Day 286 – Meditation in the Backwaters of Outer Space – Part 6

Word count: 685

It had been three weeks since the incident of the accidental one-night stand and the fallout that would occur when Jack’s brother and newly appointed sister-in-law returned was dawning on Jack. Regina would no doubt inform Emma and Emma would discuss it in great detail with Bill and they would both go on the phone trying to tell Jack what to do about it and to maybe give it a chance with Regina. The fact was that Jack would rather date Rich than go out with Regina. Though no definite contact had been made, he had received four or five text messages from an unknown number explaining to what degree of a horrible human being he was. Jack did not need more than one brain cell to figure out who they had come from.
Still, three weeks without hearing from his brother was good. It was peaceful. He felt like an only child and there were no snobby noses looking down on him and trying to persuade him to get a career or change the way he lived. In the time since the wedding he had achieved quiet a lot. He had rearranged his wardrobe and ironed some of his clothes. He had even changed his sheets. At work he had been given a slight raise because he had managed to sell a bunch of cheap wine to some tourists for double the price of what they normally sell it for. It was all good fun. Summer was soaring strong; work was a laugh; life was fun and light-hearted.
But the day that his brother would be coming back home was returning. Jack was beginning to dwell and it was for that reason that he was balancing on the end of the bar with a scotch whisky on the rocks.
“Cheer up chuck,” Dan said cheerily. Jack did not Dan that much, he was far too uncynical and cheery about everything. It unnerved Jack.
“I can’t. It’s too soon. I need time to think; time to plan…” Jack said, vacantly staring at the rest of the whisky bottle as if it were a mirage.
“You’ll be alright. I’ve met your brother a couple of times. He’s not that bad – quite a lovely chap if I remember rightly.”
That cemented Jack’s opinion of Daniel completely. He was new and just getting to know everyone. Jack had confirmed that he need not know any more of Daniel.
A heard of gazelles trampled down the stairs and Tom, the pub owner and Jack’s boss, appeared in the doorway behind the bar in what appeared to be great distress.
“Betty? Has anyone seen Betty?” he stammered, clearly an inch from tears.
Betty was his wife. They had been together since they were both nineteen and had ran off to Gretna Green to get married. They had no children together and were now only a few years away from being fifty. Jack felt like he was Tom’s surrogate son for Tom had always treated him well.
“No, why what has happened?” Jack said, matching Tom’s concern.
“The bags… the wardrobe…. Gone… It’s all gone. Empty. Nothing left? Just a note… I can’t… I can’t read it.”
Tom brandished a folded over A5 piece of paper in his quivering hand. Jack leapt off the bar and swooped down and took it.
“Oh god,” he said involuntarily. She had written to Tom to explain that she had left him for another man and told him that he must not blame himself and that she will contact him in a few days to talk with him further.
“What does.. what does it say?”
“I’m sorry Tom. I’m sorry…” Jack read what the later said and gave him a big man-hug when he had finished it.
“Here, have some whisky,” Daniel slid a glass down to Tom.
“Jack, Jack you must do me a favour, you must” Tom said after downing the glass in one. “You must, you must, please, would you?”
“Of course, Tom, anything for you.”
“You must find this bastard for me, and ring his neck, right? Ring his fucking neck.”

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~ by S.G. Mark on July 19, 2012.

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