"Jonessss, you - you have to tell me."
"Tell you what?"
"Howd - howd - how do you do it?" My speech is slurred around the edges, and I can't seem to help it. And - are the chairs moving? I know what the people think, but I am NOT drunk. Nor am I a loser. Out of luck, maybe, but that will surely change soon enough.
Jones - good old Jones. He has the sweetest wife in the world. We used to work together, and lived in houses less than a spit apart from each other. I must have known him all my life. We met in the street while I was on my way back to the place where I am staying - it's only temporary - and he was heading home. And he invited me. "Come on, just a drink or two. For the good times."
And we drank. And we talked. And we drank some more.
Strange, isn't it; two guys, two lives, and how everything can turn out so different. I'll admit - these thoughts stagger through my head while I am drinking my beer - I'll admit I was a bit jealous. He always seemed to have everything. Married his highschool sweatheart. Drove a new car. I married Sarah when she got pregnant, and the kids drained all our money away. We both went to work - we thought we were happy at the time - and got by not too bad.
When you have so much in common, you can't help but becoming friends. Sometimes it was awkward (especially when we were doing things together as couples), but I didn't mind too much. I had Sarah, he had Jessica - well... I never told him. No good might come from it anyway.
Anyway, one day all our money was gone. Sarah must have stashed it away. We fought, we got a divorce. These days, the kid crosses the street to avoid me when she sees me coming. I bet she told her friends that her Dad is... well, dead. Never mind. It's all just temporary. I'll get back on my feet, pay our debts, everything will be alright. Maybe we'll move to another town, start over again.
Jones looks as me as if he expects something more. He has this soft smile on his face that women can't get enough of. It looks a little bit sad.
"You really do want to know." It's not a question, it's a statement.
"Easy enough. I copied your credit cards. Changed your adress. Spent all your money. Did you never wonder why you wouldn't get the bills?" He takes the time to empty his glas. The words take some time to settle in my brain in a way that makes sense.
I turn around and stare at him.
"What??" Jones puts his glas down on the counter. "It was too easy. With all the things you were buying, you never kew how much you were actually spending anyway. And I had much better use for it. Consider it a kind of...", and he stresses the word that follows,"REIMBURSEMENT."
"Rembussment?" My tongue is much slower than my brain.
"For your sleeping with Jessica. Or did you think I didn't know?" He puts some money on the table and turns to leave the bar. "I think we're even."