The bar was crowded, like it always was on a Saturday night. People were lining up on the stairs to get it in. The security guards were checking id’s and scanning them into their data base, just in case any one of the patrons caused any trouble.

A bar was just around the corner from the stairs, leaving the rest of the venue open. There was a dance floor with a slightly raised stage and tables and stools littered all over the place, giving people who were tired from dancing, or who didn’t want to dance, a chance to rest their feet.

Three guys walked in from the line and looked around.

They were dressed up in casual clothes, jeans, white shirt with another shirt left open on top of that. Two of them walked in, looking around the place as if they owned it, oozing with confidence.  A few girls looked their way, which they noticed but pretended not to.

They made their way to the bar and stood in line waiting to get a drink.

“Bet I get served first,” One of the three said.

He was olive skinned with black hair, his blue eyes standing out against his otherwise dark stature. He had a chiselled jaw and was particularly handsome, and he knew it. He had stubble, purposely left on his chin.

“Not a chance,” Another one answered. He looked like he spent a bit of time in the gym; he kept flexing his arm in front of him and looking in the mirror behind the bar at himself. His brown hair was styled into a come over with a split purposely shaven into it. His hazel eyes kept moving from the mirror to a group of girls standing quite close to him.

The third guy said nothing.

He wasn’t as confident as the other two guys; in fact, it was his first time out with them. They had dressed him up like them, and put a lot of product into his light brown hair, making it slick back. He had to admit, it looked good.

His dark brown eyes looked around the bar, he was feeling exited, he hadn’t been out in a long time. He wasn’t as attractive as the two guys he was with, but that didn’t bother him.

He worked as a salesmen, and on the floor, he had heard the two guys talking about the adventures they had on the weekend.

It was something he looked forward to every Monday; he would get in early and stand near them, just to hear what they had been up to.

He hadn’t noticed that they had seen him always do this, and so was very surprised when, just before the end of work on Friday, they had asked him if he wanted to go out with them on Saturday.

He had wanted to say yes straight away, but he had to check in with his girlfriend.

“Your girlfriend?” The blue eyed one said his tone disapproving. His name was Daniel; he was one of the top sales people at the company. He was good at his job and he knew it. Fred wished that he could do what Daniel could.

Fred nodded.

“Do you need to ask her to go to the bathroom as well?” Daniel had said.

The muscly one, Mark, had laughed at that.

“Well, we know who has the balls in that relationship!” He said and both of them laughed.

“Just send us a message if you get permission from the warden,” Daniel said and walked away.

Daniel hadn’t liked that and had immediately rethought going out with them.

But when he got home, he mentioned to his girlfriend.

“Oh they were just mucking around,” She said, “You should go out with them, it’ll be fun!”

So he had.

It turned out that Daniel got served at the bar first; the three of them got a table that was close to the dance floor.

“I’m feeling good about tonight,” Daniel said as he sipped on his drink, looking at the dance floor.

“It’ll be fun,” Fred said, ‘What do you guys normally do?”

Daniel and Mark looked at each other

“This is it,” Mark answered.

“What? You just sit here and drink?”

Both Mark and Daniel nodded.

“But what about the stories you two are always going on about at work?” Fred asked, confused.

“It’s all about the Chase,” Daniel said, “Right now, we’re only new. People have seen us come in; anyone that does want to talk to us will be waiting to see what we’re going to do. If we don’t move, after a while, they’ll come to us,”

Fred looked around. It didn’t appear that anyone was looking at them.

“What do you do if no one comes over?”

“Then we go to them,” Mark said as though it was the most obvious thing in the world.

“But Dan just said-“Fred began.

“That it’s all about the chase, if we can’t lure someone to us, then we go hunting,” Daniel finished off.

Fred was uncomfortable with the terminology being used. Hunting, lure- it sounded as though these two only had one thing on their mind.

A thought that was confirmed when Mark said, “Check out the stares we’re getting from over here,”

Daniel casually looked to where Mark had jerked his head.

Directly across from them was a table of three women. They were talking and every now and then one of them, they would take turns on whom, would look over. One of them made eye contact with Daniel who smiled. She smiled back and immediately started talking to her two friends, who also looked over.

“Oh this is going to be easy,” Daniel said, but didn’t move.

Fred was totally lost.

If it were up to him, he’d go up to them and start talking to them, but these guys were playing a different game.

Daniel would look over at the girls at regular intervals and when he caught their eyes, he’d flash his smile.

Mark was pretending not to notice, but Fred saw that he was flexing his muscles. 

Fred had to admit, it was kind of exiting.
Watching these two at work, he felt as though he wanted to join in. He had something he could bring to the table. But his thoughts fell on his girlfriend at home and guilt overrode his excitement.

He couldn’t do that to her.

Much to Fred’s amazement, the girls all grabbed their drinks, one of them flicked her head in the direction of their table and they came over

“Hey!” The first girl to make it to the table said.

“What’s going on?” Daniel said, smiling at all girls, “What brings all you girls out tonight?”

Fred watched in astonishment as Daniel and Mark engaged the girls in conversation. They made them laugh and included all of the girls. Their sales skills were on full display.

They asked questions about the girls, never once talking about themselves. If they were asked personal questions they would quickly answer and then bring the conversation around to them again.

As it went on, it was clear that both Daniel and Mark wanted the attention of the prettier one that was in the group.

Up until this point, Fred had only slightly joined in the conversation. He was sitting back watching his two work mates do everything. He was intrigued.

Then the pretty one, pulled up a seat next to Fred and said, ‘So what’s your story?’

Daniel and Mark were talking to the other girls now, seemingly having forgot about this one.

“Oh, just out for the first time in ages,” Fred said, having a sip of his drink.

“Don’t get out much?” She asked.

“Nah, saving at the moment for a holiday, so it’s all work, work, work for me. What about you?” Fred said.

He was amazed that she was talking to him. Next to these two guys that were better looking than him, she had singled him out.

Fred and the girl talked for a while, before Daniel noticed that he was talking to her.

He was suddenly right next to them and interrupted the conversation with,” So Fred, who’s this?”

It was only quick, but Fred saw the look of disgust flash across the girls face. She excused herself and got up, walking towards the toilet.

“What did I do?” Daniel said.

They’d been speaking to these girls for about an hour now, and Daniel and Mark had been drinking like it was going out of fashion. They were starting to slow down as they were so drunk, but it didn’t stop them at all.

The other girl came back, just as Daniel, Mark and the two girls got up and went to the dance floor, leaving their drinks with Fred.

“I can’t stand guys like him,” She said as she sat back down next to Fred.

“What do you mean?” Fred asked.

“Guys that think they can get anyone they want,”

“What makes you think they’re like that?” Fred asked laughing slightly. It was exactly what they were like.

“Look at the way the way they dress, the way they do their hair. Even the cologne they put on, they aren’t doing it just to look good,” She said and then looked sideways at Fred, ‘not like you”

Fred could feel the heat rise in his face, “Oh, so you think I look good?”

She laughed, “Yeah, I’ll let you have that,”

They looked at their friends out on the dance floor; the two boys were standing behind the girls, dancing. Fred didn’t know how they did it. It was getting towards one in the morning and he was starting to get tired.

“You know what the easiest way for a guy to talk to a girl is?” Fred suddenly asked.

“What?”

“To not have an agenda. Not want to take them home or kiss them or anything,” Fred said and took a sip of his drink again.

“But then how would you know if she’s interested?” The girl asked.

“Easy,” Fred answered, “If she sticks around to talk, she’s interested; if she doesn’t then she’s not. But girls can tell when guys are after one thing. So if you want to talk to them, you can’t have that on your mind,”

“Every time a guy talks to a girl it’s on his mind,” She replied, smiling at Fred.

“What makes you so sure?” Fred asked, looking at her.

“Experience,” She answered simply.

Fred hung his head and laughed.

“Look, I’m not saying majority of the guys out there aren’t just trying to get into a girls pants, but I think it works better if you conversate with them first,” Fred said. 

He looked at his glass, it was empty.

It was just as well.

He was starting to get too drunk; the word conversate always came out when he was getting drunk.

“I think you might be on to something,” The girl answered, “So what about me? Do you think I’m interested?”

“I never assume anything,” Fred said with a smile.

She laughed at that and they fell quiet, looking out to the dance floor.

Their friends had disappeared.

“Where did they go?” She asked, looking around and sitting up a little on her seat.

Fred looked over at the exit and saw them. He tapped her on the shoulder and pointed them out, smiling. They had all just walked out together, the guys with their hands around the girls shoulders.

“The little sluts,” The girl said, she was smiling, “We were all meant to go home together!”

Fred laughed and said, “Yeah, same here!”

The two got off the table and followed their friends outside.

By the time they had got out there, their friends had already gone.

‘Well, I guess it’s home time then,” Fred said, looking around.

“Yup,” the girl answered.

They stood awkwardly out the front of the club.

In his mind, Fred knew that this was it.

It was decision time.

He knew that if he leant in and tried to kiss her that he could. He might even get to go home with her.

But did he want to be known to be that kind of person?

His girlfriend was at home waiting for him; he should go home to her.

But this was exciting.

He understood why Daniel and Mark spoke so animatedly about it.  It was the thrill of talking to someone knew, and discovering that they liked you. Well, that they liked you enough to let you kiss them or go home with him. He had barely done anything tonight, besides talk and yet here this girl was, not leaving either because she either wanted a kiss or wanted him to ask her to come home. Adrenaline was flowing through his body as he stood there in silence trying to think of what to do.

“So..,” She said.

 

Fred walked in on Monday to the sales floor; he still hadn’t recovered properly from Saturday and was feeling a bit seedy. Daniel and Mark saw him and instantly came over, massive smiled on their faces.

“So, how did you go?” Daniel asked as he reached Fred.

Fred couldn’t help himself, he smiled.

He felt included and as though he had just made friends with these guys.

“Who doesn’t like the chase?” He said.

Daniel and Mark both started laughing and hi fived him.

“What about your girlfriend?” Mark asked, smiling.

“She doesn’t need to know,” Fred said, winking.

The other two men laughed and clapped their hands walking off saying, ‘Wanna come out this weekend too?’

“I’ll let you know,” Fred said and walked into his office.

He sat down at this desk, still smiling.

Then an ice cold sinking feeling attacked his insides.

He had just lied to those guys; he had gone home to his girlfriend, having done nothing. He didn’t want to disappoint his new found friends, so he had let them think he had cheated on his girlfriend.

What if they spoke about it and someone heard and it got back to his girlfriend?

He shrugged it off.

He hadn’t done anything wrong.

After all, he was only after the thrill of the chase.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published by Kyle Ricketts