A Night At The Ripley

Xan's perspective.

I sip from the free drink the bartender offered me with a wink. She's been flirting with me all night, twirling her hair and giggling at every word I said. I appreciated the attention, but I wasn't interested. Didn't refuse the drink, though, it was G&T, which I gathered that she knew now it was my favourite. I was getting bored and considered leaving until this girl entered the bar, and some people started clapping. Squinting my eyes trying to see what's happening through the bright lights, I see her.

Long silhouette, soft-looking short auburn coils framing her face, a single dimple dug on one of her two chubby cheeks. She's smiling widely, teeth lightly crooked, face a little flushed, as she walks up the stage and waits for the small crowd beneath her to settle. She's about to sing.

I recognize her from somewhere. She looks familiar, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. I lean on the bar, and the girl begins. She's singing a song that I don’t know, with jazzy tunes and a slow melody accompanying nostalgic lyrics. Obviously I don't know it. I don't listen to jazz.

What I’m about to say will sound like a cliche, but her voice is absolutely angelic. It's so ethereal that you would think it could make you fall asleep and make you join her into a world of dreams. And suddenly, I can’t help but ask, « Who the hell is this girl? » I guess I said that out loud, because the bartender answers my question, « Her name is Alix. She's a small singer who often comes to bars, pubs, places like that, to sing a couple songs, then she leaves. She's pretty. » That last line is said with a hint of jealousy, but I brush it off, and just nod. I look back at Alix, who's now engaging a second song, jazzy as well. An urge to go up to her and talk to her grows inside of me. But i wait until her set is finished.

Alix's perspective.

I wish I could have stayed home and cuddled with my cat. I felt sick today but I had to go sing at the Ripley Bar, which was the third time this month.

I walk into the bar and some people start clapping, which was a pleasant surprise. « Looks like I’m starting to get recognized, » I think to myself as I walk up the stage and start my set of songs. Truth is, the recognition has been going on for a while, but I wish it extended to more than some clapping from people who probably don’t even know my name.

The lights are blinding me. I can’t even look at the crowd. But I sing nonetheless, I have to, although I’m worried my voice will crack because of my sickness. Through my first song, near the end, I look towards the bar, where a couple men and a cute bartender are standing, and one man is leaning. I catch a glimpse of him before turning my gaze away. He was looking at me so intensely, it almost made me uncomfortable. I couldn’t quite make up what he looked like, his physique was so blurry. I look at him again, and this time, I’m more curious about him. He seemed familiar. Who is he? Have we met before? Does my voice sound okay? Why is he looking at me like this?

Thankfully my mind and my mouth aren’t linked, or else I'd forget about the song and say all I’m thinking about out loud, which wouldn’t be cute.

But once the song is done and the clapping emerges, all I want is get off stage and walk up to this guy. He's emanating such an oddly absorbing and captivating vibe, it's destabilizing. But I shake my head, to literally shake the thoughts away, before I start my second song of the night. And deep down, I’m hoping the guy doesn’t leave before I’m done.

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