Ago.22

How come could nobody remember it?

There I was, seated on that uncomfortable stool in front of the bar resting my arms on it holding a half full glass of alcohol. The smell of the smoke of the cigarettes and the blend of beer and tequila had started to make effect on me. I had been there for a long time, in that pub, I didn’t know how much but I knew that it was a long time, it was dark by then and the night had fallen. I was staring at nowhere, gazing into the distance with a sad look in my eyes, but nothing mattered, I just couldn’t stop thinking about that question, only that question; How come could nobody remember it?.

I could hear the mariachi background music, Vicente Fernandez sounded in that old jukebox but I wasn’t paying attention, I just kept thinking. “I thought that I had a lot of friends” I said to myself but it seems that I was alone; I could expect it from everybody, everybody except she, why didn’t she realize it? Why didn’t she remember it? Maybe I was wrong, maybe I was a bad person and I deserved it, maybe I had to change, but how? I didn’t know how to change; I didn’t even know what I should change. Maybe I was getting drunk and I had started to lose my mind, but it didn’t matter, nothing mattered. How come could nobody remember it? I took another swig of my tequila.

The place was almost empty, of course it was Wednesday, nobody goes to a pub on Wednesday, nobody needs it… well I did. There I was, wearing my better clothes; polished brown moccasins, tight jeans, plain brown shirt and my new brown leather jacket beside me. There was this guy, a fat bad tempered man with untidy hair who was seated on the other corner of the bar, he wore a dirty white unbuttoned shirt and he had an eye catching necklace hanging on his neck. He was drinking a beer, smoking cigarettes and eating peanuts. I could even hear him chewing those peanuts in his mouth. There was also another man who was dressed up with a black suit seated on the table next to the jukebox, just behind me. I didn’t even know if that man was still there, I only saw him when I got into the bar ...a long time ago. How could I miss the barman, that man who had been keeping me company the whole evening, even if he only stood there cleaning glasses with a white cloth and watching a soccer game on the TV, but it didn’t bother me, I didn’t want to talk with anybody, I wanted to be alone. I mean ...How come could nobody remember it?.

The next song in the playlist of jukebox started, it snatched me a smile, it called “El Abandonado”. A tear streamed down my face but I immediately dried it, “Boys don’t cry” I thought. I looked at my cellphone one more time looking for a missed call, an unread message, anything, I mean maybe someone, maybe she didn’t forget but… there was nothing. I looked at the clock; it was late, it was 11pm, time to go home.

I turned my head and saw the barman; he was still cleaning those glasses. After several seconds he noticed that I was looking at him and he turned around; “One more for the road” I said stuttering with a shaky voice. He left the glass and the cloth on the bar and he grabbed the bottle of tequila, he approached me and filled up my glass; “This is on the house” he said, I glad him with a nod (words didn't come easy to me) and he walked away to continue with his task. I drank the tequila in one shot and I stood up not without leaving a generous tip; “What is money for?” I thought, what money was for if nobody could remember me, “money doesn’t buy happiness”, nothing does, nothing cares… How come could nobody remember it?.

When I was in front of the door after I left the pub I turned around swaying and took a last look, the black suit guy was still there, we saw each other for a while, he rose up his glass of wine and I responded him with a nod again. Then I turned around again and I walked out.

I started to walk on the street, I was down town and the city was so lonely, yeah! it was Wednesday. I usually walk a lot, I really like to look at the sky and see the stars, I usually enjoy it but ...not that day, that day I just wanted to go home. There was an unusual silence on the city and the night was very cold, I could easily put my jacket on but I didn’t, I didn’t care. While I was walking I saw a cab far away, it was an old one I could hear the sound of its engine from one block away, I didn’t mind it and I took it. Once inside the car I gave my address to the driver and he started to drive. I was looking through the window; there was silence everywhere, I could only hear that old engine and the sound of the gearbox in every time the driver made a transmission change. Suddenly he burst in to the silence; “Bad day, uh?” he said, “kind of” I whisper. I guess that he understood that I wasn’t on the mood to talk because he stayed quiet the rest of the trip.

When we arrived to my house I got out the car; “How much is it?” I asked, “thirty-five pesos my friend” he answered. I took out my wallet and I gave him a fifty pesos note, “Keep the change”, “Oh! Thank you, have a good night” he crossed himself and he left. There I was, in front of my house, drunk, swaying, looking for my keys in my pockets. When I found them I opened the door and I got into my house. As I was closing the door I could still hear the cab going away on the street. It was dark so I stumbled on my sofa, I started to feel the wall looking for the switch and when I founded it I turned the light on. Suddenly they showed up, my family, my friends, and she… Yes! She was there, she didn’t forget it, nobody did, they all were there and they screamed at the same time:

Happy Birthday!

 

Writing
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