“Hit me again please Kev!” I yell at the bartender, holding up my empty beer glass and waving it in the air.
At this point, I don’t care what anyone thinks of me. I am simply done. I am done with my family. I am done with myself. I’m just done.
I’ve come to know the bartender’s full name whilst drinking away my sorrows, which happens to be Kevin David Butler to be precise. I have declared him as my new best friend, although he doesn’t appear to be sharing my same level of enthusiasm.
How long have I been here anyway? I’d say at least two hours.
I don’t want to risk walking in on my mother and Michael clearing things up.
Kevin glances at me, wiping over the bar as he does. “Don’t you think you’ve had enough Skye?”
I laugh at the wall. “No! I am perfectly perfect! I am completely sober. Ask me how many beers I’ve had Kev, ask me! Go on!” I straighten up, trying to act soberer than I feel.
Kevin exhales, clearly not in the mood to be dealing with an afternoon drunk. “How many beers have you had?” he plays along.
I try to count on my fingers. “Five. I’ve had five.”
“What about the one you’ve got in your hand right there?” Kevin queries, motioning towards the glass I’m currently cradling.
“Oh. Six then,” I correct, “I’ve had six beers.”
“But you want me to pour you another one, which would make it seven in total?”
“Well done Kev! You’re a lot cleverer than you give yourself credit for.”
Is cleverer a word? I don’t think it is.
Kevin grimaces, shakes his head and attends to another customer further down the bar. I stare solemnly into my empty glass, eyes drowsy. I’m not drunk out of my mind yet, but it won’t be long before standing on my own two feet will become an issue.
I wait for Kevin to come back and serve me, but he doesn’t.
I glance around the lifeless pub, only to find a few punters hanging around. Two older men are having a game of pool. Another man is staring into his cup, looking just as miserable as I am. One guy is sitting on a chair closest to the toilets, mouth open, cap over his head. Everyone else might assume that he’s watching the TV, but he has definitely taken a nap and I’m not far behind myself.
I take my phone out and start browsing on Facebook. I end up on Grayson’s profile page. We never got around to adding each other, so most of his posts are hidden and he only has a couple of photos.
I flick through them and notice that he definitely likes to take selfies. The last photo is Grayson in his High School graduation gown and Michael is right beside him, both of them delivering happy smiles to the camera.
That feeling of uneasiness is back again. Stronger this time.
Oh. I have a message.
Rory - Skye, where are you?
I’m in a pub called the cracker. I’m having a cracking time LOL!
Rory - Don’t go anywhere. I’m coming to get you.
I twirl around on the bar stool and receive some odd looks from people that have just walked in.
You’re always coming to get me Rory. How heroic of you.
Rory - How much have you had to drink?
Too much. But Kevin said that I’ve had seven. I’m soberrrrrr but I’m also a bit drunk
Rory - Why are you always getting yourself into these situations?
Because that’s what I do. I mess things up.
I really need to burp. I type, clicking send before I can think about what I’m saying.
Rory - I’m on my way now
Don’t bother. I’m about to fall asleep.
My phone tings again but I shut it off and lower my head onto the counter. My hair falls around me and I take slow even breaths, giggling to myself.
I must lose consciousness at one point, because when my eyes flutter open, I have to wipe away some dribble from the side of my mouth.
Where is Rory? He said he was on his way. Has he forgotten about me? Maybe I’m losing my mind.
“Skye, I think it’s time you went home,” Kevin says, looking me over.
“Kev! I didn’t think I’d ever see you again!” I cry, trying to wrap my arms around him and falling short when I grasp at thin air. It’s so good to see a familiar face.
“Where did you go?”
“I’ve been here the whole time,” he reveals, with a hint of agitation.
“No you haven’t!”
Kevin places both hands on the bar and leans forward. “I’m going to ring for a taxi, alright? You have clearly outdone yourself for the night.”
I watch him move towards the phone.
“You’re so good to me Kevster! You’re the best friend I never had!”
Kevin turns his back to me, talking to the person on the other line. I let my head roll back, trying to gain more control over my tired limbs that don’t cooperate.
I pick up a placemat and keep flipping it around, wondering how I’m going to walk after this. I don’t think I’ll be able to put one foot in front of the other or remove myself from this bar stool.
Kevin is back again. “The taxi will be here in five minutes,” he says, just as the pub doors burst open and Rory comes charging towards me, scooping me into his arms.
I giggle at his entrance, but he isn’t amused by any of this.
“What am I going to do with you?” he demands, his breath raspy and hurried.
I raise a hand up to pat his cheek and run a hand through his windswept hair. It feels so soft.
“You have such a pretty face,” I tell him.
His eyebrows rise. “Okay… that’s not really what any boy wants to hear, but I’ll let that slide, since you are completely off your face and don’t know what you’re saying.”
“If I could put your face in a frame, I totally would.”
Rory chokes down a laugh and says, “I’m truly honoured.”
“You’re welcome. You have perfect skin and those lips aren’t too shabby either.”
“Alright, I think it’s time we got you home,” he says, moving us towards the exit.
Kevin is quick to shout, “The taxi is coming kids. Do you want me to cancel?”
Rory turns slightly. “No, a taxi sounds like a good idea actually. I don’t think she’s going to last much longer.”
Rory was right about me not being able to last any longer. As soon as we pile into the taxi, I fall asleep on his shoulder. I cuddle into Rory’s jumper, his strong arms holding me steady against him.
I jerk forward when the taxi pulls up on a curb and the driver tells us we’ve arrived at our destination.
Rory comes around to my side and helps me out. I place a foot on the ground and wobble, causing Rory to react quickly. He grips onto my hand and pulls me into the house, helping me out of my shoes and coat.
I try planting a kiss on the side of his lips to show my appreciation, but I’m pretty sure I just kissed his chin, or maybe it was his ear. My vision has gone kind of foggy.
“Come err,” I demand, putting a short distance between us. “I want to kiss you,” I moan, sounding like a needy child.
Rory shakes his head. “No kissing tonight. You have no idea who I am right now.”
“Yes, I do! You’re Rory Keaton! And I like you. I like you very much,” I blurt, reaching for the back of his head to pull it forward. He’s much stronger than I am and barely moves an inch.
“As much as I would love to kiss you, I am getting you into bed and making sure you’re safe.”
I flutter my eyelashes at him. “You can take me to bed any time Rory. I wouldn’t mind.”
Rory rests his forehead against mine, swallowing hard. “You really shouldn’t say things like that to me. It’s not helping.”
“But it’s the truth. You are one sexy human being… a beast of a man.”
This gets his attention. He breaks away. “Did you just call me a beast?”
“Right. Now, I definitely need to get you upstairs. What have you been drinking exactly?”
He picks me up and I squeal in his arms. He carries me bridal style up the staircase and into my bedroom, where I’m lowered gently onto the mattress. I stretch my body across the linen and encourage him to join me. He remains rooted at the headrest and watches me basically writhe about like an injured seal.
He grabs the covers and places them over me, keeping my arms tucked under the blanket, in case I decide to reach out for him again.
“Oh gosh, is she alright?” I hear a small voice ask from the doorway. “How did she get in such a state?”
It’s my mother. I instantly tense up, since she was the reason I got drunk in the first place.
Rory is telling her something, but my eyes close and I find myself drifting away. Before I lose all awareness, I’m sure I feel a pair of lips touch my forehead and Rory’s velvety voice say, “I’m sorry.”