There I was twirling the ring on my appropriately named ring-finger, sitting at the bar and staring into my drink. My mind was drifting back and forth of today's events and tomorrow's plans. Work and school all swirling around like the water flushing down a toilet bowl. I pick up my beer glass and take a sip, trying to figure out if I really like the taste. I laugh because I'm convinced I've been pretending to like the taste. I can't fathom how people actually enjoy it. It doesn't taste like piss anymore, I've come to appreciate that much, it still does look like it and by the looks of the one I'm drinking, it's definitely a dehydrated persons piss.

"Are you reading the fortune of your beer or something?"

I look to my left, my eyes a little unfocused at first, surprising myself that these beers are already hitting me. I place my drink down and stop thumbing at my ring.

"That's not half-bad as a pick-up line," I smiled at him, refusing to look anywhere but directly in his eyes.

I learned the trick: eye contact. If I can maintain it longer, I win. Game over.

He had yet to look away.

"You got a nice ring on your finger, I didn't think you'd take it as a pick-up line."

It had been at least ten seconds by now and I wasn't sure if it was easier or harder to look away.

"So it was a pick-up line."

"I'm curious, shouldn't a married, or engaged," he paused to raise a questioning brow at me, but continued when I remained stoic, "woman not be taking pick-up lines at a bar."

"Well I mean if they're being offered, why not?"

He squints at me and I wonder what his next move is going to be. I also wonder what it says about him.

"You are the one hitting on a woman with a ring."

"Engaged or married?"

I finally break eye contact. This far in, I don't think it's a game anymore. We're past that now. I also don't know how to answer his question.

"Neither."

When in doubt: truth. Or so I figure. I realize he still hasn't looked away and it's starting to irritate me. He's reading me and he's not even being subtle about it. I almost want to stare back but I have a feeling he still won't look away.

"Promise ring? Is that still a thing at this age?"

"This age? I'm still young you know."

"You're older than twenty-one," he nods to my beer.

"That's still young." I defend myself and wonder if a promise ring would have the same effect as a wedding ring, but I remember I had already had this internal debate, hence, the wedding ring.

I finish my beer and ponder my next move. If I have one more, I wont be able to leave for a few hours. If I don't, I wont be obligated to stick around here either.

He flags down the bartender, "She needs another fortune to read."

The bartender, Dom, looks at me with half a smile and a raised eyebrow. I try not to smile, or blush, but instead slide my empty glass towards him. We both know I haven't been hit on for a while, ever since I put on the ring. But that was just the reason why, I was getting tired of drunkards saying stupid lines, and all the other half-decent ones just saw a vagina. Well, some of them saw the boobs too. I figured I wanted someone with gut, who saw what they liked and weren't afraid to go for it. I also realized what that said about the man who hit on me now, when the highest level of commitment wasn't even remotely considered.

"So tell me the idea of the ring."

I watch Dom try to not smile as he slid the drink my way. But he managed to offer me a glance, head tucked, but eyes knowing when he looked up.

"There isn't an idea. It's a band of metal and stone suffocating my finger."

"If it's suffocating why don't you just take it off?"

I huffed and looked over at him. "I didn't mean it literally, or figuratively for that matter. I was going for a word better than around."

He nods, eyes still piercing mine but at least his smile was friendlier. Much friendlier.

"I can appreciate that, but why not caressing or embracing instead?"

I look away mid eye-roll. He's still reading me and I want to call him out on it, I just don't know how. I turn to say something but I notice I cut him off. His arm is out, about to touch me in that affectionate way you would put your hand on someone's shoulder when they're being empathetic. I freeze up, very subtly yet he picks up on it instantly and halts nonchalantly.

"Let me take you out to dinner tomorrow."

I raise my eyebrow. I'm noticing so many red flags about him. His lack of respect for my ring, his lack of self-privacy for my eyes, and his straight forward, straight to the point, not beating around the bush demeanor.

"Coffee."

I responded curtly.

He smiles, "Done." With that he stands up and puts a napkin in front of me. "I'll wait for your call tomorrow then."

I huff as he walks away, what was that, red flag number forty-seven?


A/N: In all honesty I just want thoughts. What are your thoughts on all three characters as of right now?