Deep Waters

"I don't know, pal."

 

The bartender refilled the empty glass, the same he's been doing for the past twenty minutes. A man across from him, almost drunk, was the only other person in the entire bar. The man took the glass, swallowed the liquid in one swift motion, and motioned the bartender for another cup.

 

"Ricky," said the bartender, "I know the situation may be really hard on you, buddy, but you can't just give up. You have a family depending on you. Whatcha gonna say to Sara? Or Emily? Or Becca?"

 

The man tried to wipe his tears without being obvious he was crying. "Oh, Martin, you don't understand. You don't have a wife and two girls who are depending on ya, while you're looking for a job. At least you can just wait here, polishing cups and pouring whiskey into glasses and get paid for that."

 

"True." agreed Martin, refilling yet another cup. "But life isn't easy. It ain't like your momma, watching out for ya, paying for ya. You either get up and get going, or you..."

 

"Say it, Martin." Ricky's face went slack, reaching for the refilled glass. "I just can't seem to find meaning in life no more. Becca's been getting all worked up with me lately, saying what was I doing, just sitting on my *ss and lollygaggin', while the bills are stacking up. I wish we were back in the days when we were happier and all, but the good ol' days seem to have gone."

 

"Then find new ones!" exclaimed Martin, popping another bottle of whiskey. "You don't have to be drunk to feel happier. I mean, I heard Remsville is an opportunity to those who ain't got jobs."

 

"I tried." Rickey replied despondently. "Seems like it was just a rumor after all. All the good ones have been taken and the trashy ones don't pay for sh*t. Latterton is filled up too."

 

"Well," the bartender said, handing another glass to the depressed man, "ever applied for a loan?"

 

"I did some time ago, and I'm waist up in debt. I can't seem to pay it back." The man slammed the empty glass on the counter, frustrated at himself. "Look, I think I'm just gonna give up. I ain't got no hope, I ain't got no future! The women can take care of themselves, and the world is better off without some useless guy just wasting up the air. Eat and sleep is all I ever do! I'm just gonna give up!"

 

"Well, looky here, Ricky!" the bartender snapped, jerking Rickey out of his drunken state. "Sorry life isn't working out for ya! To me, you're just another one of my customers complaining about their sorry, sorry lives! You can go kill yourself, but what good will that do? I've been trying to cheer you up and find some solutions, but you just keep going about you're so poor! If you're finding pity, then go find it somewhere else! I've had it with you!"

 

Silence was in the bar, not a word spoken for a few minutes. The bartender, for once, stopped refilling and passing glasses to Rickey, and Ricky, for once, stopped rambling about his sorry, sorry life. 

 

Finally, Ricky got up. 

 

"You're right, Martin." Ricky's eyes have changed. They were full of nothing just five minutes before, but now, they twinkled with newfound energy and hope. "I can't give up! God gave me this life for a reason, and I'm gonna find that reason. I'm off to a new start. I'm gonna find a job, raise my two daughers, and be happy!" His voice was full of enthusiasm. "I'm gonna live!"

 

He turned and was ready to leave. "Thanks, Martin, for talking with me."

 

Martin nodded. "You're welcome, Ricky, anytime." 

 

Rickey headed up for the doors and saw the sunlight pouring in from the glass. He was reminded that the sun, no matter what happened, rose for a new day every day. He, like the sun, was going up for a new day. He was going to find his reason to live.

 

He was about to open the door when Martin spoke up. "I'm sorry, buddy."

 

Ricky, confused, turned around to face Martin. "Whaddaya mean, Martin? There's nothing for you to be sorry for. I'm changed now. I'm gonna be outta my debt and raise my family and be happy and all. What's to be sorry for?"

 

The bartender pointed at the empty whiskey bottles that Ricky had drank during the entire conversation. "You may be changed now, but you still owe me all those bottles you have drank. Sorry, I know that you're in a lot of debt, I have to feed myself too."






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ArtsyAuthor This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 16, 2016 at 4:51 pm
Sorry for switching with Rickey and Ricky. I should've checked it three times...
 
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