#42 I’m Free If You Are (500 words)

Inspired by: I Shall Be Free

It had been over a week, and Reggie had called every hotel in Tuscany, Umbria, Liguria, and Lombardy. He would call every hotel in Italy if necessary. Even if just to talk to Charlotte one more time. 

He knew it was meant to be a fling in a foreign city and go their separate ways. Then she took his luggage with crucial documents in it. And the feelings he developed for her.

He spent his days calling Italy and his nights drinking. At first, being hungover every day was tough, but once he realized he could stay ¾ drunk twenty-four-seven, he felt much better. 

He sat at the bar, and the bartender brought him another Paloma. He took a sip and dialed a random number. 

“Please hold for the President of the United States.” A voice on the line said.

“Huh, what? I… wait. I’m looking for Charlotte!” 

“What do you want!?” A man with a whiny new york accent asked him.

“Charlotte?” 

“Ooo, who’s that? Are you looking for a babe? Have I got the girl for you, she’s like 30 something, 5’11”, blonde…”

“Sorry, wrong woman,” Reggie said, hanging up the phone. “I’m done for today, Jorge. Take it away!” 

Reggie chugged his Paloma, saving Jorge a trip and put it along with a hundred dollar bill beside the phone. Jorge returned with another drink and took the rest away.

Reggie left the bar with his drink and wandered around the resort. So far, he didn’t find retirement relaxing. He wanted to explore the world and read about how Jon Fall wasted billions of dollars on his useless tech because only Reggie knew how it worked.

“Out for another stroll Mr. Seward?” 

“Huh?” Reggie jerked around, trying to find who the voice belonged to. “Oh, Esteban. I am, care to join me?” 

Esteban ran the resort Reggie and became the closest thing to a friend Reggie had here. 

“I’d love to.” 

They walked in silence for a bit when Esteban asked, “You know I am enjoying your patronage, and all the bartenders love you, but I must ask, why are you doing this to yourself?” 

“Walking is supposed to be good exercise. Why would I stop?” 

“The drinking, Mr. Seward. It’s non stop.” 

“My mind is clear when I’m drunk. I don’t worry that the only woman I had any feelings for in decades was a corporate stooge who seduced me to get close enough to rob me.” 

“Why would she do that?” 

“Because I would have.” 

“Why didn’t you chase after her?” 

“I don’t know where she is. If I stay here, she can find me if she wants to. I’m beginning to lose faith; it was an accident.” 

“I hope it was, Mr. Seward. And I hope she does.” 

“Me too, and please call me Reggie. I might be here a while.”

“If you’re sticking around, I want to be healthy, so stay for a long time. Will you workout with me, Reggie?” 

“Uggh, I guess.”

Published by einquin

Writing personal exploration flash fiction as well as building the foundations for a comic book universe.

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