The Underachievers: Dorian (Chapter 6)

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Time ticked by as almost two months passed since Clarence dramatic entry. Clarence relationship with Lauren had been salvaged as the couple went out on dates as if newlyweds and had agreed to counselling. Lauren had moved back home four weeks ago and she even occasionally followed Clarence to the bar. In addition, Dorian had met up with Ralph and although their relationship was friendly, Ralph was still closed off.

 

However, the relationship between Dorian and Alise had blossomed. Ironically it started with a suggestion by George during one of his group counselling sessions. They were told to join one of their physically active friends in whatever exercise they did. As Alise was the only one he knew who ran in the morning, he casually raised the suggestion to her, only to see her thrilled smile.

 

From running buddies to movie going buddies the two started spending an awful lot of time together and Dorian was finding himself sometimes double dating with Clarence and Lauren. In fact, the two had even enjoyed babysitting for Rupert during doctor appointments as his wife was due to give birth to another child any day now.

 

In fact, Alise was at the hospital now, having had to cut their date short, but was still talking to Dorian who had had to man the bar with one of the other bartender, Felix, as Rupert’s wife Mary-Anne was in labor so Rupert couldn’t cover his shift. It didn’t help that Rupert was prone to freaking out every time his wife was in labor. He had already been through this before but he could never stand the thought of his wife in pain.  

 

As Alise hung up on Dorian, she glanced at the sterile walls of the hospital and ignored the disinfectant smell that plagued all hospitals as she said to Rupert, who would rather wait in the waiting room than be in the delivery room with his wife, “Rupert, you really should go in and be with her. Women are made to give birth and it happens all the time. There is no reason to be afraid.”

 

“Yeah, yeah…it’s just…hell. All that blood and screaming. I am usually a brave man but I can’t stand… to see her…” Rupert shivered and couldn’t complete what he was saying.

 

“Alright, well I don’t think she should be alone so I will go be with her.” and as Alise said this she straughted confidently into the delivery room. She succeeded in bullying her way in despite a nurse telling her family only by insisting she was family and by far more capable than the alternative. Thus Alise ended up being the first one to hold Rupert’s daughter.

 

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“It’s a girl!” Dorian announced to the bar as he hung up his phone.

 

“Hurray!” the bar cheered with the regulars going up to Dorian to get details on how much she weighed and what time she was born.

 

“Drink up guys, next round is on me.” Bob proclaimed.

 

A louder cheer went up around the bar, as McLaren’s patrons celebrated the baby and free drinks. The bar was packed as it was a Friday night and although it was not the busiest part of town, McLaren’s always had a steady stream of patrons due to their quality and service.

 

Although, the crowd at McLaren’s was usually older, Friday nights saw a younger scene settle in with the noise level in the bar increasing significantly but they were still able to manage the crowd.

 

As the night progressed, Dorian found some free time to talk to Felix when it was well past midnight as all of the older patrons and most of the drunk youths had cleared out.

 

“Hey Felix, I heard you uncle has a dealership, I want to buy a car to be able to take Alise on weekend getaways. Nothing to fancy just sturdy and safe.” Dorian said to Felix.

 

“Sure, you are the staple of my uncle’s business, young men getting their first car or trying to impress a girl. Ha ha ha.”

 

It was getting close to closing time for the bar and Bob had already announced last call over four hours ago but there were a few stragglers left nurse their drink. Just as Dorian moved towards the door sign to flip it to closed as a subtle indication, Ralph barged into the bar with a fretish look, almost knocking Dorian down.

 

Ralph was holding his ribs as if he was in pain and carrying a backpack close to his chest with his other hand in a tight grip.

 

“Are you okay Ralph?” Dorian asked and moved to help him but Ralph flinched away initially before recognising it was Dorian. He still kept his distance from Dorian but visibly calm.

 

“Can I talk to you for a moment?” Ralph asked nervously, “I heard you live in the west side of the city…I was hoping you would be able to spot me a place to stay for awhile….just for a couple weeks…till I get some things sorted. What do you say?”

 

Dorian was in an uncomfortable position because of his own condition but only said, “I am sorry my place really isn’t big enough for two. What is the problem at home? Can’t you stay with Aunt Glenda?”

 

“None of your business! Thanks for nothing…” and while mumbling other things under his breath, Ralph rushed back out of the bar.

 

Bob just coming out of the back room, noticed Dorian frozen in front of the closing door and asked, “What just happened?”

 

Felix moved to answer but Dorian cut him off saying, “It was Ralph but it was nothing.”

 

Bob silently accessed Dorian and seeing something that reassured him, let things go.

 

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More than a month later, Dorian and Alise were together again, on their way to babysitting date at Rupert’s house as their friend had calling in an SOS.

 

They both wore casual outfits even though they were still trying to look good for each other as Alise wore her best tight jeans with a ‘Keep Calm and Drink Coffee’ shirt which Dorian had gotten for her while Dorian had snuck into one of his preferred stores to buy a polo shirt that seem understated but complimented him perfectly.

“So I am glad you are enjoying the shirt, you look cute in it even if I know you are not liking to take this sage advice.” Dorian complimented and joked with her.

 

“Ha ha ha, coffee is poison to a sound mind…anyway this you clean up nicely too…and your shirt is that designer..” Alise responded, putting her hands in Dorian’s while using her other hand to feel the fabric.

 

“Emm, imitation. You can find anything in the projects.” Dorian told a white lie.

 

The couple bantered and enjoyed each other’s company but on getting to Rupert’s house they saw chaos.

For older chapters see:

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

 

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