in case of emergency, pt. 3

I tried to explain defensively how I knew her friends, and she just smiled at me. "Relax, kid. You did a nice thing. I wanted to say thanks. My name's Clara."

She held out a hand and I shook it. "Good to meet you."

"Yeah. So I'm going to buy you a beer or two tonight. To say thanks."

"Tonight? I'm kind of--"

"Offer's got an expiration date of today, kid. Take it or leave it."

A deadline is pretty handy at changing one's perspective. "Sure, why not?"

And we actually got on really well. It felt natural. After an evening of barhopping and exaggerated stories, the bars closed and we went back to her place for a nightcap. My head was spinning by now but it was far too early to end the evening.

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