When you're drunk, the first thing you lose is your ability to hear.
She was three drinks in and decided to shift the conversation from the everyday trivial to more important issues. "I think he will propose" she blurted out, unleashing a demon that weighed heavy on her heart.
Her confession came like clockwork. During our last two drunken encounters she continued on in the same fashion - diving into relationship issues that hounded her psyche after the alcohol began to take hold. During the first episode I was naïve enough to believe that there was a special bond that united us and allowed her to eagerly express her most intimate concerns, but after experiencing it twice I realized it was just one lonely stranger reaching out to another lonely stranger.
"What will you say?" I replied in neutral tone implying neither acceptance nor scorn. I already knew the answer, but I asked the question anyways - for her sake.
"Well..." she began in an uneasy tone. "I think he has started --- [rings], ---- [may propose]" her words were violently cut apart by the combined chatter of our fellow bar patrons and a fifty-inch television that vomited up play-by-play baseball analysis.
"He ----- [immigration status] ------ [marry citizen or] --------. ------ [Because it will] -------- [we have been good for a month] ------- [say I can do better]. -------- [Called my Dad, I had no one else] ----- [not enough money to bring his family from Mexico] ------ [doesn't accept me] ------"
I wanted to call her an idiot. I wanted to tell her that we had relived this moment twice before - each with her outpouring leading to a breakup followed by a teary reunion the very next day. I wanted her to know that I was finished believing her drunken ramblings and was calling her bluff - no matter how shitty her relationship was she wasn't about to walk away. Her beautiful smile and slender frame did an excellent job of portraying the calm collected image of someone who had her life in order, but it was beginning to give way to a vulnerable, unconfident girl that wasn't about to trade a lackluster relationship for the promise of something better.
Perhaps it was \LM walking out that made me so cold, or it may have been the act of reliving the same conversation twice before only to watch her run back into his arms that made me apathetic to her plea. As she finished, I stared back in a sense of disbelief coupled with perfect understanding.
"I don't want to tell you what to do, but marriage is a pretty big step. It is very serious; it's not something to take lightly" I chimed in as I took the easy way out. Twice before I told her to walk out on him, but the advice had fallen on deaf ears and as such I felt it best to casually punt the ball away and let her discover the truth for herself.
"I know!" she responded back, "my dad always says it should be one and done - don't go in thinking marriage won't be forever. You have to truly believe in it."
The conversation briefly stopped as she turned towards her phone and picked it up.
"I have to call him and let him know I am with you. It's better if I tell him we are here rather than him finding out, it just makes things...." her voice trailed off in the violent cacophony of bar patrons and sports announcers.
I returned to my beer and stopped listening.