When you're a lot older
We shall drink Scotch together
I shall invite you to my office balcony
But I'll be far away, living in London or New York or California, at Berkeley.
You'd be surprised
Id most probably be in London or New York too depending on how far we're talking
And you're forgetting I'm not much of a fan of alcohol
Its the sentiment that counts
You can have diet coke
Diet coke is yuck. I'll settle for a margarita.
Non alcoholic of course
I can't wait for this day
Im amazing at making cocktails
Neither can I
The following one shot has been inspired by this snippet of a late night chat.
FROM MARGARITAS TO SCOTCH
He had always hated Thursdays.
Even when he had lived back home, at Pakistan, he had hated that retched day of the week. Half of the week had flown by by that time, leaving him eagerly and impatiently awaiting the weekend. The fact that Thursdays were his longest days here at the office in New York didn't do much to bring the day into his good books either.
But today; this thursday was different. After a long separation from his past for nearly two years, he was finally meeting a good friend from it. The same friend he had made plans with, a long time ago sitting in his room on the computer; made plans with on facebook chat to meet one day in New York and share a drink on his office balcony.
And here he was, standing right at the venue, waiting for the door to click open so they could act upon this plan, made nearly eight years ago, when he was twenty one and she was sixteen.
He hadn't seen her ever since he had left the country, hadn't talked to her that much either. But sitting at his office one day, overlooking the New York skyline - it had hit him. Where was she? Was she in New York? He had emailed her and she had replied with the same class, character and intellect he remembered.
Rather irritated that she was ten minutes late, he opened the bottle of Scotch on a shaded table and poured himself a generous glass. It was a beautiful autumn day, the leaves shuddering to the whispering wind, the sun sinking deeper and deeper until only a golden shine remained in the sky -
"Never were really patient, were you?"
He smiled. Her voice was the same, except there was a rather adult deepness added to it. He turned around, grinning, "Just like you were never punctual."
She had straightened that lovely mane of wild curls she had; a dark maroon lipstick covering her lips, her skin pale, wearing executive clothing. He was reminded of the first time they had met, at a Model United Nations where formal clothing was required - She had worn similar clothes, but these were covering a body that just simply could not match to her sixteen year old one.
She chuckled, stepping forward and embracing him after eight years. "God, I haven't spoken to you in so long."
"Eight years," he nodded, pouring her a drink. "So have you gotten over your righteous self and decide to come over to the dark side to have a drink with me?"
She smiled, "No, you're going to have to fix a non alcoholic margarita."
"I knew it," he chuckled, dialing a number on his cell phone and ordering a non alcoholic cocktail.
"Wow, you really made it," she said, looking out at the skyline, "You're actually living in New York, working as a lawyer, in an office building at the heart of Manhattan with your own balcony. Cheers to you, mate."
"We'll drink to me when your margarita arrives," he laughed. "So what are you doing exactly? And really, well done at keeping in touch."
She raised her eyebrow, "Same to you, my friend. You could have written too, you know."
He rolled his eyes, "Knowing me and you, this argument's going to go on for hours so let's just skip it. What's got you living in New York?"
"Well," she sat down on one of the chairs, pulling her legs up, "Ever since you left Pakistan, I got three books published there. Got another one published here; Now, I'm working on the New Yorker staff. Yes, you may praise me now."
"That's fucking brilliant," he said with wide eyes, "And I thought I had made it big."
"You have," she grinned, taking her margarita from the waiter who came in with it on a tray, "You think I didn't know about you being in New York? I hear your name everywhere. Everyone wants you for a lawyer; You can't imagine how hard I laughed when I heard that."
"Thanks, man," he chuckled, taking a sip of his scotch.
She pulled a face after sipping her margarita, taking in the saltiness of the drink before continuing, "Well what do you expect? I've known you when you were a head banging, drugs popping, drinking drummer. It was hard for me to imagine you as the serious lawyer you've become."
"And what about now?" he asked, grinning.
"I'll tell you when we next meet," she smiled, holding out her drink, "To what we've become."
He clinked his glass with hers with a nod, "To what we've become."
They had decided that the next time they would meet on his office balcony would be when one of them were getting married.
He had gotten an ecstatic phone call from her just last night at two in the morning, a year after their meeting on the balcony, informing him of the good news. He had laughed at her enthusiasm, at her screaming into the phone every time she looked at the ring her boyfriend had proposed with. He had told her to come by his office tomorrow so they could celebrate with a drink.
As soon as she danced into the balcony, she threw her arms around him, still screaming with excitement. He had pulled away to look at the ring on her finger and my God, was it huge. Without even bothering to ask, she had launched into a description of how he proposed, " … and then he prepared this whole dinner and when I got back from home, he insisted I wear my black coat so we could go out for a walk and while we were walking in central park, there were all these fireworks and at that exact moment I put my hand in my pocket and -"
"BREATHE!" he laughed, handing her a margarita, "I'm not going anywhere. You don't have to rush through the story." She chuckled, taking a sip. "So when do I get to meet the guy?"
"Oh, no," she chuckled, "Don't think I've forgotten what you did with Saif. I'm not letting you meet him, you'll scare him off!"
"Saif was a random boyfriend who was so thick, he couldn't ever see straight. You're marrying this guy," he said, taking a sip of his drink, "So when's the wedding?"
She shrugged, "In a month or so. We don't want too much of a big celebration."
He smiled, "So how long before you divorce the guy?"
"Try never?" she chuckled, "I'm planning on staying with Brian."
"Oh really? What happened to that fantasy of naming your dogs after your ex husbands?" he asked, smiling when she burst into laughter.
She shrugged, "That fantasy can go to hell. I'm marrying the guy and I'll stay married to him till I'm a cranky, wrinkly old wizened woman."
"I can't imagine that but okay," he raised his glass, smiling at her, "To you and Brian."
She sighed, content and happy in a way he had never seen her. It tugged at his heart in the oddest of ways possible. "To me and Brian," she whispered.
He was going through a case that had been sent to him, underlining possible lines of arguments, frowning at some of the stupidity of his clients. He wanted to rip his hair, stress affecting him as it always did. Nearing thirty two, he wanted to just forget about his job and earning an income and fly off to some exotic country; he wanted to become the man he had once been, always thinking of ways to have fun and keep himself lively.
He looked at a few frames on the wall, showing pictures of him smiling at the camera with numerous friends. She was there too, both of them holding Best Delegate awards at some Model United Nations - He remembered that day. She had been so high on winning that she couldn't stop giggling the entire night; and as for him - Well, he just couldn't stop smiling.
Suddenly, the door clicked open. Speak of the devil and she doth appear; She was standing there, hesitantly asking in a timid voice he had never heard coming from her lips, "Can I come in?"
He frowned, "Of course you can."
She was wearing an over sized black, full sleeves shirt, jeans and sneakers. Her hair was pulled up, revealing her long and slender neck. Her skin was pale, dark circles under her eyes. He hadn't seen her in a year, and here she was saying, "Can I just sit here for a while?"
He threw the case down onto the desk, walking around it to look at her, "What happened?"
She curled up on his couch, "I don't want to talk about it."
He sat down beside her, a crease between his eyebrows indicating worry. She looked weak, unstable and simply exhausted. It was nearly eleven at night and here she was, instead of being with her husband.
"Is it Brian?"
Without warning, tears began to seep out of her eyes as she whispered the story of the continuous fights they had been having ever since she found a pair of silky black underwear in his pants pocket. He pulled her up, stroking her hair as she let out a watery chuckle, "Looks like I'll be naming my dogs after my ex husbands after all."
"I'm sorry, babe," he whispered.
She sighed, "You warned me this would happen. I should have listened to you."
"Sweetheart, I never truly believed it would. But now that it has, why don't you tell me where Brian is so I can go kick his ass?"
She chuckled, wiping her eyes with the cuff of her sleeves, leaning her head against his shoulder, "Can I just sit her for a while?"
He spent the rest of the night, stroking her hair with her head resting on his shoulder as she slept, while he read over his case. But there was an odd feeling in his stomach … as if the tightest belt in the world had been untied and he could finally breathe … it was like relief. He was feeling almost giddy as she slept soundly on his shoulder and he wondered why …
Of course not.
She's twenty seven! He was thirty two! No … how … could it be?
"From today onwards, I am officially a divorced woman," she sighed, leaning over his balcony to look out at the hectic night, the streets littered with cars of all kind. She saw him picking up his phone to order a margarita but she stopped him, "No. I need liquor today. Give me some scotch."
"Wow," he stared, "He screwed you over that bad, huh?"
"You have no idea," she whispered, taking the glass of scotch from him. He joined her at the balcony, both of them looking out into the night. "Piece of advice; never marry unless you've known the person for minimum two years."
"What?" she asked, drinking her scotch, "You disagree?"
"No, it's just that … you were always such a love struck teenager. Your belief in the emotion was so strong you made me believe in it. It's … sad to see you so broken that the one thing you were hundred percent sure of has also been shattered."
"I made you believe in love?" she asked, surprise dripping from her voice.
He cleared his throat, running a hand through his dark hair, "You made me believe in a lot of things."
Without warning, images began to flash in his head. The way they had first met at an MUN … how he had danced with her at Formal Dinner … how they would always chat late at night during the summer … texting at odd hours … that fluttering feeling every time he heard her voice … always wanting to speak to her … her undying faith in him … the way she filled him with courage and bravery … the recent developments in their relationship … wanting to feel her soft skin … his excitement whenever she came over …
He had been in love with her for eight years without knowing it. He couldn't explain it but it had just hit him - All these unexplainable feelings were a result of his love for her. And he had hosted this love in his heart for eight years, not knowing that her absence was the ache in his heart.
"You okay?" she asked, putting her soft hand on his arm, "Hello?"
Without thinking, acting on impulse, he took the hand on his arm, using it to spin her around until his lips crushed into hers. He could feel her shock, taste her fear. But to his surprise and unthinkable relief, she slowly began to move her lips with his, pulling back only to whisper, "Took you long enough."
He chuckled but said nothing more. He curved his hand around her neck, deepening the kiss until both their lungs were screaming for air, until she was giggling and he was giddy like they had been after winning best delegate awards, after meeting each other after long eight years.
He pulled away only to lean her forehead against her's, "I think I'm in love with you."
"Eight years," she whispered, "That's how long it took you to realize that."
"I'm sorry for being such a thick headed idiot."
"You're not getting off that easy. I want a premium cut steak."
"I'll give you all the steaks in New York, fatty," he laughed, kissing her once again before whispering. "I don't care that you just got divorced. I don't care that you're five years younger to me. I don't fucking care that we're complete opposites. I just want to be with you every single second of every single day; not just meet on my office balcony to have drinks."
She smiled almost shyly, looking down at her shoes, biting her lower lip. "I always used to have margaritas," she looked up at him, pulling his face down until she was whispering against his lips, "I'm finally having scotch. I don't think I can ever go back to that crap after having this beautiful drink."
"Then it's settled," he smiled, quite aware of the symbolism, "You're having scotch."
She grinned, nodding, "I'm having scotch."
Yes, yes, I'm a ridiculously, hopeless romantic idiot. Someone should sue me. Leave a review! :)