Jason Marchant is a new author currently still in school. Jason is a Georgia native but has lived all over the US. Jason has been a member of the USAF since 2009. Jason currently does his writing stationed in Hawaii living with his family.
Well, that took a turn.
The brief flight from the bar door to the parking lot wasn’t all together bad. The landing, in the rough gravel, was less pleasant.
“Learn some manners before you come back in here again, kid,” said the bouncer.
Carl had been having a pretty decent night for a bit there. Nothing a black eye and bloody nose couldn’t cure though. That could have gone better. Sitting up in the lot, getting his bearings straight, he heard a horrible crunch. Not my phone. He reached into his back pocket and took out the remains of his phone. Not getting a cab out of this place now. Home was only a few miles away. He really didn’t want to walk.
“Having a rough go of it, buddy?” said a man in a pick-up truck nearby.
The adrenalin from the fight was wearing off. The lack thereof coupled with the booze from before cropping back into Carl’s brain, he couldn’t quite make out the man’s face. “Yeah, you could say that.”
“Got someone coming to get you,” said the man. “Or do you need a ride?”
“My phone got busted and I don’t think my ride is on speaking terms with me right now. I am just off Pine. If it isn’t out of your way?”
“No trouble at all, hop in the back. I’ll take it slow.”
Well if he is an ax murderer it’ll stick with the theme of the night at least. Carl got into the back of the pick-up with less grace than he would have liked. Propping himself against the cab he asked, “What’s your name, man?”
Handing Carl, a bottled water through the window, “Oh, I am,” the engine backfired as the man answered, cutting him off.
“I’m Carl. Thanks again for the ride. Do you know the way?”
“Sure do, I am not too far past that way myself.”
They were on the main road now and only picked up a little of speed. The breeze felt nice to Carl. A small comfort at least. He watched as the bar faded in the distance, eventually taken over by the night. I messed that up.
“Well, Carl what is on your mind?” said the man. “We don’t have to talk if you don’t want. Just don’t want you dozing off back there with that nasty lump on your head.”
Understandable. “Just thinking about how I could have handled that better.” Ducking would have been nice. “This girl I met a while back, Jess. She has a boyfriend that is a real tool. Never met the guy but for a split-second tonight, that’s just what she said about him. She has been seeing me on the side for months. Told me she finally left him. I guess he didn’t get the memo.”
“By the state of your face I’d imagine not. I’ll wager he showed up then?”
“You’d win that bet. Didn’t see him come in, not that I know what the guy looks like anyway. I kiss Jess and take a swig of my beer. As I’m putting down my glass, I suddenly get a closeup of his class ring.”
“He shouldn’t have done that without knowing what was going on. What did you say his name was again? I might know him.”
“Mike, I think it was.”
“That would explain you getting thrown out even though he started the fight. He is a longtime patron there.”
Just my luck. “That probably didn’t help me, but I got kicked out for a better reason than that.”
“He only hit me the once. I am the one that lost my temper and made sure it was a fight. I should have known better seeing Jess behind his back like that. Bound to be trouble eventually.” Silence passed for the last moments of the drive.
The man made the last turn, finally arriving on Pine. “This is your stop, man. What do you plan on doing about the girl? If you don’t mind me asking.”
Hopping out of the car looking down the road towards his apartment, “I don’t think I will be seeing her again any time soon. I don’t like being lied to.”
Starting to drive off, “Probably a good call. She played us both for fools,” said Mike. “Nice right hook by the way. I’ll buy you a drink sometime.”
Well, that took a turn.