Read the last part of this story here…
He checks his phone, its twenty past ten and Mary-Belle still hasn’t contacted him. That usually means that he will not see her that night. That means she is with him tonight, as she is most nights.
Jack rolls a cigarette and considers their relationship. He doesn’t enjoy being the other man, but for a woman like Mary-Belle he is willing to suffer until she can leave her husband. The man is a brute, a slob, an ignorant pig. Jack has never met him, of course, but he can just imagine him from what he hears from Mary-Belle, and from those words he knows that the man doesn’t deserve one ounce of that woman. Mary-Belle is a pure hearted angel, a kind, sweet woman. A woman like that does not turn to infidelity with ease. He knows she must have had her spirit crushed to force her into something so wrong. It gnaws at his soul to think she has to hurt herself in this way.
He drags deep on his cigarette and stubs it out, half smoked. He can barely breathe without Mary-Belle at his side, it drives him crazy to think of her sleeping with her husband, that he might have his hands on her, what poisonous words crushing her.
He knows he can’t sit in his flat all night, trashing these feelings pulsing through him. He gets up, grabs his keys car keys from the hook and walks out the door.
He makes his way to a bar, and orders a beer. Jack likes the bar, there is blues music playing softly from a jukebox in the corner, it is sparsely populated, their is a couple in a booth in the corner, holding hands across the table, and a group of three young men talking quietly over their drinks. The lights are low and none of the people take notice of Jacks entrance.
After ordering his third beer, the bar man begins to make conversation with him.
“You like this song, pal?” Jack slugs on his beer and listens to the gravel throated man crooning through the speakers.
“Howlin’ Wolf, is it?”
“Yeah, brother. You a blues man?”
Jack asks the bar man if he smokes, and the bar man smiles, showing clean white teeth. Jack laughs.
“I guess thats a no then.”
“No, pal, I never smoked in my life. Never will either. Never saw the appeal. But if you ain’t got nothin’ to do tonight, we will be closing up the doors soon enough, and you can smoke on in here.”
Jack raises an eyebrow. The barman smiles.
“You talking about a lock in, sir?”
“I sure am, if your up for some whiskey drinkin’, and some blues listenin'”
“I’m your man for that job. Whats your name?”
“Finn is my name. Just don’t let them young fella’s catch wind of it.” He nods towards the table of three young men, who have moved from beers to spirits, and are slowly getting drunker and louder.
Jack winks at Finn and goes outside for a cigarette.