Dragon: 1

The bar was more crowded than usual. It was Saturday night in November and everyone was having fun. He sat with his buddy at the end of a long table. The text had come in just hours before. It wasn’t anything abnormal for a weekend night. Jason wanted to meet at the local watering hole for some drinks. With just a couple bars scattered along main street, this one had its usual crowd. Each friendly face recognizable when strolling through the tinted door. It was the kind of place where friends gathered after a long week of work. They would play pool or a round of darts, sometimes just catching up over drinks. Of course, there was always the local happenings to get caught up with. He usually kept his distance from the interworking’s of this friendly place. The bar had always felt like the place Jason hung out. He often viewed himself as simply a guest, never really part of the group. So, the two childhood friends sat and chit-chatted for a while. Each taking the occasional sip from their drink parked in front of them. He would usually be looking around at the crowd inside the bar, noticing anyone interesting. But, tonight was different.

Jason wasn’t missing a step, looking around at his surroundings. His friend was always one to have a grasp on the happenings inside the bar. They continued the dialogue, as Jason’s eyes darted to and fro. He wasn’t going to come down to the bar that night. It had been a better day than most, with a movie playing while Jason’s text came through. For a moment he hesitated, but figured what harm would a couple drinks do. The previous night had been spent out to dinner with his crush. Nothing had truly happened between them, but casual dating here and there. However, dinner that previous night had been fun. The two were spending more time together than they had in years. She was going on vacation for the week, working on what appeared a tumultuous relationship. After wishing her a good night and safe flight, his phone lit up from Jason. In his happy state, the movie would be saved for another night. He showered and headed for the bar, with no idea of what truly was in store.

Moments that change your life seemingly come out of nowhere. The thought would only enter his mind months later. But, tonight all he expected was another eventful night at the local bar, having very little to do with him. Jason was one of the main attractions inside the hot spot. His friend had always been a charismatic guy, experiencing little trouble with the opposite sex. It had become so evident over the years, that he was programmed to stay clear of his buddy’s interests. His role had become that of a wing man, understanding his own shy demeanor. There had often been awkward feeling moments around women. With a more traditional outlook, he was normally content keeping out of the way. They had rarely experienced interest in the same woman. There were reasons he had been molded, in his mind, to take the back seat. The feeling of worthiness around attractive women seemed to allude him and their dynamic had worked to this point. His friend’s charismatic nature drawing in many women, women who seemingly shied away from Todd. The feeling being regularly mutual, which seemed to keep things peaceful. He saw himself as supportive of Jason, easily squashing any attraction he might feel toward women catching his friend’s eye.

Jason had always been the life of the party at their neighborhood pub. His friend often boasting about the attention he received from women who frequented the sports bar. However, Jason was often good about simply spending time when Todd came out. He had always been on the shy side, not usually comfortable with groups of people. Todd had trouble with his speech, slurring words even without being intoxicated. It caused insecurity over being judged. So, Todd felt more comfortable around people familiar with his speech. The friends would share a table, with some drinks and conversation. He didn’t join his friend too often, so trips down to the bar where often centered around catching up. When someone did approach for interaction with Jason, Todd would fade into the background. Especially when women were circling around in search of Jason favoring them. He would fade into the sunset without bringing about distraction. Todd rarely seemed impressed by these women in pursuit of his childhood buddy. On this night, Jason sat at the end of the table, as Todd sat to the side, instead of being across from each other. Seemingly out of nowhere, she walked up and placed her arm around Jason’s shoulder.

The woman whispered something in the ear of Jason and walked away. Todd had his back to the bar, which was the direction she had come into their lives from. She appeared of medium height with dark hair, carried herself well and was dressed nicely. Todd was caught by surprise with her beauty, but the body language said more about her. This lady didn’t seem to be the usual type to be seen with or approach Jason. He had been around his friend enough to realize it was unique. A positive shock filtered through his body as she walked away. Then, he leaned into his friend with an inquisition. Todd wanted to know what the interaction was all about. The answer he received from Jason brought on more joy. She had whispered compliment to Jason about his appearance, but also made reference to Todd’s attractive looks. They watched her head off to the restroom in anticipation of her return. When she meandered back and continued her stride toward the bar, more confusion struck Todd. If this lady had just paid them a compliment, where was she going. His heart returned to his chest upon realizing she simply had to retrieve her drink. When she returned to the table, sitting in the chair across from Todd, her beauty was even more apparent.

Positive interaction began developing between Jason and the lady. The situation was not abnormal for Todd, he had been around many of Jason’s developing relationships. That’s what they always seemed to be, simply developing. But, Todd had higher hopes for what appeared to be taking place. While people watching throughout the bar and paying casual attention to the televisions, Todd listened nonchalantly to their conversation. It was becoming clear the girl across the table had things to say. She seemed more articulate than most people. Todd found through the art of listening, the pretty girl with dark hair had the name of Anna. He was still disengaged with the conversation, hoping Jason continued peaking the interest of Anna. Usually these women would simply ask Jason about his friend Todd. He often felt it said something about the women, but also saved him from using the voice he had become self-conscious about. However, Anna was about to surprise them both and change dynamics.

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