You're moving to California and Abe is coming too and if your mother wants to light a candle for your lost soul that's the biggest church wedding she's ever going to get out of you. The apartment cleaners are coming tomorrow and your SCDP career ends tonight, so you spin your cocktail glass in your fingers and laugh at a genuinely funny joke from Stan before adding one of your own ("I have to catch them, you see-- they're like comets").
Joan couldn't make it to the bar tonight because, well, baby, but that's okay, since you emptied yourself of all meaningful words today, and tonight/tomorrow will be a lush buffer between goodbye and goodbye, until it shudders down on you on the plane and Abe will hold your arm just above the wrist while your hands clench.
"We might follow you out there, someday," Don says, waiting for Megan to fetch her coat.
"Well, then you'd be following me," you smile, not thinking of midnight phone calls from California and falling asleep against retch-stained shirts, and it's miraculous how companionable this feels when both of you have your turrets up (no one is ever going to build better, stronger walls than Don does).
There's a light press against your back, where dress meets shoulder-blade, and when you turn around Pete offers to buy you a drink. He's in a sport coat and a black sweater, and his cologne smells too -- caged, not enough alpine, but perhaps that's just your senses bleeding from you at this hour; if anyone squeezed you too hard, you'd drip slogans and watercolors all over the gleamy banquette.
You order a daiquiri and Pete gets a whiskey sour, and he pulls the yellow umbrella from your glass and flings it between the two of you on the bar-top. There are stools, but both of you stay standing.
"I heard about the engagement," he says. At your confused frown, he adds, "Your girl surmised."
"It's not really formal," you say, splaying your bare fingers on the bar. "As soon we get settled, we're going to a Justice of the Peace."
"Well." His hand tightens around his drink, but he doesn't take a sip. "Congratulations, Mrs. Olson."
"Isn't it 'best wishes'?" you tease, right into his eyes (there was a time when looking at Pete was like looking at the sun, and now it's like looking at the moon -- it's all light, just reflected).
Pete's lips quirk. He raises his hand to your elbow, thumbing the crease along the inside. "Congratulations, Peggy."
A tight scofflaugh bubbles from you, and you dry the toothpick end of the yellow umbrella from the bar and fold the umbrella neatly into Pete's chest pocket. His hand is on your waist and you're sucking your stomach in and the music is reeling and in the morning you'll be fine, but he won't ask you to dance and he won't ask you to stay. "I want you to have everything good, Pete."
Pete smiles, and there's the moon, one last time. "So do I."