Liza convinced me to go to town again, because it was her 22 birthday, and she wanted a "fun" day because I am apparently unable to be fun enough sober.
We skipped all the way there, humming and gossiping about the news Charlie filled me in with. Once we reached the door to the bar, I saw that same man who stood in my neighbor's house.
I hadn't told Liza about the night after the bar, or about Phillip, and our crazy adventure the previous day. I decided in that moment that I needed Liza's help in a strange situation like this.
I grabbed the ribbon that tied her dress together, and dragged her behind the post beside the entree.
She whipped her head and scoffed at me and began to yell, when I threw my hand over her mouth and hushed her.
She bit my hand and I shoved my finger over her lips, and turned to see where the man was. He had just walked into the restaurant, so I whispered to Liza the entire story. Well, most at least.
She grabbed my wrist and pulled me into the room, and sat me at the bar, and made me point out the man.
It took too long for me to scout him out, and Liza got bored and began flirting with the bartender.
I was enjoying the music, and watching couples dancing, when I heard the same voice that had checked on me that one hungover morning.
"Hello, Theodosia." I turned and finally got a clear vision of who had helped me.
"Hello." I choked on my words, realizing that I didn't even know his name. Thank god the bartender came at that moment.
"Good evening, Toby Smith! The usual?" Toby Smith? The same boy that I learned to dance with? The foolish boy, who would dip my shoes into mud back when we were only children?
I looked into Toby's eyes, closely trying to connect the face of the young boy, to this studdly man standing before me. That's when Liza slid down to my side, and whispered into my ear.
"Is this mystery man?" I straightened my posture and cleared my throat to get Toby's attention.
"Toby, this is my best friend, Liza Bra. And Liza, this is my old friend, Toby Smith." They shook hands across the seats between us.
Liza playfully brushed my shoulder on her way to the counter to order another drink. I turned towards the counter with the intentions of ordering a whisky on the rocks, but Toby was ahead of me.
"Can I get two mugs of rum?" The bartender disappeared behind the counter, then reappeared moments later with two frosted mugs.
We both took the mugs into our fists and tapped them together, sending the foam over the edge with a klink.
"To new friends," his smile stretched all across his face.
"To friends," I grinned. I took a refreshing sip, and looked to check on Liza, and saw her laughing loudly into a large burly man's chest, then guzzled two shots down.
Toby grabbed my hand at that moment, and pulled me from my stool and I was yanked in the direction of the band. The music was loud, and I loved the fiddle.
Toby held tight onto both my hands and jumped in sync with the beat. We spun and laughed, and I was just feeling a sense of joy, that my father's absence had taken from me.
As we bounded around the floor, I felt content. I was dancing with a kind man, who was simple and wanted to be with me. Then why is Phillip all I can think about.
While in thought, I managed to step on Toby's toe. He let out a grunt and let go of my hands. He bent down and grabbed his foot, then limped to a chair to grab his foot.
I knew that my shoes were pointy, but I didn't feel like it would've hurt bad enough to cause such a seen. I followed Toby to off the floor and met him.
"I am so sorry, Mr. Smith, I should've been more careful. God, Im such a clutz." I buried my face into my arms in embarrassment. Everyone around was watching.
"It's okay, just be a little more careful next time. I like my toes, and would like all 10." I stood up, and helped him to his feet.
"Do you need ice? Water? Anything? I feel so bad!" He walked towards the bar, and waved away my offer, then ordered another scotch.
Toby must have left soon after because none of the following memories included him. I was still uneasy from the whole, dancing incident, so I drank away the awkwardness.
(If you were curious, its 3 beers, 1 shot, and maybe some wine.)
Liza and I didn't leave until the owners swept us out with the dust. We walked crooked all the way to the Plantation, and I let her sleep with me in my bed.
She was asleep as soon as her head touched the pillow, and I drifted off into a drunken sleep to the sound of my best friend's snoring.