pg-13 | no warnings apply

You haven't been carded in years. There are times when it bothers you.

They don't have the beer you prefer, the more expensive, imported kind that doesn't taste that much different from the cheap stuff you bought in the bar, the last time you and Sara went somewhere. You bought the cheap beer then because you were ordering for both of you, and you didn't want to a) waste your money on good beer for her, or b) look odd or selfish by ordering one brand for her and another for yourself.

You won't deny the resentment. More accurately, you can't deny the resentment. It's there. You're co-workers have noticed it, you're sure. They speculate. It would be easy to fall back on the old clichés, to say that it was typical, female cattiness, or to blame it on a man (you got over your attraction to Gil years ago; she can have him), but there's something deeper at work here.

When she showed up, you expected her to look up to you, the same way she admired Gil. She didn't. You expected her to be intimidated by you, by your position, by your looks. She wasn't. Eventually, you wanted her to be attracted to you, to want your hands on her body. But the only lips she wants to kiss are Gil's. You're nothing to her. That's all you've ever been.

Even when they do card, they don't ask the right questions. It's always, 'can I see your ID?' and 'when were you born?' instead of the important questions. They don't ask if you have company coming over, or if you're throwing a party, or if your plans for the day involve sitting on the sofa and downing beer after beer, until you've forgotten everything that happened in the past 72 hours.

There was a moment when you thought it was Sara, lying on the floor, dead.

But more to the point, there was a moment (a sick, evil, hateful moment) when you wished it was her.

That horrible person will disappear, somewhere between the fourth and fifth beer.