I desperately rack my brain for something, anything to say, but she beats me to it.
“Hey, you’re the pizza place guy right?”
I stare at her in disbelief. “Yeah, how’d you know?”
“Well for one, you’re still wearing your uniform.” I look sheepishly down at my stained T-shirt and jeans. “And I’ve seen you around,” she added with a smile.
This gives me hope, confidence. “Yeah, I’ve seen you around too. You work at the gas station. I didn’t see you today though.” I wonder if that was too much, if she’ll think I’m stalking her now.
“I had to go to a funeral for a friend. Suicide. It was terrible,” she says sadly, running her finger around the edge of her drink.
“I’m really sorry to hear that. Were you close?”
“Kind of, it was someone I went through AA with.”
“If you went through AA, what are you doing in a bar, ordering a cranberry vodka?” I ask.
“I just wanted to come and hold one, to know that I was strong enough not to drink it. To know that I was better off than my friend.” I look at my own drink, feeling stupid and embarrassed that it is half gone. “Say, I’d better get out of here,” she says, moving for the door, “I’ve got to work in the morning. It was nice meeting you…”
“Stevie,” I offer. “And you are?”
“Rebecca. It was nice meeting you, Stevie.”
“You too.” I watch as she turns and heads for the door. I am overcome with confidence.