The bar was dark, televisions buzzed with hockey games from all over North America. Some people were there on dates, some there to celebrate sports teams but there was a group there to say goodbye.
"To Cory!" Ten people cheered. The group raised their glasses, clinked and drank.
Cory Larson was bringing his cup to his lips when he caught the eye of a girl that, after five years, still took his breath away. She smiled at him, teeth and all for just a second before downing her shot of tequila.
These people had all gathered to all say goodbye to their friend. Cory was on his way to the East Coast of Canada to train to be a member of the coast guard.
"Oh buddy… be happy you have no work tomorrow." Will Varty slammed another $50 bill on the table while waving over the waitress. Will and Cory had been best friends since they were freshmen in high school and roommates since they graduated and turned eighteen.
Will didn't believe in farewells but he did believe in a good party. He was buying the table shots, wanting everyone to feel every drop of alcohol in the morning.
"Okay Will, one more round. Then we have to move on to Phase Two." Kat Mendes warned Will. She held her glass us to press her point.
Will threw his hands up and nodded back with excitement. The man at the centre of the excitement however, frowned in confusion.
"Phase two? Guys there was no mention-" He gave up when the two people waived him off and refused to answer.
It wasn't long before another round appeared. Kat stood up grabbing her sweater and scooped up a glass,
"Okay, everyone, take your shot, settle up and meet me outside!" She flipped her long auburn hair over her shoulder, downed the shot and grabbed her bag. As she passed by Cory she gave his arm a quick squeeze.
Like it was a siren call, Cory stood up and threw back his shot. As he got up and went after her, Will watched his friend chase after the girl he had once let go.
"Where's Renee?" Will yelled. A petite blonde girl appeared like magic by his side. With a quick kiss, he grabbed her hand, "Let's tell everyone at the apartment, okay?" She wiggled her ring finger and shared a smile with her new partner.
The October wind nipped into Kat's cheek far more than she expected. She pulled out a small pair of gloves from her bag before lighting her cigarette.
Kat Mendes wouldn't call herself a smoker, it happened more whenever she drank because she needed a breather away from people and it looked far more normal to stand outside with a cigarette then alone, doing nothing.
Right now, it's wasn't exactly the people she needed to be away from. Just one more than anything. It didn't help that she was three shots deep and losing her impulse control, which meant soon she wouldn't try to stop herself from doing something stupid.
The entire evening Kat had mentally been kicking herself for agreeing to help Will. She had planned to send Cory a goodbye text message and leave it at that instead of a big goodbye, because in reality she felt like her heart was cracking with every shot she did.
'He may not have been leaving for a week but it may have been in the morning.' Kat thought to herself.
Cory moved quickly and passed Kat. He spun around to see her starring down at her phone, "Hey, can you spare one?" They shared a quick smile before she held out her freshly lit smoke. He reached far enough down to catch her fingers and they both jumped at the familiar shock that seemed to occur almost every time they touched.
Together they looked like a picture perfect pair. Cory stood at 6'4, a slim build with just a small belly thanks to college partying. Brown hair that had gotten a bit too long, so it was kept under a hat, and a pair of big brown eyes that were hard to say no to.
Kat was smaller; but still tall. She came in around 5'9, long auburn hair that reached the middle of her back, curves and yet a body she wished was better but if there was one thing she was known for it was a pair of big blue eyes that came right out of a cartoon movie.
"So… phase two?" Cory prodded. Kat snapped her head up and stared at him with an evil expression.
"Not a chance Larson. I am on lockdown despite the number of shots I have consumed." The evil expression faded into a smug smile.
A minute or two went by as Kat desperately tried to finding something interesting on her phone just so she wouldn't open her mouth and say something to him.
"Hey, before I go, maybe you could come over? Hang out just the two-" As more words came out he saw Kat's eyes get bigger and almost panicked. With her luck, before he could finish his question, the group left the bar.
"Ubers are on the way!" Renee cheered, her phone high up in the air.
Within twenty minutes everyone was pulling up to the building that Cory and Will had been sharing for the better part of a decade.
To avoid getting cozy in the back seat, Kat had taken the front as the designated human map. She knew Cory wanted to hang out or hook up or something before he left and she couldn't let herself do that. She needed to put something down to help the healing. Five years was too long to let herself pine.
She kept reminding herself that as soon as the surprise party started she would mingle for a bit but she could 'go for a smoke' or 'grab another drink' and sneak out of the apartment through the second door in the kitchen. She could see her apartment from the street, the thought of sneaking away made the evening more bearable.
This story actually starts back in 2012, when Kat and Cory had met in college. They met in the Radio Broadcasting program at Revis College in the town of Mayne, Ontario.
Mayne wasn't very big, however it had its own downtown, country side and city folk. It had small French colleges and a big college that attracted students from all over the country.
The two had tried dating in their first year. It lasted three months and after a very steamy encounter, Cory pulled away. When Kat had confronted from about getting distant, he claimed he wasn't ready for a relationship. Like most things go, they agreed to be friends and slapped a smile on. The problem wasn't being friends after dating, the problem became that after becoming friends they fell in love and neither had the guts to admit it.
"It's the building upon the right." Kat pointed.