Andrew had always enjoyed the nights when the bar was quiet. When not too many people were around.
This night was not one of those nights.
The place was packed. It wasn’t strange, nor was it unexpected.
It was payday.
It felt like every single person who was old enough to drink had found their way there this night. Andrew felt lucky that he had been one of the first ones there. People were even standing outside because it was so packed inside there wasn’t any place for them to stand.
The bartender didn’t have time to talk so Andrew kept himself occupied by listening to the conversations of other people.
A group of friends was out, celebrating their friends birthday. Another was there just blowing off steam because they were angry with their boss.
Another small group of friends where there, because it was the first time all of them, were old enough to drink together.
Andrew enjoyed these stories. They made him feel like he was part of something like he wasn’t all alone in the world. If only for a while.
One of the groups were arguing over who was going to pay the bill.
Andrew listened as they became more and more angry at each other until finally one of them got fed up and paid for everyone.
They all left in a worse mood than they had arrived.
The group of teenagers had too much to drink and the bartender stopped serving them so they too left.
The last of the groups Andrew was eavesdropping on left just before last call. He was finally left all alone with the bartender and a few of the more hardcore drinkers.
Andrew stayed there until the last of them had left and ended the evening by talking to the bartender for a while.
As he went to bed that night Andrew felt great.