One Drink

“Just one drink.” Mae sat in the back, her head resting on the seat in front of her. In the front seat, Beth and Harvey argued about parking. Familiar neon light through the car windows turned everything cold. “It’s just one drink,” Mae whispered into the Pontiac’s upholstery.

“Mae?” Beth twisted and her russet curls bounced next to her cheeks. “You ready? Harvey is making us walk.”

“Valet’s a whole dollar, jeez Beth, what do you want from me?” Harvey asked as the girls unfolded themselves from the other side of the car. Down the way, the Saffron Lounge was alight in blue and gold light. People in their sveltest dresses and shirts milled about the entrance.

“A beau who isn’t a cheapskate.” Beth laughed and pulled Mae into a trot, their pumps clacking against the street. Mae let herself be cajoled into the run, into the smile spreading over her lips. It was just one drink, one drink at her favorite spot.

The Saffron was a magical place. Mae had been the one to discover its vodka collins and the music no other club dared to play. The small dancefloor forced couples close together.  Mae had brought the others. It’d been perfect, but now the low blue lighting made her sweat through her dress. Mae’s fingers tightened around the drink Harvey had bought for her.

“Mae?” Beth snaked her head into Mae’s vision. “What is up with you? Your beau’s back and you haven’t even noticed.”

What? Mae’s lips parted with the silent question. Her eyes darted around while Beth laughed at her. “Come on, maybe he’ll get us drinks again. That’ll show Harv,” Beth said.

Mae set her heels to the floor. “I just wanted one drink. Beth no, he’s a–”

“What? You cut out with him last time. Even blew us off to ball around.” Beth hung onto her smile, leaving it pasted on. Mae thought it looked a touch cruel in the cool light.

“I said one drink, then we go,” Mae said. Her voice reached over the music. So did the low laugh behind her.  He never smiled when he laughed.

Mae spun, her drink sloshing over her hands. Thick dark hair waved lightly around his tanned brow as he looked down at her, pressing another full drink into her hands. “Come on, have another drink, stay awhile.”

Beth rolled her eyes and turned away, as if she’d known all along.

Mae gritted her teeth and tried to shake her head, but she didn’t. She lifted the drink to her lips. “One more drink I guess.”

This weeks Music Challenge comes from Raw Rambles, she challenged me to write something to or inspired by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ Holy Mountain. See what she did with the song here. 


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