The College Bar

Entry by: Alobear

10th September 2015
The College Bar

“I’ll see you in the college bar after lectures, okay?”

Louise returned Gavin’s bright smile with one of her own. “Sure thing!” she said, then watched him walk away from her, towards the science site.

Secretly, though, she felt a stab of disappointment that was difficult to shed. They had been dating an entire month, which was quite an age in the first year of university, but apparently this had slipped Gavin’s notice.

The college bar – the centre of the undergraduate social whirl, and where they had spent nearly every evening since their arrival in mid-September. Of course, it was where all their friends hung out – it was actually where they’d initially met most of them – and the drinks were subsidised to it was more affordable for poor students. But it was dark and crowded, and the floor was invariably sticky. Most of the pint glasses were scratched, and it wasn’t wise to pay too close attention to the food.

As a venue for a rowdy drink at the end of the day, it was perfect. But, Louise had been hoping for something a bit more romantic for their one-month anniversary. Maybe Gavin hadn’t even realised they’d been together that long. Boys could be a bit rubbish like that, Louise knew. Perhaps she should have been more obvious in her hints about the date, or perhaps she shouldn’t have such high expectations of a slightly awkward Physics undergrad.

She sighed, and turned her steps to the town centre. It was quite early – much earlier than any of the other English students were usually about, and Louise suddenly felt very alone. Gavin was lovely, as were his other scientist friends, whom she spent most of her time with. But they had to be in lectures from 9am to 6pm every weekday, which left her rather to her own devices. The English course obviously involved a lot of reading, but official classes were only once a week, and Louise found she could generally get her work done in a couple of afternoons.

She trailed around the shops, not able to afford actually buying anything, then treated herself to lunch at Burger King. It didn’t make her feel any better, and she wandered back to her room, the rest of the afternoon stretching out before her with nothing to fill the hours. She wasn’t even really looking forward to meeting up with Gavin, since it didn’t seem as if he had anything special planned for them.

When she arrived back at her room, Louise attempted to pull herself together. Reaching the heady heights of a one-month relationship ought to be its own reward, she decided. And the last few weeks had been wonderful – Gavin was so sweet, and they shared interest in a lot of the same books and TV shows, despite their very different university subject choices. She was happier than she could remember being in a long time, and university was mostly proving to be just as great as she had expected. She determined that she wouldn’t hold it against Gavin that he didn’t realise how important the date was to her.

Shortly before she was due to meet him, Louise changed into a sparkly top and a short skirt, and dug her heeled boots out of the back of her wardrobe. She did her hair and makeup carefully and approved of what she saw in the mirror when she was done. They might not be going anywhere special, but she could still look nice for her boyfriend, and for herself.

Unexpectedly, Gavin was waiting outside the door to the college bar. His face lit up when he saw her and he whipped a single red rose out from behind his back as she approached.

“You look great!” he enthused, then pouted a little. “But how did you know I was going to take you out for our one-month anniversary? I thought I’d been so careful to hide it.”

Louise laughed delightedly, accepting the rose and a kiss.

“A woman always knows!” she told him. “Let’s go!”

They turned their backs on the dingy college bar and went off in search of fairer climes, arm in arm.