The Missed High Five

Oh, how a simple wayward high five can ruin a perfectly comfortable situation.

His date has gone to the lavatory to re-apply her make-up and muster up the strength to trudge through the remainder of this awkwardly pleasant outing. Helpful have been the pair of ladies seated at the neighbouring table; they have provided distraction for the woman and even more eye-candy for the man. She had engaged the neighbours for support over the last half hour whenever the conversation had hit a wall because the man himself lacked a real female understanding. Now he, the man in absence of the woman, engages the neighbours as they playfully engage him in turn.

One neighbour catches the attention of the entire room with a piercing cry and spirited call for a “High five!”

The man laughs exuberantly with drunken enthusiasm, and claps his moistened palm onto hers as the neighbours cackle against their wine glasses.

A call for “Up high!” and the response is that of a resounding clap.

A call for “Down low!” and the responding sound is that of a cold, liquid crash of a full glass breaking and its contents displacing all across the finely polished hardwood floor. Everyone in the room turns toward the sounds and sees the neighbour, her hands held up hovering at shoulder height and a frozen look of mortified shock emblazoned on her face. Her evening dress is drenched with suds and ale. Her new friend’s drink has disappeared, gone from the table before him, having found purchase abroad.

The man’s hands become glued in a hollow steeple over his mouth, as a weak and apologetic “Ooooh,” escapes his throat like air from a dying balloon.

As the waitress shakes her head and fetches a cloth to soak up the mess, and the other bar patrons share hushed comments amongst themselves while still others raise loud jokes to break the tension, the man awaits the embarrassing situation he must now explain and re-live once his precious date returns.

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