“Thanks, Dex, for bringing Sasha and coming out with Reggie and I this evening. I appreciate it.” Lou said to Dexter while Sasha and Reggie scouted out a good place to sit. “It’s been nice spending time with Reggie alone, but I wanted to see how we all interact with each other, beyond just the two of us, outside of the house.”
“Sure, it isn’t a big deal,” Dexter shrugged. “He’s a great guy, so I don’t mind spending time with him outside of work, no matter where we are.”
“Are you sure you don’t mind?”
“Lou,” Dexter chided. “Relax. I don’t mind. This night is supposed to be fun, and I can tell you are working yourself up and over-analyzing again. The only thing that bothers me is that there are so many other people here.” He looked around at the strangers and grimaced. “You know that I’m a loner.”
Lou smiled and promised that she would try not to spend so much time overthinking things tonight, and they left to go find Sasha and Reggie.
Sasha and Reggie knew that Dexter prefers less company, so they found a more secluded nook to sit in while they talked. Dexter joined Sasha on the couch and Lou sat next to Reggie.
“So, what did you think of the experiment we were working on earlier?” Dex asked Reggie, starting up the conversation.
“It was interesting, but I feel like there is still something that isn’t quite right.”
Sasha stretched her arms into the air. “Something that isn’t quite right is the way that my shoulders feel super tense. Pregnancy is wonderful, but my body won’t miss it once this child is born.”
Out of the corner of her eye Sasha saw a familiar face walking in their direction.
“Hazel!” Sasha gleefully announced as the woman made her way over to them. “It’s so nice to run into you here.”
“I agree,” she said. “I noticed that you were sitting here when I was getting my drink, and I decided to stop over. It seems like you have something exciting to tell me…”
“Yes! Dexter, my husband,” she paused and pointed over to Dexter. “Dexter and I are going to have another child.”
Hazel beamed. “Congratulations! So that will make two, or more, children then.” She winked at Sasha, since Sasha knew that Hazel herself had triplets.
“More than one would be a handful,” Dexter said.
“There are a lot of people living in our house.” Sasha added, thinking about the possibility of more than one baby. “Speaking of other people,” Sasha focused her attention on the other couple in the room.
“This is my sister-in-law, Lou, and her boyfriend, Reggie.”
Lou looked over at Reggie when Sasha so casually called them a couple and the two of them got a deep, warm smile on their faces.
“Let’s go get a drink, shall we?” Lou proposed, feeling herself falling deeper into her daydreams.
“Sure,” Reggie responded. “I was just about to suggest that. Since I’m already standing.”
“It’s nice to meet you,” Dexter said to Hazel. “Our kids should hang out sometime. And I would love to meet your spouse.”
“My husband is at home with the kids right now,” Hazel said. “He told me that it was my night to go out on the town, and that he would stay with them.”
“Ah,” Sasha interjected. “Our girls are staying with their grandparents.”
“That must be so nice!” Hazel enthused. “I’m going to go dance, if you want to join me over there Sasha. I’ve already had a drink, and I know you can only have a soda or water.”
At the bar, Reggie was feeling calm and Lou was full of excitement. “Hazel seems really nice. I mean, when Sasha texted me about her I was glad that she had met a new friend, but I think I could be friends with her too.”
Dexter smiled at his little sister. “I think this will be a good friendship. You should go dance with them.”
“Yeah, you should. I’ll join you in a bit.” Reggie added.
Lou looked at the two men and her smile got bigger. “I think I will.”
Hazel was really feeling the music and enjoying a night away from her kids. So often she could only get out while they were in school, so it was nice to be out of the house. She just wished that her husband could be out with her too.
“Maybe, if this friendship develops further,” she thought. “The kids could stay with Dexter’s parents too, and have a playdate while we go out.” But Hazel didn’t want to impose.
Lou was allowing herself to feel the music. Dancing was one of the few things that she didn’t over analyze, which is why she loved it so much.
“So,” Dexter walked over to stand closer to Reggie. “You really like my sister, don’t you?”
“I do,” Reggie answered. “I really do.”
Dexter smiled, and that smile deepened when he heard a familiar sound coming from across the room.
Sasha had found a violin. She allowed herself to be carried away, and all of the pain she felt in her shoulders eased as her focus shifted toward the melody. Before long, the crew decided it was time to get back to their respective homes and they left the establishment with new hopes and expectations for the future.
The bartender stood quietly, observing every detail of the evening and feeling himself break into a smile. He loved watching group dynamics play out so well. He also loved watching people fall for each other slowly, and seeing the love in their eyes before the individuals realized it was love for themselves.
Bonus: A random angry townie with a very unique sense of style… 🙂