Frank was drunk. Julia’s leaving party started at 6 in the office with a glass of champagne for everyone. Frank drank half a bottle.
While some had headed off home to start their family weekends, others had headed over to the bar across the street. Frank hadn’t been specifically invited, but he tagged along at the back and no one seemed to mind. After tonight he would never see her again. For two years he had watched her coming and going. She worked on the floor above him. He had never plucked up the courage to talk to her.
Julia stood with her group of friends – all female. Frank stood across the bar with Colin and Ed. He tried to think of an excuse to move over to join Julia’s group. No matter how he racked his brain, he couldn’t think of an excuse. Instead, he was stuck listening to Colin and Ed arguing about the Mets and Yankees again.
‘Twenty-seven World Series wins,’ Colin said for the tenth time.
‘With their budget they should win it every year. I’d rather support a team with a soul.’ Ed countered.
Frank had heard it all before, with variations. He gulped down his drink. ‘Enough guys, please.’
Colin and Ed stopped and looked at him. ‘Sorry, Frank. Forgot you were in mourning,’ Colin said.
‘So you going to ask her? Last chance before she goes?’ Ed said, looking over at Julia.
‘You know what,’ Frank said, his drunken face turning resolute. ‘I’m going to do it.’
‘Woah, you sure, champ?’ Ed placed a hand on Frank’s chest to stop him staggering across the bar. ‘Maybe you should take a moment to think what you’re going to say to her.’
‘I’m going to tell her what I feel,’ Frank said.
‘Bad idea, buddy,’ Colin said. ‘Keep it light. Make a joke.’
‘Okay, I can do that,’ Frank burped and swayed on his feet.
‘She is looking fine tonight,’ Ed said. ‘Who knew she looked so good when she let her hair down.’
‘I did,’ Frank said.
‘I certainly wouldn’t knock her back.’
‘You think that’s her real hair?’ Colin said.
‘Dunno, could be extensions. She usually has it tied up. Why don’t you go and ask her, Frank?’
‘Yeah, Frank. You could ask her if her hair weave is strapped on tight, because you’re about to take her on the ride of her life tonight.’ Colin and Ed laughed and clinked their glasses together.
‘You guys are pigs,’ Frank slurred.
‘Relax, what are you, women’s lib now?’
Julia looked up and saw Colin and Ed staring over at her. They both looked away a fraction too slowly.
‘You know those guys?’ she asked Pamela, who looked over and saw the two men looking at the floor and sniggering.
‘Not sure,’ Pamela asked. ‘I think I’ve seen them around the office. I have no idea what they do.’
Julia watched as the two men laughed. She wondered what they were saying. The other guy who was with them didn’t look so good. He was swaying and had to support himself on the bar.
‘Isn’t that the cute guy from the floor below?’ Pamela asked.
‘I don’t recognise him,’ Julia said.
As they watched, Frank doubled over, grabbed his stomach and then vomited. It sprayed over Colin and Ed. Everyone in the bar stopped and turned to look. Colin and Ed stood with their arms raised, frozen as the light brown chunky ooze dripped off them.
‘I sure hope there’s a better class of men where you’re going,’ Pamela said to Julia.
‘It can’t be any worse.’ Julia said, turning away.
Written as part of Friday Fiction Challenge, hosted by Simply Marquessa. The challenge is to write a fiction story based on the selected song lyric.
This week’s lyric comes from ‘Chunky,’ performed by Bruno Mars: “…You better have your hair weave strapped on tight…” More details here: “Chunky”