a drink we call loneliness

a drink we call loneliness

By:  Marie A. Ciner  Ongoing
Language: English
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Theo Oblinger can't be arsed to admit that he feels a bit stuck. At 26, he's in the middle of finishing his PhD, thinks love just isn’t for him and plays the piano at an exclusive Club during the weekends. On a bleak Saturday night, he meets the owner’s son, Sam Wilcox, who might just help him get out of that place.

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53 Chapters
Chapter One
Saturday, December 1st Theo It’s what must be the bleakest night of the year. The wind howls outside the building, dragging along the heavy rain, and only contributing to the completely foggy windows. To match the city’s mood, I feel bored and bleak all over, as I usually do on Saturday nights. As I glance at the tall windows, I catch blurry yellow and red lights glowing from the outside. London is moving on tonight, and so should I. By the state of the rain, I can tell leaving the Club before 2 a.m. will be impossible. I take a deep breath to steady my hands and focus on my timing. It’s absurdly cold, and my suit jacket is barely doing anything to keep me warm. If it wasn’t for the fact that I’m playing, I’d be freezing completely. When the piece ends, I clasp my hands together, trying to get some semblance of warmth as the clinking of glasses and chatter keep on filling the atmosphere while I prepare for another piece. The regulars are scattered around, som
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Chapter Two
Theo An hour or so later, I’m done with my set and the rain is still coming down hard, so I've settled for sitting at the bar for a while until it’s safer to leave. William, the bartender smiles as he opens another beer for me. He places it on the marble counter, “Are you staying until close tonight?” I sneer, “I don’t think it’s possible to drive right now,” and then as an afterthought, I add, “I’d be in bed right now on a normal day.” He scrunches up his nose, “Yeah, you’re telling me,” He grins, “although with how much George is paying me, I think I’d need to work five more hours to make ends meet.” William is your typical blonde, overeager green-eyed Uni student. He’s paying his way through school by working a bunch of odd jobs. In times like this, he’s good company. He’s overall polite, quick with a joke and tends to mind his own business, which is why I like him. It’s also pretty obvious that this is just a pit stop for him. I hope he gets to wh
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Chapter Three
Saturday, December 8th THEO The next time I see Sam Wilcox, he’s sitting at the same table, completely pissed. It’s only the beginning of my set and he’s already drunk enough to be flushed. His tie has now come off, but he’s stunning anyway. I think he’d be stunning in anything. SAM I hate this place with a passion. I could be home having a couple of beers with one of my friends or hanging out in the park with my fluffy dog, Muppet. Instead, I’m here just to avoid pissing off George. I mean, the Club is nice, and the drinks are nice to try instead of my usual brew, but it’s just not my thing. He insists I need to start socialising with our people since I’m supposed to inherit the Club when he passes. I’ve already told him I won’t. I love my career, and although the course I chose to study got me kicked out of his house, we somehow mended ou
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Chapter Four
December 15th SAM Today I’m buzzing with excitement about seeing Theo. I mean, I don’t actually know if we’re doing the hang out thing today, but he did say he’d see me next week, and it’s all I’ve been able to think about. In hindsight, I probably should have asked him for his number, but the way he seemed to be closing off made me think he’d just sneer at me and leave, so I didn’t. I’m hoping to get it today, though. I’m fixing my hair in Andrea’s living room. Jack is here too, they’re going over wedding invitation samples and whatnot. Wedding stuff. Her sofa comes in handy when I need to crash in London, and it’s free, automatically making it better than any hotel. Jack clears his throat. I look at him as he raises one of his perfect eyebrows at me, “Going to see someone?”  “Huh? No, I’m just off to the Club with George,”  Andrea shoots him a look. “Sam, don’t,” “I’m not doing anything,” She roll
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Chapter Five
TheoAt first, it’s incredibly awkward as we trudge together to my car. He waits until I’ve clicked my seatbelt on to follow me inside.Sam more or less stumbles into my car and grins at me from the passenger seat. He's lovely in his brown suit that compliments his curls, the perfect picture of formality, yet he carries the clothes like he isn’t used to them. As the rain starts falling harder, he shivers.“One I’d think these stiff suits would be thicker, but no, I’m freezing out here,” he says.I bite my lip to hide a grin.“That’s why you're meant to wear a coat over it. Seriously, Wilcox, how have you survived this long?”“Wearing comfy stuff. Sweats. Mittens and all the nice fluffy jumpers,” he replies like it’s obvious."Christ."My heart is racing with the endless possibilities this night is offering. I mean, I was tired, but I’ve been goi
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Chapter Six
Sam We’re outside his flat, and I’m not even surprised we’re in bloody Kensington. At first, I suggested eating in the car, but I could tell he wasn’t fond of the idea. He shook his head. “Sod it, let’s go to my flat. Promise not to murder me?” he asked, raising an eyebrow. “Nope. My murder shift starts at three a.m. You’re good.” I think I’ve been here once before, during a flower delivery for Lyla. Those days, where I’d spend all day driving around London, visiting offices and posh apartments endlessly hold some of my favourite memories. During those hot summers, I’d drink Coke and fizzy lemonade on the van, and vibe to her 80’s cd’s, because of course, the van didn’t have Bluetooth. The rest of the year, I’d heavily lean on cheap gas station coffee to survive the day. It helped me become familiar with every nook and cranny around London. So, it’s not surprising that I figured it out on the way back from the bagel shop. All t
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Chapter Seven
  I’m telling him about my cousin, who lives downstairs when he yawns and rests his head on the arm of my sofa, clearly exhausted. I don’t know how, but we’ve been inching closer as the minutes pass and our stories keep going on.    It almost feels like we’ve known each other for a lifetime, and not just a few weeks. That’s how I’ve been told it works. Chemistry. Compatibility. Old souls reincarnating to find each other life afterlife. I truly don’t believe any of that rubbish, but he’s fun to talk to, and as far as I’ve seen, is the least judgmental bloke I’ve met. Every time I think he’s going to look outraged by one of my old Secondary school studies, he laughs instead. A musical, loud laugh that makes me blush.   “Am I boring you, Sam?”, I ask as I glance at my wristwatch. It’s three A.M. already.   “God no, it’s just-“ he says before another big yawn, “I’ve been up for ages.”   Read more
Chapter Eight
December 21st  I feel like a proper fool as I sit at the piano and see Sam out of the corner of my eye. Tonight, he is sharing his table with a red-haired woman, chatting and laughing like they’re the only people in the room.   She has her long fingers wrapped around his wrist, and he’s only looking at her. His big curious eyes focused on hers, the rest of us unworthy of his attention. I wonder why he didn’t think of having some class and going somewhere else.    I close my eyes and breathe in, thanking myself for replying vaguely to his texts this week about visiting him. I school my face back to casual boredom, trying to stop my hands from shaking. These feelings of rejection, I can handle. I’m familiar with them.   Thank Christ it ends here. I can’t look at him again.   I start playing Chopin’s nocturnes to match my mood and try to mute everyone around me. If I can get this set d
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Chapter Nine
SAM Staring at Theo during his set is probably more than I should be allowed to do, but I indulged anyway. Now that I’ve gotten to spend a few hours with him, I’m latching onto the slightest possibility of us dating. Or seeing each other again. His accent is posh, and all his mannerisms are too, but I find myself relating to the things he says. Despite our wildly different backgrounds, he’s still figuring out who he wants to be. He’s a little lost, but that’s okay. I can be his company, as long as he wants me there. “Hey,” Rose taps my hand, and holds her drink up to my face,  “Try this cocktail. It’s insane.” I grin at her and take a sip directly from her straw, “Oh wow, the peaches are really coming out. Lovely,” She laughs, and she’s pretty. Her long hair flows down her shoulders and back like a silky curtain, and her eyes are sparkling now. I do not doubt that she deserves to find someone who cherishes her and wants to try every singl
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Chapter Ten
Sam “I, Uh-no,” Theo runs a hair through his hair and looks at the door behind me, “Then what the hell are you doing here?”“I wanted to talk to you, you weren’t outside,” I babble because I don’t know what I expected. For him to throw himself into my arms? Maybe.Instead, his gaze is cold and bored.“You shouldn’t be here, this is an employee-only area, so,” he stands up and straightens his jacket. He’s the image of self-control, poised and composed while dismissing me like I didn’t talk to him for hours on the floor of his living room.I know better than this, though.“Look, I get that you might be confused since we hung out last week,” he explains, “But trust me, it was just a one-time thing. We had a fun, experimental night, part of living out your twenties and all that, but I think that’s what it is. Y
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