I had met Annabelle a year earlier while she was tending bar at that crappy tavern at the Warwick hotel. That was the Saturday I was waiting for Michelle to meet me for brunch after her hair appointment. (See Michelle – 2007 to Present – A Brand New Day)
I was with Lorelei and I took her to get her nails done. I had been at a First Friday event the night before and was a little banged up. First Friday is just what it sounds like. It’s mostly celebrated down in Old City. The businesses down there showcase work by local artists and serve free wine, beer and cider. The company I worked for normally had these huge parties at our office the first friday of the month, once a quarter. So it was a shit show and oceans of booze.
The place she goes to get her nails done is right across from the tavern at the Warwick. I haven’t set foot in the place in over a year. I walk in to get a beer to take the edge off my hangover. Who’s standing behind the bar but Annabelle. I remembered her name and say hello to her. She greets me using my name as well. I was surprised and impressed. I must have made a favorable impression on her a year ago.
I am once again the only person in the place. I order a Corona, put some cash on the bar and start chatting with her. I tell her I am no longer with the publication where I formerly worked for five years. I am working for a start-up that shows people where to go drink around the city. I do advertising sales for them. Because of my job I get to go to a lot of cool events for free around the city. I also tell her Michelle was leaving town to go live in San Francisco, with her former ex-boyfriend. They had rekindled their relationship and were giving it a serious go.
“I wish I could go to cool events.” she says.
“I’d be happy to bring you along to one! Let me see what I have coming up.”
Annabelle was under the impression that I was married to Michelle, and that Lorelei was our daughter. She said she remembered me friending her on Facebook a year ago after we met and me reaching out to her. She never responded because she thought I was in a relationship with Michelle. But I told her that Michelle and I were just friends when we walked into the bar last year and had been done since 2010. It was now 2013, and so much had changed. It was June and Michelle would be leaving around November.
We had a really great conversation and I felt energized. She was still doing her photography business, but still did the bartending gig to support it. She had worked at this spot for years. Annabelle didn’t like working in the restaurant business. She said she hated it. I would later find out why.
Annabelle cracked open another beer. She tells me she lives up in Northern Liberties. She had a mock studio in her loft apartment there. I don’t really ever go to Northern Liberties. Just not a fan of the area. I like being in the center of things. That’s why I’m in Rittenhouse. She says she rides her bicycle down here a few days a week to work here.
I ask her if she’s been to the Barnes Museum yet. She says no. I knew the answer would be no, that’s why I asked her. It was still relatively new to center city, and tickets were expensive. I knew she didn’t have that kind of paper. I mentioned that there was a rum tasting event that’s coming up in a couple of weeks. I knew the marketing director over there and knew I could get us in to see the collection and get some free drinks.
“That would be cool!”
I looked at my phone. Lorelei was done, and needed Daddy to come across the street and pay for her new manicure. “I gotta go. Daughter needs me for my wallet.”
As I’m walking out, I tell her I’ll send her a calendar invite for July 5th and if her night’s clear, I’ll take her.
“Sounds good!” she smiles.
I step out into the warm Spring afternoon and bolt across the street. There may be something here. Met her a year ago. Made the connection. Reconnected just now. Locked down a potential night out with her. We’ll see what happens. If nothing comes up, I’ll be checking out a billion dollar art collection, sipping rum with a tall pretty girl.
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