Daytime Drinkers

by Anthony Keers

I finished work for the day at 1:30pm, earlier than expected. This was a rarity, as I usually finished at 8pm every night. The job I did was boarder line criminal. My main role was to sell products over the phone to anyone that dared answered. It was a real no holds bar job. My boss informed me that we needed to use whatever means necessary to sell these products to the masses. From hardcore heckling, to hellish harassment, they did it all, and I hated it. The idea of selling products that people don't need, to people who have no money always played on my mind. But I guess I had to do it. I made my way out of the office and headed towards my car. I wasn't in the mood to go home, sit, and watch daytime TV. It usually depresses me. I decided to head to Vincent's house. Vincent was a close friend of mine, who worked from home most days. As it was a Thursday, I assumed he would be in, so I got in my car and drove.

I arrived at his house and pulled up onto the curb. The fact that his car was on his drive, reassured me that he was in. I walked up the drive and entered the house. His office was situated to the left of the front door and a few feet ahead. He was sat, bolted upright on his office chair, gazing into his computer screen. I walked in and sat down on the sofa behind him.

"Well?" he questionably asked, with his face still starting straight. "How the hell are you?"

"Huh?" I replied. My mind was still visualising the torture from the previous hours.

He casually got up out of his chair and picked up a bottle, secretly hidden next to his computer desk. He un-screwed the top and poured the contents into two half-pint glasses. He handed me one of them.

"Homemadea present from a guy in Germany" he said.

I picked up the bottle and sat back down on the sofa. The glass was dark and had a thick white label wrapping around it, with black writing reading "Cherry".

"What percentage is this?" I asked.

"Never you mind" He replied, "Just drink it"

He sat back down onto this chair and faced the computer screen once more. I took a sip. It was warm and fruity. I could hear him muttering about the fact you could really taste the grapes, and I suppose he was right. I sank further into the sofa, loosened off my tie and took another sip.

"I'll be with you in a minute, I've got to finish this and send it off for 5pm today"

"That's ok," I said.

I got up, downed the rest of the cherry out of my glass and placed it onto his computer desk.

"Fantastic!" he shouted, "Done!" He poured two more drinks, then downed his own. I followed in suit, although this time, I couldn't taste the grapes.

"Have you eaten today," He asked.

"No, my work day finished before I could go to lunch"

"Right, I think we should go to town, take a look around and then head for some lunch. What do you say?"

I looked down at my glass to see if there was any more residue of the cherry left to drink. There wasn't. I looked up and nodded. He thenquickly turned off his computer, grabbed his jacket and we headed out the door.

We started drinking in a place called Public, which was situated in an area called the southern quarter. I bought the first drinks in, and we sat down around the bar. I didn't like the place. The southern quarter had often been associated withbeing the most fashionable place in the city and this bar was no exception in gathering a judging crowd. But we maintained our heads and carried on drinking. We ordered two more pints, and the bar tender obliged. The drinks kept coming as long as we kept paying but we soon found ourselves low on money. Vincentneeded some fresh air so he made his way outside. I still had half my pint left and I took my time drinking it.

I stumbled out the front doors, whilst carrying Vincent's camera on my back. Once out, I looked around for him but he was nowhere to be seen. I looked across the road at a restaurant called dough, and saw him smoking with a fat, bald headed middle-aged man. I walked over towards them.

I heard that Vincent was trying to insight a conversation with him aboutthe man'staxi, which was parked up just in front of them. But he wasn't interested; he seemed to be too preoccupied with eyeballing the customers eating inside. I thought he must have been hungry.

"Come on, let's get another drink," I said to Vincent. I grabbed both his arms and pulled him away. He kept on asking questions to the man, even after we departed.

We walked down the main street of the city, glancing at the packed bars. They werefull of the happiest people, the daytime drinkers. Tables and chairs were all spread out in front, with crowds of people standing near them like vultures waiting to swoop down on any vacancies. We decided to go to aplace called source, which wasa cheap movie themed bar. It wasn't a very attractive place to drink, but we needed to hydrate. We sat down on two bar stools and ordered our drinks.

"These are our last two" I said. He nodded and we both began to drink them heavily.

On the way out, Vincent had decided to make him known to a couple sitting outside. He softly approached a man from behind and placed both hands onto the shoulders of him, and quite clearly, without hesitation said,

"My friend asked me to give you this"

He slipped the man a small piece of receipt paper from behind that was folded in half. The man looked stunned. His conversation with his partner abruptly ended, and they were both quite clearly, silently alarmed by our presence. He nervously smiled at his partner and looked down at the piece of paper in his hands. At first he chuckled at what it might be, but that all changed as soon as he opened it. He slowly looked up and starred at my face.

"Is this a joke?" He asked.

Confused I answered, "No, no, I have no idea what he gave you"

I took a step back from the table and looked at Vincent. He still maintained his grip on the man's shoulders. What ever Vincent wrote, he had seriously offended the man in the space of 10 seconds. His eyes glared into mine and I noticed his fists were slowly starting to clench.

"Listen you little shit!" he shouted.

The distressed woman opposite put out her hands to try and diffuse the situation, but this was to have no luck. Vincent made his way to the side of the table, and placed both hands onto the edge of it. He bowed his elbows till he was eye level with the man. He smiled and asked, what was his answer. Now furious, he suddenly stood up. Vincent lurched backwards to minimise the risk of being attacked but couldn't control his arms. He knocked over a wine glass that was perfectly placed in front of the woman. Wine spilled on to her and dashed to every inch of the table, covering all items in its path. The man didn't care about his unfortunate partner, he wanted revenge. He locked onto Vincent and furiously tried to grab him like a shark attacking its prey. But he was trapped between the tight layout of the tables and chairs around him. Frantically, he tried to manoeuvre his way through the maze and gain enough space to launch his assault against us. Luckily he failed. We quickly walked away from him, and like a caged animal we left him there. Upset, distressed and utterly insane with anger.

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