A couple Fridays or Saturdays ago, Miranda and I were alone at a bar where we virtually knew no one. It was one of those nights that knowing no one is a good thing. The group we had set out with earlier in the night dispersed themselves evenly throughout the City and we ended up in a dive bar that was painted a variety of colors on the inside and out.
Miranda and I meandered through the mob, talked to random people, looked out for a booth or a boy, but mostly chatted up each other. Prospects were decent, but nothing to write home about. The bar was loud, but relatively mellow and most people just talked amongst their friends. Unaccustomed to not being the center of attention however, Miranda sighed and rolled her eyes throughout the night. Although she was hit on in a solid, steady, progression, it apparently wasn’t enough. Miranda threatened to leave the bar every so often but I ignored her. Of course, she never left.
“You cannot tell me you think this is fun” Miranda grabbed my arm, a little too hard, and pulled me close to her.
“I think it’s fun” I said matter-of-factly, and looked away. I scanned the crowd of unknowns, and unconsciously looked for a familiar face. Of course the chances that I would know someone here were slim, but I came from a school where I literally knew every single person at every single bar. It was a habit I have yet to shake.
“We don’t know ANYONE” she said through gritted teeth.
“We don’t know anyone ANYWHERE” I said back, mocking her tone. It was true. Moving to this new city, our social circle was refreshingly limited. It was small, but had all the potential in the world. I was excited to start over, I was ready to go out at night and not know beforehand what would happen. I told her this. “We need to meet new people, Rand.”
Miranda thought about this for a second. She knew I was right. But in her mind she had left college at the very top of her game. All about appearances, come Spring quarter of senior year, Miranda had everything she had hoped for in a college career. A boyfriend she dated since freshman year, social chair in the top sorority, a very well known name on campus and a growing vintage designer purse collection that she and her mother had been working on since she was twelve. In Miranda's mind she might as well have been famous because she was It. She was the kind of girl that had to be the best. Look the best, have the best stuff. She was highly competitive, but because (in her mind) no one really compared, she was just in competition with herself.
These days…the boyfriend she dated for almost four years is no longer a boyfriend and lives on the other side of the country. And though she still tries to be the one to fill up our social calendars, it’s hard to be “popular” in a city of hundreds of thousands. The vintage bag collection at least is still going strong. She got a new quilted Chanel number from the fifties yesterday at Wasteland. If she didn’t have this still going, I might be worried for her sanity.
Moving to a new city, starting a new chapter in your life, there are things you can learn about people you thought you knew through and through that surprise you. From day one of freshman year, Miranda walked onto the Hillman’s campus like she was meant to be there, like she owned the place. Any signs of weakness and insecurity in my roommate were sparse and if they did come up, very short. She always arrived with a plan, a good one, and always executed it perfectly. I expected that she would do the same thing when we moved to the city, but I was shocked when I was wrong. So was she.
Despite having a pretty enviable job set up by her parents and an even more enviable apartment (also set up by parents), Miranda feels a little shaken here. The one friend I thought would storm the city has been rattled by the sudden changes in our lives and as a result has been pretty wobbly on her four hundred dollar, five inch heel clad feet.
Sometimes I look Miranda in the eyes now and see genuine fear and fret. Bailey says this is good for her though, and I think I agree. Nothing should come so easily to one person. I’m certain this will be a good experience for Miranda; we’ll just have to help her through it. And have a high tolerance for complaining.
“Okay, fine,” She said, with a signature eye roll. “Sorry I’m being so…” she trailed off. She can never actually come out and say she’s wrong. She looked at me, waited for a response.
Through a squint, I gave her playful, warning look. “Okay. Forgiven. Lay off the complaining though. I was this close to running away from you.”
“Drinks on me?” This was Miranda’s version of an olive branch. “What do you want?”
“Surprise me!” I said over the deafening music.
She winked and then started off towards the bar. I judged that considering the collection of people clamoring to get to the bar like a pack of wild animals trying to get to a watering hole, it would take an estimated fifteen to twenty minutes for a normal person to get a drink. Lucky for us though, Miranda is not a normal person. Despite recent ups and downs, she still Miranda and she can still get most things in life that she wants.
I smiled as I watch the crowd of people part like the red sea so she could get through. Far more than a few of the males stared at her ass as she squeezed through. All of the girls whispered to each other about the bitch that just butted them all in line.
Miranda came back in record time, holding two tall brown drinks. I didn’t ask what they were and still don’t know. I felt pride swell up inside me as it seemed the entire population by the bar stared at us. Well, her really. The girls took in Miranda’s black leggings, white off the shoulder shirt and ridiculously tall heels that make her already long and lean body look even more ridiculously long and lean. They absorbed her perfectly tousled blond hair and general sense of Miranda-haughtiness and threw the evilest of looks our way. The guys took in all of this as well, but with opposite of the aforementioned negative reception.
“What’d you do over there?” I asked in between sips. “Everyone by the bar is staring over here."
“Good or bad?”
“What?” I said, craning out my neck to hear her. The music had proceeded to get louder and Miranda might as well have been whispering.
“Good stares or bad stares?” she said, the same lilt in her voice. She had a wicked little smile on her face.
“Both. Good from boys. Want-to-kill you from girls.”
Miranda slowly swiveled around and waved to the crowd. The guys looked dumb struck and the girls look even more enraged. She turned back toward me and proceeded to tell me how one girl’s boyfriend started hitting on her. Miranda naturally flirted back and the girlfriend basically lost her shit. Words were exchanged and of course Miranda came out on top. How all of this happened in a matter of a few minutes I’m not sure.
I eyed the small, Jersey looking girl that Miranda pointed out to be the psychopath. She looked like she might lunge for us, she was basically growling from her post by the bar. I didn’t know if I should laugh or be afraid, but Miranda was laughing so I decided to follow suit. I spotted a booth at the opposite end of the bar, grabbed Miranda, the Miranda that has everything and is afraid of nothing, and bee lined it across the room.