Not sure why this was as hard as it was, but here we are. Thimbleful Thursday prompt was May/December. I have no clue who these characters are, but they’re adorable.
I’d noticed him sitting there, night after night, always with a double of bourbon, neat, that he’d nurse for hours. Always polite, always tipped well…and always watched. The regulars at the bar called him Fox–unsurprisingly, because of his age and his appearance. Older guy, just starting to go grey at the temples, but with a glint in his eyes and a quirk in his lips that made everyone around him fall over themselves.
But he never responded to anyone. No girls, no guys, no one. Just sat there with his bourbon and watched the kids dance.
Of course, it wasn’t long before someone decided that they’d had enough, for whatever reason. They called him out, called him a pervert, some old guy getting his rocks off watching younger kids. I hadn’t needed to do a thing; the bar rose up around him. Lay off, asshole. He’s never done nothing to no one. Back the fuck off. And there hadn’t been a problem since. And still, all he did was watch.
He’d talk to people, if they walked up to him, asked him to talk. I’d heard pieces of stories from my side of the bar: tales of countries across the ocean, love affairs gone terribly wrong, a thousand fascinating jobs that he didn’t work anymore. When asked what his job was now, he’d just smile and say “I’m still figuring that one out.”
He was never the first one in, but almost always one of the last ones out.
“Hey Simon,” I called, locking up the bar behind me before he could get too far away one night.
He turned back, hands in his pockets, head tilted. “What can I do for you, Zach?”
“Figured if we were leaving the same time, might as well walk with you, however long you’ve got to walk.”
Simon’s lips quirked up. “I doubt we’re headed the same direction.”
“Night’s still young. I’ll make it on my way.”
He paused for just a moment–then nodded, gesturing for me to follow with his head.
We kept it up for months. I’d walk him home, he’d fix me a cup of coffee, we’d chat while I drank it and then I’d head home. Nothing serious, nothing notable. But something was changing, and I knew we could both feel it. I started drinking slower. We started walking longer. His hand rested on my arm just a moment longer before I left.
I needed to ask.
“You come to the club all the time, and plenty of people hit on you, and you don’t go after a single one. But…maybe I’m just projecting, but you kinda seem lonely. Why…why keep holding out?”
His lips quirked into that small smile again. “I’ve been waiting for the right person to come along.”
It took a moment for that to sink in. “You could do better than a kid like me.”
“Does my age bother you?”
“Wh–no, I don’t care how old you are. I just thought…”
“Then why am I still waiting?”
I didn’t have an answer for that. I leaned in and kissed him. No need for either of us to keep waiting.