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January 3rd, 2021
The bar was loud, filled with Lucilius’ colleagues. The company they worked for had just been acquired which foretold great things for all their wealth and prospects. There were drinks all around and with them Lucilius basked in the glow. The bartender noticed Lucilius’ glass nearly empty and wiping her hands clean she bounced her chin up to get his attention.
“What would you like next?”
Lucilius gazed at the near empty glass with a warm smile.
“What do you recommend?” he asked.
Her eyes flitted to a high corner of thought, but before she could answer, Lucilius corrected himself. “You know what, I trust you, dealer’s choice. Give me whatever you’d have and make two.”
The bartender smiled and got to work. Lucilius listened to the ecstatic banter of his colleagues as they boasted and bragged about their future plans. The bartender pulled a thin stream of cold and coloured spirit from glass to rising tin. But just as she was finishing the drink a quiet quickly spread throughout the crowd of colleagues. They were now looking at their phones in groups, breaking off to check their own phone and Lucilius glanced at the screen studied by the colleague next to him.
The bartender wore a worried look as she put the two drinks in front of Lucilius. She leaned in closer to Lucilius, knowing him well enough as a regular.
“Everything alright?” She asked, nearly whispering.
Lucilius smiled. “Unexpected surprise,” Lucilius whispered back, as he lifted his glass and gently slid the second drink toward the bartender, nodding toward it at the same time for her to take it. She smiled, rolling her eyes, and lifted the glass.
With his glass raised, and still smiling, he whispered again “We all just lost our jobs.”
The bartender’s face flushed as she froze. Lucilius clinked his glass against her stationary one and said,
He took a sip and so did the stunned bartender, her eyes darting around at all these spiffy, suited people.
“You too?” She asked. Lucilius nodded, looking at the drink in his hand with a delighted and puzzled look. He took another sip.
“How can you still be smiling?”
Lucilius looked at her strangely, as though the answer were obvious. “Well, I’m celebrating, of course.”
“Not anymore..” The bartender offered.
“Sure I am, how could I not with such a beautiful and balanced drink in my hand?”
donating = loving
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