“So tell me about your day.” Derek said to Victoria.
“My day?” She asked.
“Yes, your day.”
“I’m a little taken aback. Nobody ever asks me how my day was.”
“Well, they really should and since they are not here I’m asking. How was your day, what did you do?”
“Not much I guess. I worked out for a little bit.”
“At the gymnasium?”
“No at my house.”
“What like jumping jacks and stuff?”
“Yeah, something like that.” She laughed at the notion of jumping jacks.
“Let me ask you this. How many jumping jacks can you do? Five?”
“What? Is the number too low?”
“Sorry I don’t know much about you work-out types.”
The lights go on inside Slappy’s Bar and the outside lights flicker on and off. Donny lets out a bellow with his deep voice. “Last call for alcohol. Last call.”
“Well I can honestly say, without a doubt, this has been fun.”
“We should definitely do this again sometime. Would you excuse me for a moment?” He asked her.
Derek walks inside Slappy’s and over towards Nicole. He asks her for the check and to his surprise the bill was relatively low for a full night of drinking. He pays the bill and gives her a large tip. He returns outside to Victoria.
“Did you ask Nicole to bring us out the bill?” She asked him.
“No, I went in to pay it.”
“How much do I owe, I must have drank 9 ½ bottles of wine myself tonight.”
“No, no, no. I got this.”
“Seriously, I want to pay.”
“It’s okay. It’s already done.”
“I feel bad. Let me pay something.”
“Don’t. I totally got this. Tonight is on me. Maybe next time I’ll let you pay.”
“Maybe? Let me pay?”
“You’re right. I totally won’t.”
“Whatever. Hey, you hungry?”
“I could eat.”
“What’s with the ‘oh’?”
“That means you’re not hungry.”
“How do you figure?”
“If you were hungry you would have just come out and said yes, not ‘I could eat’. Am I right?”
“Look at me.”
“Does it look like I ever skipped a meal? I’m always hungry. What did you have in mind?”
“I know this great all-night pizza place. You want to go?”
“Sure, lead the way. I’ll grab an über.”
They walk past Donny who nods his head to both of them. They both say good-bye as they make their way off the patio and through the bar to the exit. Donny then lets out another bellow, “Okay let’s go people! You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here!”
Semisonic’s “Closing Time” plays on the jukebox, a Slappy’s Bar tradition, signifying to all that the end of the evening has arrived. Derek and Victoria head into the night, continuing on with their evening’s adventure.
The years pass on. Derek and Victoria are much older now. His beard long gone, replaced with short gray stubble. Her hair is much shorter and gray as well. They’re sitting side by side in matching chairs, holding hands, on the porch of a well lived-in house. Years of the sun beating down had faded the outside paint. Victoria is drinking wine while he’s drinking bourbon. An Elijah Craig 18 year old single barrel bourbon. He takes a long sip and let’s out a sigh. He turns to her and asks, “Hey, did I ever tell you about the time –“
“Stop right there.” Victoria interrupts.
“What is it?”
“We can’t… I can’t… I can’t do this anymore.”
“I’m not following.”
“I have to break up with you.”
They both sit in an uncomfortable awkward silence staring off at the view for a moment before Derek takes a sip of his bourbon. He replies, “Okay, but we’re just friends. We’re not even dating.”