His eyes glazed over.
He couldn’t tell if it was T-Pain or Ne-Yo playing on the speakers, but at this point, he didn’t even care. The two-day hangover had set in hours before when he was faced with the decision of sitting in his bedroom for the night or shampooing some liquor back in, thus committing to feeling like shit for the next four days. He chose the latter.
To his left was an empty leather chair previously occupied by Spencer. To his right was Finn, who could barely keep his eyes open amidst all the commotion. Todd debated calling him an Uber, but decided against it because he had simply reached a point where he just didn’t give a fuck.
Finn’s mouth opened and the words “Where’s John?” fell out. He followed his question with a sip from the vodka-water in front of him, but no one answered him. Todd knew exactly where John was – in the back room with a brunette he had talked to earlier in the night. There was no foul play involved outside of the lap dance he’d have to lie about the next day, but Todd knew it was getting to the time where he’d have to yank John out of there and head home.
“What’s your name?” he was asked out of nowhere. Todd looked her up and down while debating whether or not to just ask her to leave.
His initial reaction was to tell her, “I’m only here because our guys’ night got out of control,” but he opted for a more simple route.
“Todd,” he said. “And you?”
“Tawna,” she responded while taking Spencer’s vacant chair.
Todd’s gaze was a thousand mile stare directly ahead of him. He hoped his lack of eye contact would deter her from moving the conversation forward, but it only made her want to talk to him more. He wasn’t a strip club guy, everyone knew that. Except Tawna.
“You boys on a bachelor party?” she asked. Todd didn’t have the heart to tell her no, but at the same time, he didn’t want to be the guys who just showed up at a strip club on a random Saturday night.
“Yep,” he told her while trying to justify his presence. “My buddy Finn over here is getting married next month.” Tawna looked at Finn who was squinting at his phone. She saw his ring and knew that Todd was lying, but she’d been lied to numerous times before. It was in the job description.
“I’m not looking for a dance,” Todd told her.
“What about your friend?” she asked while looking at Finn. Todd turned his head and nearly started laughing.
“Uhhh, I think he’s good.”
He leaned over and grabbed his drink off the table. Guilt washed over him while Tawna looked for an exit from their already awkward conversation. She began standing up while sarcastically saying, “You might want to get the groom out of here.”
Todd looked through the club and saw John emerging from the hallway across from their table.
“Where the fuck have you been?” he asked.
“Jesus,” John said while looking at Finn. “What the hell happened to him?”
Todd rolled his eyes before simply saying, “Can we get out of here?” John didn’t acknowledge the question.
“Where’s Spencer?” he shouted.
Todd had previously assumed Spencer was in the same room as John, but John’s question had obviously signaled otherwise. “He might have left,” Todd said while hoping it would encourage everyone else to leave. John wasn’t affected by the news.
“Anyone need a drink?” he asked while Todd’s finger hovered over his Uber app. Todd sighed and realized that John was in for the long haul.
“Vodka-water,” he told him. “Lemon.”
He looked over at Finn who had officially fallen asleep at their table. Todd hit him in the shoulder while hoping none of the bouncers saw what was happening. As Finn woke up, he tried to form some sentences that would signify he wasn’t absolutely blasted, but no real sentences actually came out.
While Finn came to, it was as if he had no idea they came to the strip club in the first place. Todd’s question of “You good?” went unanswered while he looked at Tawna who sat three tables over.
“Dude,” Todd told him, “We literally just talked to her. Let’s get out of here.”
Without hesitation, Finn simply asked, “Where’s Spencer?” Todd still didn’t know.
Todd looked across and saw John ordering their drinks. “When John gets back,” he told Finn, “I’m going to pound my drink and we’ll get out of here.”
“Katie’s gonna fuckin’ kill me when she gets back,” Finn blurted out. Todd felt the same way.
“Let me call us an Uber,” Todd responded. “John and Spencer can fend for themselves.”
“No, Katie’s really gonna fucking kill me,” Finn affirmed. “She hates strip clubs.”
Todd looked down and saw that Finn had texted Katie where they were. Katie’s knowledge of their whereabouts meant that Todd was going to have an uncomfortable conversation the following day. He debated getting mad at Finn for outing them, but he also realized that lecturing Finn would be a fruitless endeavor.
“The driver’s going to be here in ten minutes,” Todd told him as Tawna approached them again. Finn’s glazed over eye contact signaled to her that there was some interest.
“Someone feeling better?” she asked, sitting as far away from Todd as she could.
Finn had no clue what Todd had told her earlier about being on a bachelor party, so he simply lifted his hand and pointed to his ring.
“Sorry,” he told her, “I’m married.”
His ring didn’t deter her from giving him a lap dance, but his drunkenness did. As she stood up and walked away yet again, Todd laughed and remarked, “Real smooth there, buddy.”
“What?” he asked while not realizing how dumb he sounded. “What was I supposed to do?”
Todd looked at his phone. The driver was now three minutes away.
“Let’s head to the front,” Todd told him while hoping John wouldn’t turn around with a fresh round of drinks before they left. “Car is almost here.”
Finn looked at the ring he had just pointed to with Tawna. “Let’s go,” Todd told him while standing up. Finn put his hand up and looked at Todd who was peering down at him.
“Say,” Finn said, “When do you think you’ll tie the knot?” .