"What is that?" his friends asked, pointing towards the large metal box that sat at his side next to the bar. It was strangely not sinister looking, though person sized and being a large person sized metal box at a bar should have been inherently sinister. The metal was a soft burnished gray, rubbed down and kitten colored.
"That's just something I bring with me, in case there aren't any girls at the bar." They all laughed.
"Well there's certainly no one good here," his friend glanced bitterly at a group of young butterfly girls at the other end of the bar, one of whom had decisively shrugged him off by the bathrooms.
"I don't know, it's early. You never know who might show up."
"Whatever dude, just do it."
"Well, okay...give it a minute to warm up," he said as he pressed a button on his key fob. A little red light glowed on the door. They had another beer.
Ten minutes later, the light flicked off, and he unsealed the door. Inside was a figure nested tightly in a cocoon of plastic wrap. He carefully, affectionately, unwrapped her.
She was a nice looking girl, average height, average build. Her shoulder length hair was brown, her clothes were casual, a cardigan and jeans, so average. But when she opened her eyes, they were a deep warm hazel, and when she smiled she suddenly became very pleasant looking. She reminded every boy there of their 1st grade teacher.
She was visibly confused for a minute, her eyes darting over the scene around her in animalistic fright, and then she saw him. She clung to his eye contact like a life preserver. "Hi! How are you? I haven't run into you for a while. How are things?"
"Oh, they're good. Just out with these guys. Worked today. How are you?"
"I'm peachy. Just had dinner with the girls, cause Sarah, you know Sarah who works over at Eastwick? She just got engaged, so we had to do the whole listen to her blab about it thing, look at the ring, ect. I don't know where they all are right now, but they should be back..." and she glanced around again as if unsure where she was exactly.
"Would you like a drink?"
"Oh um yeah, ginger and Jameson. And actually, I'll be right back, I have to make a phone call. But I'll be right back." She walked off towards the bathrooms, stiffly and slowly, peering around at people surprised, remembering how to move her legs.
"No, c'mon, it's not a big deal."
"But doesn't she get upset?"
"No, she doesn't know. I met her at this other thing, and you know, she's cute and we've got a ton of stuff in common, I really like talking to her. But she's not exactly hot. And she's older than I usually like them. But I figured, what if in 5 years I still haven't found someone better? You know, when I'm ready for something like that. But she would be even older then, or she might have met someone. So this way, she just stays exactly the same. And I manufactured a bunch a memories for her, so it's just like she's been living her life for real. Cause otherwise, you know, she'd be so boring."
"What are you going to do with her if you do meet someone?"
"I don't know. Probably keep her around until I know it's going to work out. And if it does, then I guess I would just let her go."
"You should totally give her to me."
"Dude, don't be a dick. I can't just *give* her to someone."
"No, I know, it would be weird. But you could let me have a chance with her."
"Whatever, you're totally not her type."
She came back from the bathrooms. The brief panicked look was off her face and she had reapplied her lipstick.
"It's so weird, my phone isn't working. Also, did you see Krista over there? She looks so much older, I don't think that new hairstyle is doing her any favors. I...I...I wonder where the girls ran off to..." He handed her the drink and turned away from the boys to talk with her, putting his hand on her shoulder and leaning in, as if they were the best of friends.