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Posted: Nov 22 2007, 03:50 PM
Member No.: 2
Joined: 18-November 07
In the bar. Again. This was getting to be a habit Romeo wasn't sure he could break. No one ever sat with him; it was like there was an invisible fence between him and everyone else. He missed Mercutio like a hole in his heart, but his brother might as well be dead. Reconciliation, at this point, seemed impossible.
Two beers, then three. After each order he'd tell himself he was going home, but who was he kidding? No one there but his grandmother, and her constant unasked for advice was getting on his nerves. Plus, he hated that stupid bird. Maybe a dog would be a good idea after all . . .
"Hey," said a voice and Romeo looked up, then stood up, backing away.
"Relax," said Puck. “I'm not armed.”
“Last time I saw you you killed me,” Romeo reminded him.
“Last time I killed you you were holding my best friend's woman hostage,” Puck said with a shrug.
“So what do you want?”
“Just thought you looked like a guy who could use someone to drink with, is all.”
Romeo just stared at him.
“Guess not.” Puck shrugged again and turned to leave.
Puck held up his hand to the bartender. “Two more.” He sat down in the booth Romeo had just vacated, and Romeo, warily, did the same.
“What do you really want?”
“Nothing,” Puck said. “I hate to drink alone.”
Romeo said nothing, playing with the label on his beer bottle.
“So I'm guessing, you’re here for your health,” Puck said. “Me, too.” He looked around the dingy bar. “Nice place. Very soothing.”
“Don't you feel, I don't know, guilty?” Romeo said, looking at him.
“Haven’t done anything to feel guilty for,” Puck admitted, accepting his beer from the barmaid with a smile. She smiled back flirtatously before leaving them alone.
“Not really,” said Puck, but didn’t elaborate.
“You look like heck.”
“Thanks,” he said, touching a cut on his lip. “Chivalry, in case you were wondering, isn’t dead.”
“Figures a woman was involved,” Romeo said, taking a swig of his beer.
Puck smiled. “What better reason? So, how’s life treating you?”
“Peachy. I’m going to be a father.”
Romeo took another swig.
Puck didn’t say anything, just ordered another beer.
“Can I ask you a question?” Romeo said after a while.
“No one’s stopping you.”
“How come everything seems to come so easy for you?”
“Simple,” Puck said. “Clear conscience.”
“Ah. So, in other words I’m screwed.”
Puck laughed. “Pretty much. But there’s something to be said for angst.”
“Yeah. Chicks dig it.”
Romeo laughed, possibly for the first time in months. It felt good. “I have no idea what I’m going to do,” he said, mostly to himself.
“About the baby?”
“If it were me?”
“I’d take the high road.”
“Marry the girl,” said Puck. “And forget about Eliza.”
Romeo stared at him.
“Oh, come on, Romeo, you think I can’t read you? You’re hopelessly in love with a girl who will only bring you misery. If you like that kind of thing, then go for it. But if it were me, that’s what I’d do. That’s all I’m saying.”
“It’s not that easy.”
“Sure it is,” said Puck, standing up and tossing some money on the table. “You just need to decide, mate. Do you want to be happy or conflicted for the rest of your life? Once you know that, the rest is easy. See ya round.”
Romeo sat staring at his empty bottle of beer for a long time after Puck had left.