Inspired by: Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues
Reggie Seward sat in a bar in Juarez. He has been sober for several months, but today his strength was being tested.
“Can I get a glass of burgundy?” Reggie asked.
Reggie held the drink in his hand and stared at it. He had been sober for 57 days. Every day he orders a drink and stares at it, wondering if today is the day he’ll slip.
“Two beers, please.” A young woman ordered from his side.
Her angelic voice snapped Reggie from his daze. He turned to look at her, but it was she who recognized him. She looked stunned to see him on the other side of the continent.
“Excuse me, but are you, Reggie Seward?”
No one had used his name in weeks. He traveled the country using an alias and skipped town when he attracted too much attention.
“Uh, yes. I’m sorry, do I know you?”
“I don’t think we ever met, but my boyfriend, my ex-boyfriend, used to work for you. He showed me a picture.”
“I had a lot of employees. I ran a massive conglomerate.”
The bartender placed two beers in front of Sadie.
“His name is Ein Quin. I think he drove you around. You bought him an apartment.”
“Ein! That must mean you’re Sadie.”
“He told you about me?”
“Of course. What a small world. What are you doing in Mexico?”
Sadie picked up the beers and indicated for Reggie to join her and Tiffany at a booth. Reggie left his drink behind.
“Tiffany, this is Reggie Seward. He’s from Beacon, and Ein used to work for him.”
Reggie and Tiffany exchanged pleasantries.
“What are you doing down here, Reggie? Scouting new business opportunities?” Sadie asked.
“I’m afraid my professional life is over. I can’t stomach it anymore. Creating a business from nothing to have money-hungry shareholders carve it up and sell it for scaps.”
“So, this is like your retirement?” Tiffany asked.
“I suppose so. It started out as a bender, and then I fell in love. Then she left me, and I’ve been wandering. Trying to figure out how to keep going.”
The table was silent for a moment.
“I guess we’re all unlucky in love here,” Tiffany said.
They told each other about their love lives or lack thereof. Sadie and Tiffany continued to drink more beers while Reggie abstained.
“I have a crush on a mechanic in Kentucky,” Sadie said, slurring her words a little.
“Oh my gosh, you do? We should go find them! Oh no! Is that why you wanted to drive around the Midwest? Did I cockblock you? I am so sorry!”
“It’s not not why I wanted to do it, but I was in a relationship, and I couldn’t admit it even to myself, and this is the first time I’m saying it, and she’s going to be going to Beacon in the fall anyway, and I don’t want to seem crazy showing you at her shop or something.”
“If you think there’s any connection with this mechanic, you should tell them. Go as soon as you can. Don’t let your brain get in the way. You’ll regret it, trust me.”
“Yeah, Tiff, let’s go!”
Sadie tried to stand up in the booth, and it didn’t work.
“On second thought, get some rest and go tomorrow.”
“That’s a better idea,” Sadie said, resting her head on the table.
“I’ll take care of the bill.”
Tiffany helped Sadie up, and they stumbled to their hotel room. Reggie took care of the bill. Alone in the booth, he made plans to return to Beacon too.