“It’s not fair, you know? You give that many years of your life to someone and like a flip of a switch, boom: they’re gone! Just like that. Hell, he didn’t even bother to say goodbye. Didn’t call, didn’t text. I came home and his things were just gone,” the woman droned, head low hovering between two tequila shots. When she glanced up at me, her eyes were glazed over like wax paper and her speech slurred while the clock chimed in at barely past five thirty. “I did everything and he still left me. Cold son of a bitch.”
“Look, I’m not the person to lean on, lady,” I said, pouring enough ice in my tone to effectively kill the conversation. I kept my eyes on the door, the sunset sky filling the windows with a rush of sorbet colors. Only one bartender paced the hardwood floor parallel to the line of patrons in varied states of drunkenness. Shrugging, the woman next to me went back to her salt and lime.
“You two would probably get along great,” she snorted. A fit of laughter shook her heavy shoulders, her attempt at an insult much more humorous to herself than me.
Rolling my eyes, I pushed away from the bar stool and headed for the back. Two men played pool in the furthest corner, arguing over who would buy the next round and a table of happy-hour cougars laughed while they shared a pitcher.
A turquoise door loomed up a short set of steps, the word PRIVATE scrawled in black paint at eye level. Smiling to myself, I twisted the handle and pushed hard.
(six miles across town)
“You know, I find it really funny-”
“No, no, no. Don’t you start. Absolutely nothing you’re about to say will be even remotely categorized as ‘funny.’ I don’t need you down my throat right now, I have to go,” Cade said. A dark bag lay across the back of the couch, light enough for him to grab with one hand. A tiny brunette stood directly in his path, screaming while randomly picking up and throwing small objects around the living room.
“Cade! This is serious. You walk out that door and I swear I will not be here when you get back,” she shouted. “For once will you just talk things through with me instead of making me feel like I’m going crazy?”
The shrill ringtone of a cell phone cut between them, further infuriating the woman blocking the door. Cade answered, all at once grabbing the bag and planting a kiss on the woman’s forehead before dodging his way out the door.
“Keep her there. I will be there in five minutes,” Cade snapped into the phone, leaping off the porch. “I don’t care. Find a way.”
(black truck across the street from the bar)
“That’s him now. White Jeep coming around the corner,” one voice murmured.
Both men in the darkened pickup cab watched as Cade sauntered to the back of the bar, a duffel bag thrown over his shoulder.
“I got twenty on the chick in the Louboutins,” the other said, holding his hand out.
Shaking his head, the first declined the handshake with his middle finger.
“Hate to throw Cade under the bus but our boy ain’t got shit on her.”
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