Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Karaoke Love Story

THE PROMPT =  A promotion at work has you head out with coworkers to celebrate. While at the bar, you decide to sing karaoke. As you belt your way through the song (fill in the blank), another member of the crowd starts harmonizing with you. Is it someone you know? Is it not? Either way, this is the moment you fall in love. Write this scene.

Submitted :  May 12, 2015

The Moment I Knew

“Here’s to my baby!” Ben slid a shot glass of clear liquid over to me with a grin, “I’m so proud of you!”
I took the shot glass and tentatively sniffed. Patron Silver Tequila. “This is so expensive.” I protested weakly, my mouth beginning to water in anticipation.
“We’re celebrating your promotion, damn the costs!” Ben lifted his glass, “On the count of three?”
With a grin I lifted the glass to my lips, “Three!” I downed the tequila, relishing the smooth burn as it made its way down my throat. “You know they have karaoke here, right?” I personally despised the idea of getting up in front of a bunch of drunken strangers and warbling out a song, but Ben liked it and had been pushing me to go to a karaoke bar for months.
Ben’s eyes lit up, and he spun his head towards the stage, “Are you serious?”
“Go! I know you want to.” I encouraged him. I already knew he would sing off key and probably mess up the lyrics but I wasn't going to stop him from having some fun.
Ben shifted in his chair, “But this is your night.” He put one calloused hand over my own, “What do you want to do?”
“I want you to let me have another shot of Patron and watch you sing.” Truthfully, I didn't even like being in a bar. Twenty years ago when I was breaking free from a disappointing marriage, I couldn't stay away from the bars and the nightclubs. The music, the smoke, the dancing.. it was all a release for the pain I was feeling from failing so horribly at what was supposed to be a lifetime commitment. Now, middle-aged, kid in college and job going well, I didn't need any of it.
Ben leaned over and gave me a quick kiss on the lips, “You should come sing with me.”
I reached up and tugged on his short beard, “Ha ha ha, if you want small animals to go into hiding and children to cry, I will get up there and sing.”
“You have a good voice.”
“I have a crappy voice from smoking for 20 years.” I pulled my smart phone out of my back pocket, “Besides, I want to get you on video.”
Ben looked at me and then rolled his eyes. I knew he was going to keep pressuring me, but he was backing off for the moment. He pushed his shot of Patron over to me and grinned, “Wish me luck.”
I gave him a thumbs up and watched as he threaded his way through the crowded table, his bright orange shirt like a beacon bobbing in the ocean. He stepped up on the small stage and picked up the microphone. I lifted my phone and fumbled to find the record button, silently cursing the fact that smartphones just made me feel like an idiot. I thumbed through a few screens until I found the camera application and pressed it. The music began and my head shot up in recognition, my jaw dropping in dumbfounded surprise. Before Ben and I were anything but friends, I had once told him about an Elton John song I had just loved as a kid. I liked it so much my mother had bought me a 45 with it on it and I had played it over and over again. It was one of those obscure off-the-cuff conversations; the kind that I never seriously thought about as I plunged ahead into my future because it wasn't a game changer in any form.
I started to laugh and I stood up, trying to clap my hands but I was still holding that smart phone. The crowd was calling out now and whistling, some were singing along and my heart was beating fast. I dropped the phone on the table and it tumbled into the shot glass of Patron, sloshing liquid all over the screen. I didn't care. I started singing along too, I couldn't help myself. Crocodile Rock would always be my go-to song and I knew right at that moment, Ben was always going to be my go-to partner.

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