I yawned, cat-like, as I poured a coke. I was slightly zoned out as I dumped some water from a pitcher into another glass.
"Hey hey, what's goin' on? Is Dan here?"
Oh fuck. I knew that voice.
I glanced over my shoulder as I placed the two cups on my finger tips and grabbed straws with my other, now-free, hand, "Hey," I said cooly as Ian appeared behind me.
He smiled at me as my manager said something to him and I took that opportunity to slip away and deliver my drinks.
I took the seat I always took when the little pizza place I worked at wasn't busy, in the very corner of the table nearest the entrance to the kitchen. My organic chemistry book was already propped open and I put my feet up on the chair next to me, as the two girls who were working carryout were chatting lightly across the table.
"Is that Ian?" One of them said, suddenly catching sight of him.
"Mmm," I muttered in confirmation, flipping to another page of my textbook.
"Oh my god, it's Ian!" The other girl perked up
"Ian!" called the first girl, waving to him.
I kept on reading about orbital hybridization.
He came over and I pulled my head out of my textbook, "I'm surprised," I said, raising my eyebrows cooly.
"Gotta do it, just need a little extra cash," Ian shrugged.
We shared a look for a fraction of a second before the younger carryout girls began talking to Ian. I found myself transported to back to a bar several months ago...
"That place is like a black hole, no one can get away," Ian said with a voice that would have been considered dramatic, if he wasn't spot on with his description of the restaurant we worked at.
"I'm here until I go to UofM," I shrugged, "and then I'm out. I stay out of the drama, I come to work, do my job, take my money, and go home."
"You're probably the only one that does," Ian said darkly, "I'm never coming back. I'm putting in my two weeks and then that'll be the end of it."
"So Elektricity, pretty intense, huh?" Ian said, turning his attention back to me.
"Good party, not so sold on the neon theme, it's a little trashy, but aside from that, it was pretty legit," I smiled.
"Yeah, it's awesome-"
Our conversation flowed as natural as ever, as if he had never left for London a few weeks after that fated night at the bar. We began telling stories, the two other girls chiming in occasionally as Ian and I caught up on each other's lives for a few moments.
It wasn't until he left that I realized what was odd. When we had been around Jen and Kang, Ian had acted as if I wasn't anything more than his little sister's best friend. When they weren't around, we were... friends. It was like we were two chemicals who were only reactive in the presence of the other, throw any other certain chemicals in the mix and the reaction couldn't progress.
The idea that Ian wanted his job back was one I pondered as my shift continued: would things go back to the way they were before he left for London? Once upon another time at a bar, Ian had told me he didn't date girls he worked with. Not that that stopped him from kissing me later that night, but would I go back to simply being a coworker? Did I want either possibility to open up again? Did I just want to close the chapter of my life that was my hopeless idea that things would work out with Ian? Or was I just in love with the intrigue of the entire situation?
"What the-?" I stared at my phone, the text message on my screen was sent from a person I hadn't spoken to in months. I was in shock at the sight of it. Maybe it was a drunk text... But it was just after 6pm...
And my ex-boyfriend didn't exactly strike me as the day-drinking type.