Chapter 6: Ships That Pass

“You promised, no men,” I reminded Betsy.

“I know, but it was nice of him to buy us drinks. He’s so cute. Don’t look, he’s looking at us.”

I looked over at the man at the end of the bar. He had a bad toupee and polyester clothing. He was trying to look younger than his middle-aged years and failing. It was sad. He waved at us and raised his glass. I rolled my eyes and Betsy wiggled her fingers at him and raised her glass back.

“Don’t encourage him. And how can you think he’s cute?”

“Not him. Eeww. But his friend next to him is really cute. Oh crap, the old guy is coming over. And he’s not bringing his friend.”

“I don’t think they’re friends.” I watched with negative anticipation as Mr. 1970s strolled over. He had hurricane glass filled to the top with a pink-ish beverage and an umbrella. On his way over the umbrella fell out and landed on the top of his shoe and stuck there. Sad.

“Hey ladies, what brings you to Vegas?” His breath smelled of cigarettes and rum.

“Business trip,” I said curtly. “Thanks for the drinks but we’re not interested.”

He glared at me and turned his attention to Betsy. “Are you hungry? Maybe we could have dinner together.”

Betsy panicked. “Oh, ummm, oh, no thank you.” She grabbed my hand with one of hers and the other she rested on my shoulder. “We’re together, if you know what I mean.” She batted her eyes at him and gave him a sheepish, apologetic smile.

The head nodded but the toupee did not. Sad. I watched with relief as he left our table and cruised to another table with four young ladies. His collar was turned up on one side, limp on the other, and the umbrella still clung to his shoe. I couldn’t watch anymore.

Betsy wasted no time whatsoever to glide over to the “cute” friend and took over the vacated bar stool. She placed her empty glass on the bar in front of her, running her finger around the rim. With a wave of his finger, the bartender brought a full glass. She was working hard, he was interested but restrained. This was better than watching the movie “Titanic” again, but the outcome was just as predictable.

I watched from my bar table the thrust and parry between the two. Betsy was clearly the aggressor. He was polite and he would occasionally rest his arm on the back of her stool only to pull it away. I couldn’t get a good view of his face; it was hidden behind Betsy’s hair. If I could just see his eyes, I’d know…

The sound of someone squealing and sirens in the casino caught my attention. Yup, about every 27 minutes someone won a jackpot of some kind. Twenty dollars was cause of a gigantic celebration. Someone brushing past me turned my attention back to the bar. Betsy had returned to our table.

“What’s up? Are you going to his room or is his going to yours?”

Betsy pouted. “No, he said I’m adorable but that he’s married.” she stared past me.

I followed her gaze and saw his broad shoulders and nice trousers stroll through the casino and disappear behind the Wheel of Fortune. Huh. A guy in Vegas with integrity. Who’d’ve guessed.

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