Funny, the interrogation room seemed a lot bigger than I’d imagined it would be. The police officer, Officer Buck, handed me a cup of coffee and sat down opposite me. I cradled the cup of warm liquid and watched as he flipped through what I assumed to be my file. Looking at me, then down at the papers, then back at me he grunted and flipped the whole thing shut. “You’ll have to excuse me; I’ve been up for a while. Uh, Mr Kheschlavesh?”
“You can just call me Mike,” I humored him.
“Mike, why don’t we start from the beginning?”
“It’s kind of a long story,” I offered. The officer smiled and nodded in encouragement. I sighed and began my unfortunate tale. “It all started in a bar.”
I’d been laid-off for the better part of a year; filling out application after application with no luck I decided to take a day off and go to the bar. About a half passed noon the door opened and in walked a young girl, a teenager in her wildest dreams. This was a little concerning, why would a kid be in a bar? But the bartender was already walking over to see all about it, so I shrugged and turned back to my beer. I heard voices then scuffling. “Wow,” I thought. “Girl must really want to grow up fast.”
I felt a hand on my shoulder that spun me fast, bringing me face to face with the young girl. Definitely pre-anything, with short deep red hair offsetting her long cream trench-coat, she looked like an anime character – not that I know what that is mind you. Gripped my shirt she smiled in a way all-together unbecoming of her age. I had just enough time to look over her shoulder to spot the bar tender acting as a floor ornament before the young lady punched me in the nose.
“Wow.” The waitress said as she poured me more coffee. “And you have no idea why she hit you?
“Nope.” I mumbled, slouched at the counter. “At that point everyone else noticed what was happening and dog-piled her. I split as soon as I could and ran here.”
“Wow.” She said again.
“Oww…” I shuttered, adjusting the ice-pack the cook had given me against my nose. “She looked like she was five. A fetus. A fetus decked me.” I said in sad realization.
“What’s the problem bub?” An older gentleman, with a marvelous beard of rare white, seated himself next to me.
“Why didn’t you go home after the bar? Why go to a diner?” Buck interrupted.
“I don’t know,” I shrugged, honestly without a clue. “I just didn’t think about it. Anyways, so this guy asks me, “what’s wrong?” “Troubles with a woman,” I said.
“Ah, I understand bub. Love always had a way of tripping me up too.” The man chuckled and pounded the counter with his wooden palm. The waitress promptly fetched him his own cup of coffee.
I straightened from my weighted position and stared at him. “No, “bub”, love has not tripped me up”, I said with more sarcasm than necessary. “I don’t even know the girl.”
“Really? Well…” The scruffy man scratched his beard in confusion, then drew up a sly smile. “You old dog!” His bellowing tease accompanied a slap on my back. “You’re so good with the ladies you don’t know what to do! Let me give you some advice –”
“I don’t know her! I don’t know what she wants, but something tells me punching random strangers who haven’t done anything wrong their entire life is not how she woos them!” The waitress stood behind the counter, watching us go back and forth with amusement.
“Well you never know. This gal got a name?”
The pain rippling across my face had yet to give way to improvement. “I’m sure her mamma gave her one but I’d be damned if I know. We skipped formalities.” The heat of the coffee burned my nose as I tried to drink. I was sure the little girl broke it.
Somewhat subdued, Santa, as I have since come to know him as, pulled out a small flask and dumped the contents into his coffee. Downing the whole thing in one go he quickly ordered another cup. He then started to sniffle. “My wife –”
“No,” I threw my hands up. “No. We are not going down this road and I refuse to become your best buddy because that is exactly where this is going,”
The bell to the door rang. Everyone turned to see the most beautiful woman alive walk in. I would have liked to know her better. Too bad she shot me.
*Note: I’m super excited about this project. It’s an idea I’ve held onto since high school (feel the oldness!) and am finally setting into motion. This isn’t something I’ll be updating consistently but rather periodically whenever inspiration hits. I want this to be an ongoing story that spans a very long period of time, possibly years. A story that never ends one could say, but builds and changes over time.