IT IS ALMOST SEVEN
It was the last night of the year. The Town Bar remained open until twelve on the last day of every year. And tonight, just like every other New Years Eve, the place was deserted and somewhere it was evident that the whole town of Ruthford intended to celebrate the night with their families. Although there were a few men on the tables but their presence didn’t seem to add much difference in the scene. The tables and the chairs were mostly unoccupied as if the whole town was on a drinking strike, at least for tonight.
The weather was fine outside and the desolate street made the evening more tranquil and noiseless. Apart from a vacant land on the other side of the road, there were no traces of houses or buildings near that bar which made the spot look deserted and uninhabited. But despite everything, this bar was the only place in the town which was populated most of the times with the New Year’s Eve and Thanksgiving Day being the only exceptions.
The Town bar had a large place to sit and drink. There were some tables on the outside too but all of them were empty tonight. There were more such tables and chairs in the interior as well which could serve a large crowd of customers. But most of them were unoccupied too. There was a counter on the leftmost corner of the Bar. Ten leather back stools with wooden legs were arrayed across the length of that counter where people used to sit and drink. The radiant bottles of wine and whiskies stood idle on that wooden counter . They were all arrayed right beside the place where Jane usually stood. The beers and the liquors were all arranged in the cellar right behind her. But apart from all the alcoholic golds, the place also had other drinks as well for those who weren’t a big fan of the mystical state of inebriation. The achromatic and limpid drinks were placed on the table right in front of her. She always felt an attraction to those clear bottles of liquid rather than the other drinks available in that bar.
It was a Friday evening, and this was the only night in the week which she always adored the most since she joined the bar. She was glad that this was quotidian and no matter how many times this day came back, she never lost a tiny grain of interest. It wasn’t much about the New Year’s Eve for her, it never was. It was more about the evening. Jane worked in this Bar as a bartender for the past two years and even after all her terrible history, she was finally happy as she was able to live her life all by herself. Although, she always wanted to become a writer but as time passed, she soon discerned the fact that she didn’t have the flair with a pen or a typewriter so she gave up on that and continued with the work that she felt was convenient to her , a bartender’s job at the Town Bar. Her friend, Matthew, assured her that she would never have to face any inebriated comments or the pervert stares as he thought her to be too hideous to grab any man’s attention. Although it didn’t sound much like a compliment to her but she was glad that her plain-looks kept her on the safe zone from all those drunken creeps.
Although, she never really liked this job in the beginning as she feared that someday she would run into Bob, her ex husband, but that never really happened and soon she got used to this place. With time the fear expired and that miserable woman turned into a cheery bartender. Although the job wouldn’t seem like a dream job for any woman but she always thought that serving drinks to unknown men was at least better than being tormented by a drunken husband.
Over the years she has started to work on her writing skills but the pen never really stood by her side. Although she used to jot down her thoughts in her black diary but nowadays she didn’t use it that much. She believed that a diary is helpful once you are all by yourself and want something to talk about. It can really be helpful in sharing your deepest and darkest feelings once you are all alone or awfully lonely.
She glanced at the old clock which was right above that aged wooden door in front of her. She always liked the place where that clock was hanged. She felt that it gave her a better field of vision. Although from the past few days, Matthew was talking about removing that piece of antique from that wall and sell it. He was saying that the guy in the antique store was willing to pay him a good amount for this oldie. But recently he stopped talking about it so Jane felt some relief. Every night she would gaze at that round timepiece exactly at Six-Forty in the evening and at seven, that door would unlatch and Charles would enter. He came there every night. Yet, that feeling of a little excitement and thrill never really ran out of her. She neither expressed that feeling on her face nor wrote it down it in her diary but somewhere it hid within her. She felt that time ran deliberately slower when he wasn’t around and it ran terribly faster when he was.
“It is almost seven”. She thought staring at that clock as the minute hand touched nine.