Category Archives: Jim Harrington

Saving his Marriage

Tony sat at a corner table, his fingers laced around a glass of water and watched the man traverse the room. He wore a grey suit, blue tie and brown shoes; and except for the limp, the man looked like a basketball player. He sat in the chair to Tony’s right, the one facing the door.
+++++“How long you been sober?” the man asked.
+++++“What makes you think I’m an alcoholic?”
+++++“Who else would sit in a bar with a glass of water?”
+++++Tony spun the glass in his hand. Stared at the water. “Three months, twenty-six days.”
+++++The man saw Molly crossing the room and waved her off.
+++++Tony raised his glass and smiled. “I’ll have another.”
+++++“You like her,” the man said.
+++++“She’s my daughter.” Tony spun the glass some more.
+++++The two men sat in silence while Molly deposited a full glass on the table and took the empty. She smiled at Tony. She didn’t smile at the man.
+++++“I got stuff to do,” the man said. “You want to hire me, or what?”
+++++“My wife is cheating on me.” Tony’s tone was as flat as a club soda that’d sat out all day.
+++++“And you want me to find the guy. I charge one fifty a day, plus expenses.”
+++++Tony lowered his hands into his lap while the man watched Molly slide a quarter in the jukebox. After a few groans from the relic, Hank Williams’ voice filled the dusty air.
+++++“Not exactly,” Tony said. “I know who it is. A friend saw them coming out of the Super 8 in Smythville.”
+++++“How long has she been cheating on you?”
+++++“Four months and thirteen days that I know of.”
+++++“So why am I here?” the man asked.
+++++“You ain’t figured it out yet?” Tony shook his head. “Man, you’re stupider than concrete.”
+++++“She’s your wife.” The man looked toward the door. “I didn’t know.”
+++++“Now you do,” Tony said.
+++++Before the man could make a move, a gun burped under the table and a bullet enter the man’s gut. He raised a bloodied hand as a second bullet joined the first. His hand dropped like it was weighed down. His shoulders slumped, and his torso bent to one side.
+++++Tony walked to the front of the room and placed the gun and a Benjamin on the bar. The bartender put the bill in his shirt pocket and the gun under the counter.
+++++“I’ll see everything gets taken care of, kid.”
+++++“Thanks, Uncle Frank. See you around.”
+++++Tony nodded three times to Molly and left the bar to go home to his wife.