Part Twelve of You Will Find Your Way
Dallas isn’t about to spend the night freaking out and staring at her bedroom’s four walls.
By the time the sun sets behind the hills lording over the other end of the block, Dallas has had enough of staring at the walls of her attic bedroom. She stalks downstairs, tugging at the hem of her short skirt and calls out to wherever Giselle is, “I’m going out!”
In the living room, Giselle pops up from the middle of a maze of boxes piled three high, “Really?” Her brow arches as she takes in the spiky high heels in Dallas free hand. “So soon?”
Dallas drops them on the floor in the foyer, toes at them until they’re facing the right way and shoves one in, then the other, and gains a few more inches in height, “I honestly can’t believe it’s taken me so long,” she shoots back. “Don’t wait up.”
With a roll of her eyes, Giselle goes back to organizing her reference books, “Text me if you’re not coming home.”
While she doesn’t remember much about life before it was unceremoniously ruined, there are some memories that Dallas can’t quite shake.
One such memory was that of her sorority sisters—and pretty much every other upperclassmen she ever encountered—and how they’d talk about the bars around the corner from campus. Since Tate College is such a college town, the bouncers were like hawks when it came to checking IDs and could spot a fake from a mile away, so underclassmen never bothered to try to sneak in.
Plus, it’s not like they needed to when there was always so much free alcohol at every fraternity bonfire.
Dallas shudders at the thought of the party that ruined—or maybe in a roundabout way saved—her life, crosses her arms over her chest as she stalks in the opposite direction, toward those ever-famous havens for those who could purchase alcohol legally. Since it’s still late in the summer, two and a half weeks before Fall Term, there’s no reason why they should be crowded.
That, and the fact that it’s a Tuesday.
It’s a much better option than buying a couple bottles of vodka from the corner store and freaking out in that house.
The goal is to be too drunk by the time she’s done to care.
The first bar—one she passed at least twice a day on her way to and from the non-Starbucks coffee shop on the other side of the street—is an old local standby, so Dallas sets her shoulders and strides inside.
The guy checking ID’s looks a little skeptical, but she dares him to question it’s validity with the narrowed set of her eyes.
Fortunately he doesn’t say anything, just hands her ID back and waves her inside, where the pounding bass assaults her senses the second she rounds out of the narrow hallway and into the bar. The walls are an aged pale wood and covered with pictures of local patrons and the annual darts tournament winners, and the place looks like a bar straight from every 80s movie she’s never seen.
But with music straight out of present day.
Electro-synth is not in her wheelhouse, but hey, the beers are cheap.
Dallas slides up onto a stool at the bar and trades her credit card for a pint glass of the pale amber ale on tap—a far cry from the warm crap she was forced to drink the last time she was in the vicinity of this damn place.
Or well, she thinks darkly, close enough to the last time.
Glowering, she huffs, rubs a hand over her eyes and blinks hard to force the hazy memories away. She knows she’s never going to get over any of it if she doesn’t start trying.
The stools on either side of her are empty, but it doesn’t last long before a guy appears to her right, orders a Blue Moon and settles in.
“You’re new around here.”
She tilts her head, gets a look at him but can’t see much thanks to the shadows thrown by the dim lights set in irregular intervals around the room, “Well don’t you sound like you know what you’re talking about?”
His low laugh rumbles over the pounding music, and Dallas watches him shift onto his elbow so he can get a better look at her, but who knows what he sees since it is so dark, “I’m kind of a townie,” he says. “Welcome to Tate.”
Dallas bites back on a grimace, downs the rest of her beer before she signals to the bartender for another, “Thanks,” she manages.
“What, not so happy to be here?”
“Oh, it’s not that.”
It definitely is.
You Will Find Your Way continues with Part Thirteen
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