"Where are you going?" Chrissy asked as I was heading out towards the door.
"Back to the Beagle," I said as I turned around to face her.
"What are you going to do? Drink?"
"No, I'm going to exercise!"
"Don't be sarcastic! Why won't you stay in for the night? Janet just fell asleep and what if what she's been through tonight gives her a bad dream? You can't leave me alone to deal with that!"
"I'm a man. The last thing she needs is a man to look at right now."
"You're Jack, though. She knows Jack."
"Yeah, that's why I'm going to the Beagle. I promise I'll just have a few beers and come back."
"Yeah," I said as I finally left and gently pulled the door shut behind me.
The sounds of Janet almost being molested and the sight of him trying to push himself on top of her took the breath out of my lungs. I gagged as all the wind shot out of my body. My Lord, Janet was the one going through it. My poor Janet, she had to have been so scared. I'll never forgive myself for not believing Chrissy at first. Where would Janet be right now if not for Chrissy's intuition? I need a drink.
"Back again?" Jim the bartender asked as I hustled back in the bar.
"Yeah," I said as I hopped on the stool furthest away from the window. "I was going to order a beer, but I want a shot of whiskey."
"Janet had a date gone wrong. I'm not going to say anymore."
He poured my whiskey and never took his eyes off me. He was concerned but I could tell he wasn't going to push the issue further. He handed me my shot and watched as I downed it like a madman.
"Yikes!" I screamed as my throat burned.
"Doesn't feel as good as you think it would."
"How about a beer?"
"Sounds much better."
Nothing else was said around that time my beer was poured. I was thankful that a group of non-regulars walked in with some complicated drink orders so Jim's attention could be taken off me for a while. I had already finished my beer by the time the group got set up and settled in.
"Want another?" He asked.
"I should, but I don't want to. I feel so bad for Janet that I don't even want to look at her."
"You really care about her, huh?"
"Yeah," I said, confidently. Maybe it was the alcohol but I just really needed to get some truth off of my conscience. "I mean, Janet; I don't feel about Chrissy the way I feel about Janet. I mean, Chrissy is sweet and she's sexy, but that's a girlfriend. I mean, Janet's sweet, too, she really is, but she's...different. You know? I see her soul and her heart and I don't know what to do about it. A girl has never made me pay attention like that. It's not even been a year, but it seems like I almost can't imagine my life without her. I want her to stay. What do I do?"
"You're right," I said as I got up and handed Jim a twenty. Funny, with everything I said, that twenty is what made his jaw drop.
"Keep it," I said as I made my way home. I felt so much lighter. It's shocking what alcohol can do. I walk into the apartment and find Chrissy still up. She was on the sofa reading a magazine.
"Is she still sleeping?"
"Yes, please don't wake her, Jack."
"I won't," I say as I peep into the bedroom. By some sheer miracle, there was a smile on her face as she slept. I want to kiss her so bad but I dare not disturb whatever is making her happy. I'll go to bed with the wishful feeling that she smiled because I came home.