Luke inhaled, walked to the bar, and sat on the stool beside him.
Mark twisted his neck and saw him. "I'm saving that for someone."
"A blonde with big tits and slim hips."
Luke lifted his chin and addressed the bartender. "Gin and tonic." He turned toward Mark. "You dating someone new?"
"Do I know her?"
"No. I don't even know her yet. The point is I don't want you to sit there."
"The bar's empty."
Mark rotated on his stool to face him. "Look Luke. I hold a grudge." He returned to face the bar.
The bartender brought Luke's drink. Luke took a sip. "What did she say?"
Mark remained sober and silent.
Luke looked up at the television. "Who's on top of the leaderboard?"
Moments of silence passed. The bartender looked at Mark, shrugged his shoulders, and replied, "Mickelson has a two stroke lead."
"Thanks," Luke replied. "So what did she say?" he asked Mark.
"I don't think I want to be friends with you anymore, Luke." Mark picked up his drink and took a swift sip.
"You don't have that option."
"Yes I do."
"No you don't." Luke turned on the barstool and faced Mark. "I was right. You know that. So quit being an ass. What did she say when you told her no?"
"You're pretty confident aren't you?" Mark pointed to his drink; the bartender nodded and went to pour another round.
"Not really. But I believed you."
The bartender replaced Mark's drink.
"When I met you, you weren't like any guys I'd ever known. You put yourself right out there. And you trusted that no one was going to make fun of you. So I believed I could be that way too."
"Oh." Mark pushed his cap to the center of his head.
"So, I told you how I really felt. I thought that was the kind of friends we were."
Mark slowly leaked the air from his lungs.
"So since I told you the truth, we're not friends anymore?" Luke stared at him.
"She understands why I said no."
"You've got nothing to apologize for, bro." Mark turned and offered Luke his hand for a shake.
Luke shook his hand. "No. I'm sorry you had to say no."
"Me too." Mark picked up his drink and took a sip. "Mickelson's always the silver medalist. You ever notice that?"
"If he had blonde hair he could have sat on this stool."
Mark laughed. "You twisted fuck!"
Luke picked up his glass and gulped the gin. "Can I buy you another one?"
"It's Diet Coke. They're free."
"Diet Coke? Has the world come to an end?"
"I don't drink when I'm depressed. It's my rule."
"But I forgave you!" Luke laughed. "You can't be depressed anymore!"
"Hey, give me a gin and tonic," Mark said to the bartender. "And put it on his tab." He nodded in Luke's direction. "So what's going on with you and Mallory?"
Luke smiled and began his confessions.