Cupid hates me a short s.., p.1
Cupid Hates Me: A Short Story, p.1Mazy Morris
Cupid Hates Me
A Short Story
By Mazy Morris
Copyright 2014 by Mazy Morris
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Cupid Hates Me: A Short Story©2014 Mazy Morris
Valentine’s Day 2013
“I think Cupid hates me,” said Claire, as she stared dejectedly into her drink. Claire’s gone tea-total, so it was a Shirley Temple. Samantha was making up for Claire’s abstemiousness by knocking back whiskeys at an alarming rate. Sam always drinks when she gets depressed, and there’s nothing more depressing then being single on Valentine’s Day.
“Of course Cupid doesn’t hate you,” I said. “Cupid doesn’t hate anyone. He’s the god of love.”
“I thought that was Venus or Aphrodite or somebody,” Sam said.
“Cupid is the son of Venus.” Every once in a while my liberal arts major comes in handy. Not too often, though. That’s how I come to be working retail.
“Are you sure?” Sam didn’t look convinced.
“Charlene’s usually right.” Claire always sticks up for me. And she was correct. I am usually right, at least about things like how Greek gods are related to each other. I have an astonishing command of a plethora of completely useless random factoids.
“Cupid was also known as Eros. It wasn’t until the Hellenistic period that he was portrayed as a chubby child.”
Sam and Claire just stared at me.
“It was also during this period that he acquired a bow and arrow,” I added, just because I couldn’t help myself. It’s a sickness. It really is.
“Right,” said Sam. “Bow and arrows. The better to pierce you through the heart and leave you in despair.”
Sam tends to be a bit gloomy when she’s suffering from unrequited love. The latest unresponsive object of her affection was her landlord, who lived two floors below her. In my opinion, though, it’s not the landlord who’s getting her down—it’s that she still hasn’t gotten over Gordon, her ex-husband. They’ve been divorced for three years, now, but she still thinks about him all the time. We all like Gordon. He was the best thing that ever happened to Sam, and I say that knowing a lot more than I should about why they broke up. Gordon and I still keep in touch. I think that’s mostly because he’s never really gotten over Sam, either. He trusts me to keep an eye on her, even though he can’t, anymore.
“Didn’t Cupid shoot himself with his own arrow or something?” Claire asked.
“He did. Cupid and Psyche. Tragic story,” I said.
“Aren’t they all?” Sam held up her empty glass. “We need more drinks.”
I was bar-gofer for the evening. I’d volunteered. That way I could make sure Sam got her whiskeys watered down.
I headed for the bar. We’d picked this place solely on its merit of being completely unromantic. It was one of those sports bars where TVs blare different games at you from all four corners. Not exactly the kind of place where one has to worry about being subjected to lovely-dovey couples and conspicuous public displays of affection.
“Another one of everything,” I said to the bartender.
“You ladies drowning your sorrows or something?” he asked. He had an awfully nice smile. I liked the way his eyes crinkled up at the corners. He had a sprinkling of freckles across his nose, and his ears seemed to be perpetually pink. It’s a bad sign when I start noticing freckles and perpetually pink ears. It means I’m interested. For me, being interested is rarely reciprocal.
I wondered what his name was. I’d never seen him before. Not that we come here a lot or anything. I think it’s been at least six months since the last time.
“I’m Daniel,” he said, as if he could read my mind.
“Nice to meet you,” I said. “Two of us are just suffering from a temporary case of Valentine’s Day blues. Only one of us is drowning her sorrows.”
“Water it down again?”
“What is your name?”
Just then a man sat down at the opposite end of the bar. Compared to him, Sam looked positively radiant with happiness.
Daniel seemed to know him. He left me and poured Mr. Sad Sack a cup of coffee.
“Sorry about that,” Daniel said. “He’s a regular.”
Mr. Sad Sack began to sob softly into his coffee.
“Happy guy,” I said. “Is he always like this?”
“He’s worse than usual this evening.”
“I should send over my friend Sam. They say misery loves company.”
Daniel looked over at my friends. Sam was getting a little restive and motioning for me to hurry up with those drinks.
“Is Sam Miss Whiskey?”
“I think Miss Shirley Temple is more his type.”
“What makes you say that?”
“Cup of Coffee has a thing for sweet-natured blonds. That’s how he came to be so depressed.”
Claire is a blond. A real one. She also personifies sweetness.
I took my drinks and headed back to the table.
Sam took one sip of her whiskey and declared it undrinkable. “Every glass seems worse than the last—“
“I’ll take it back,” I said. “Why don’t you come with me, Claire?”
“Why would I want to come with you?”
“See that guy at the bar?”
“You mean the one who’s crying?”
“That’s the one.”
“What about him?”
“Daniel says he has a thing for blonds.” I left out the sweet-natured part. That seemed unnecessarily personal for some reason.
“Who’s Daniel?” Sam interrupted.
“Oh, you’re on first name basis with him, already?” Sam looked him over. “He is pretty cute.”
I ignored Sam. “What do you think of him?” I asked Claire.
“I’ve never thought of bar tenders as very good boyfriend material. If a bartender is cute—and he certainly is—you’ll have to contend with strange women flirting with him all the time.”
The idea of dating a bartender didn’t bother me—I’m not the jealous type—but we were straying from the subject at hand. “I didn’t mean the bartender. I meant Mr. Sad Sack. What do you think of him? You like sensitive men and—by the looks of him—he’s about as sensitive as they come.”
“I don’t know.” Claire looked doubtful.
“Go talk to him,” I said. “What do you have to lose?”
“What does she have to lose?” Sam interrupted. “He’s probably an unhinged obsessive-type and even if he isn’t—even if he’s practically perfect in every way, and they hit it off and fall madly in love and get married—it will still end badly. It always does.”
“You are a little ray of sunshine,” I said.
“I’m taking this whiskey back myself,” said Sam.
“Never mind!” I hastily picked up Sam’s glass and grabbed Claire’s arm. I dragged her after me.
“Are you sure this is a good idea?” Claire protested. “Wouldn’t I be intruding?”
“Think of it as your random act of kindness for the day,” I said. “I mean, look at the guy.”
Actually, there wasn’t much to see but the back of his head, but he was wearing his hat at a despondent angle, and I can’t stand to see anyone depressed without wanting to cheer them up.
“I don’t k
“Too much water this time,” I said to Daniel. “Better add another splash of whiskey.”
Daniel looked from Claire to Mr. Sad Sack and back to Claire again. He raised one eyebrow at me. I winked.
“What’s your name?” he mouthed to Claire. She just looked confused.
“Claire will have another Shirley Temple,” I said, much too loudly.
“I haven’t finished the one I’ve got,” Claire pointed out, looking back at her untouched drink sitting on our table. Sam was watching us. She was starting to look peeved. I’d better work fast.
Daniel smiled at me. “Don’t worry, that extra Shirley Temple is on the house,” he said. “It’ll be a couple of minutes, though. We’re all out of—maraschino cherries. Why don’t you have a seat while you wait?” He inclined his head in the direction of Mr. Sad Sack.
Claire hesitated and went and sat down near Mr. Sad Sack, but she left two empty stools between them.
Daniel handed me the doctored-up whiskey, and I went back and rejoined Sam.
“What do you think you’re doing?” she demanded. “What are you thinking,
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