As we stood nervously at the bar for it to arrive, her hands were shaking in anticipation and excitement. The bartender began uncorking a new bottle of champagne as she feverishly pointed down to two flutes in front of her pleading, “Please, pour some now, she’s going to be here soon.”
The bartender frantically started pouring Veuve into the flutes as her palms started to sweat.
“Oh, fuck, she’s here,” I was told as she coyly entered the front of the restaurant. I couldn’t tell from afar, but I thought I saw it as she walked in the door. It’s not normally the kind of thing you try to show off, but it was easy to tell why the carrier was so excited and energetic. As she approached us, both parties were skittish in their demeanor not knowing what to do with themselves.
Everyone was smiling wide knowing what was about to come. And as she reached her hand out of her coat pocket and brought it out in the middle of the bar, the two began to scream. It seemed irresponsible to flash it around like that, so I couldn’t tell if I actually saw it or just wanted to believe I did. Thinking they needed to quiet down and keep a lower profile, I shamelessly hushed them and told them to calm themselves. But they couldn’t help it. It was corsing through their veins. It was all they could think about, all they could talk about.
“Let me see it,” the girl I was with gestured to the newcomer. And as their hands began to creep closer and closer to one another, they finally met. There it was, in all its glory.
Both of their eyes dilated as they soaked it all in near the back corner of the hotel’s bar. You could feel the temperature of their bodies increasing. Their behavior became even more erratic and restless as they passed it around.
Throughout the night, the conversation kept looping back to it. “I can’t stop thinking about it,” one would say to the other.
“I know, I keep looking at it,” the other would respond peering down below the table in its direction. They kept losing themselves in a daze over it.
The high would last from about 15 to 30 minutes before they’d grab another glass of champagne and revisit it. The excitement would spike with every glance before the conversation would trickle back into normalcy.
Meanwhile, there was another figure at the bar, but he was deep in conversation with another group of friends. Behind his back, one of them asked, “How much was it?” without trying to publicize it to the rest of the bar.
“I’m not sure, but it wasn’t cheap,” she responded with a whisper. “You can tell how high-quality it is just by looking at it.”
When he looked over to us, the girls quieted each other so as not to give away what they were talking about. After all, it was wildly taboo to discuss it publicly, so she covered it back up with her other hand. They didn’t want to be obvious with it for fear of being judged by the rest of the room.
Once he went to the bathroom, it came up again. “Do you know where he got it from?”
“I’m not sure, but I think he got it in downtown Houston somewhere,” she continued. “He wouldn’t tell me where though, and I didn’t want to pester him about it.”
As the night wore on, it was unclear what was affecting the girls the most — this, or the endless champagne. Either way, it was obvious that their heart rates were spiked for the entirety of the night. Their euphoric state flowed between aggressive and unusual excitement, peaking with every mention of it.
When the night finally wound down and they said their goodbyes, you could tell that neither girl wanted to go to bed but the exhaustion started to set in. Putting their coats on, they stood up from their table and approached the door. After making plans to see each other again the following weekend, they knew the night to follow would presumably transpire in a very similar manner (but neither seemed to mind).
They emerged from the hug and looked each other in the eyes before they acknowledged it one last time.
“But seriously, your engagement ring is perfection.” .
Graphic by John Naffziger