W a y D o w n W e G o , P a r t I
location: P. Johnson's
interacting with: Meir (@Severance), Sebastian (@Lionhearted), Sara (@banjoanjo)
THE SURREALITY OF THE SITUATION WAS KICKING IN, and with the new arrival’s—oh shit, that was Meir—help, the alcohol would be kicking in, too. She glanced between him and Sebastian with a slight quirked eyebrow, certain in her memory of the two having some kind of history. Her getting to know Sebastian was a few years after Ritman, when she finally got the confidence to go drinking at P.J’s, and identified him as ‘that beefy German kid’ in a moment of drunken stupor. Since then, their interactions were either when she was really drunk, or about to get really drunk. She’d probably said a bunch of things to him she couldn’t remember, but he didn’t mention it, so she figured it was harmless. Jack was generally confiding in him with the whole getting shit-faced thing, anyway, since she wasn’t too keen on people getting drunk and was embarrassed she did it herself (today would be one of her cheat days; she wasn’t going to be the sober loser at the party). She wasn’t an alcoholic, she just needed a break away from monotony. It seemed to be the driving force behind most of her recent decisions.
Meir was mercifully relaxed and easygoing, and Jack released a breath she didn’t know she’d been holding. Whatever he’d done after Ritman, be it in self-loathing of having a target on your back or not, it really paid off for him. He seemed happy enough, healthy enough and successful enough, if his 6-page essay RSVP was anything to go by. When she first got his lengthy response she didn’t know at first if he’d mistaken her for an employer or something, or sent a resumé to the wrong person. There was no doubt some people would probably be surprised by her inviting the quiet nerd of Ritman in the first place, but not even she was aloof enough to withhold the fact that his tutoring was what got her through most of her classes. She considered herself about average intelligence—certainly not stupid, and definitely smarter than the tourist bozos who came by the Bistro—but a school environment just wasn’t for her. Now that she wouldn’t admit, fuck no.
In the end, she figured inviting Meir would be the returning of a favour, in some weird, I’m-in-no-position-in-life-to-be-doing-anything-substantial-as-a-favour way. She could see the freedom graduation had given him just from a quick look at any of his social media, and she knew she’d certainly want everyone to know about it, if it were her success. Did she selfishly pity him? Yeah, maybe. But she’d probably caused him permanent forehead trauma with her improvised mace, anyway.
The collision of nostalgia with the present day was inevitably brought to a halt by the sweet release of free drinks. Her wallet could stay untouched and she could still get the social lubricant she’d need for the day ahead. Afternoon drinking, sure, but fuck it, not like she was the only one.
“Now that things are picking up, I’m thinking a cocktail,” Jack responded to his initial question, turning to Sebastian. “I’ll have the cucumber gin, thanks.” She decided she might as well splurge if it was someone else paying. Meir was nice enough to not care, or probably not notice that she was stretching the budget of acceptable. Acceptable for her, at least, though she wasn’t someone particularly inclined to just directly buying stuff for others. She’d given people money over the years but that was the closest example she could think of.
Jack’s attention was snatched firmly away from her sweet freebie as a pair of hands began pawing all over the capsule— put that thing back where it came from or so help me— oh shit, it’s Sara. Now there was a surprise. Even though she still lived in Delton, Sara was the last person Jack expected to show up. She’d invited her, of course, out of both common courtesy and a memory that she was decidedly not-lame, but if there wasn’t something to be organised, Sara never seemed interested in any type of event or gathering. She wondered if there was some kind of gun-to-head reason for her attendance, but decided not to prod any further. Jack preferred not to irritate people who looked like they were staring straight through her exterior and flipping through every page of her life story; reading her like a book.
“There’s, like—” she squinted and tilted her head almost comically as she thought, “—three more people? I’m not saying who, though.”
Standing up, she gave Sara a half-encouraging (rather, half-assed) nod towards her now-vacant seat. “But! I need a piss. So tell everyone I say hi. And take care of the capsule. And my drink, which I owe to Mr Rich over here.” She patted Meir on the back as she made her way to the restroom.