The Dream Man by Therese Caron
Artwork by seshadri_sreenivasan at FanArtReview.com
The bar was cool and dim after the bright sunshine outside. Claire looked around the bar. It was empty, with the exception of one young woman sitting by herself. The lunch crowd was long gone but the happy hour regulars had not started to trickle in yet.
Claire smiled tentatively at the girl at the other end of the bar. The girl called out, asking Claire to join her. Claire picked up her drink and moved to a bar stool close to the stranger.
"Hello," she said. "I'm Claire."
"I'm Sarah," the other girl replied. "Nice to meet you. What are you doing here alone in the middle of the day?"
"Nothing, really." Claire replied. "My husband and I have been going through a rough spot and I needed to breathe. My car is right out front if he is looking for me."
"What seems to be the problem?" asked Sarah.
"I don't know. Michael is very sweet and we have been quite happy, but lately things just aren't right."
Sarah sighed, admitting to Claire that she was seeing a married man. She said she knew it was wrong, but that they were in love.
"He keeps telling me he's going to leave his wife, but then there is always some reason why he doesn't," Sarah explained.
Claire asked what his name was, and Sarah told her it was Mickey, with a faraway look in her eyes.
Sarah and Claire ordered another drink and sat chatting amicably for the next hour.
"Mickey should be here soon," Sarah stated, "but I would love to keep in touch with you."
Claire was not sure that her husband would see her car and stop by but she agreed with Sarah that she would love to keep in touch. They wrote their names and phone numbers on bar napkins and gave them to each other.
Just then Claire looked up and called hopefully "Hi Michael."
Sarah looked up and called out "Hi Mickey!"
One man stood framed in the doorway.
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