
“Something like that.”