Chasing Vivi(130)

By: A.M. Hargrove

He interrupts my musing and says, “But that’s not the only reason.”

“What else?”

He holds something up between his fingers and thumb. “Well, holy cow. Now I do know what that is.” It’s a black American Express. Imprinted on it is Weston M.C. Wyndham, V. “Yeah, this dude is definitely Mr. Money Bags. Did you check out his name? So what’s he doing in a place like this? Not that my place is a dive or anything.” And it’s not. But it’s not what you’d call a high-class club, either.

“Who knows? Maybe he decided to check it out for something different.”

“Okay, I’ll give you that. But most people have a drink or two. They don’t get completely plastered and pass out on the table.”

“True. So, what should we do?”

“Did you check him for a wallet or a driver’s license?”

“Yep, nothing except the AMEX, a key fob, and a big wad of cash,” he says.

Releasing an exhausted sigh, I make a decision. “Take him to my place.”

He shakes his head. “Spesh, you can’t do that. He isn’t a stray cat.”

“Right, but I live the closest.” In the building next door, in fact. “And what are our other options?”

“It’s not safe,” Jeb insists.

“Oh, like he’s gonna attack me in this state?” I point at the heap of drunkenness.

Jeb chuckles. “Yeah, I guess when you put it like that.”

“Besides, I have his black American Express and his watch as collateral. I do know how to take care of myself.”

He eyes the guy for a minute. “Oh? How’s that? Are you going to use your vast martial arts skills on him?”

“Okay. No use in being sarcastic. I’ll pull out my biggest kitchen knife and threaten to kill him.”

Jeb cocks his head. “Oh, really? What if he happens to turn that knife on you?”

I hadn’t thought of that, but I’m not going to let Jeb know. “Come on. He’s not a killer. He’s a drunk.”

“Just for the record, I’m not a big fan of this idea. Knowing you as I do, I won’t talk you out of this though.”

“Meh, he’ll be fine on my couch.”

“We could just leave him in here,” Jeb says.

“Not a chance. With my luck, drunk dude will wake up and try to break himself out of here. Then I’ll have that expense and mess on my hands.”

“Make him pay.”

“That’s not the point. Who will I get to fix it on a Sunday?”

“Yeah, I didn’t think of that. Your landlord would be mad as hell too. What if he wakes up and goes crazy on you in your apartment?”

“I’ll lock myself in the bedroom and call 911. Come on. Help me drag his dead ass to my place. I’m tired and need some sleep.”

“Okay, but if this goes badly, you call 911, you hear?”

“I’ll do worse than that. I’ll karate chop the motherfucker in his balls.”

Jeb shakes his head. “Such a comedian.”

Getting a tall—at least six feet—drunk, and very solid man out of the bar with hardly any help from him is not easy. He does walk, but his legs keep giving out and we have to poke and prod him like we’re driving cattle. By the time we get him situated on my couch, I’m worn out.

“Jesus, that was the most difficult workout I’ve ever done.” I wipe my sweaty brow with an arm.

“You and me both,” Jeb says. “He has to weigh two twenty. Solid as a rock.”

“Help me get his boots off and you can leave.” We tug and tug until at last his stocking feet peek out at the end of his jeans. I wheeze from the effort. It’s weird that he wears work boots, but I don’t mention it to Jeb. “Thanks for the help. You need to get on home. I’ll see you on Monday.”

Jeb leaves with a warning in his eyes and I nod. “Don’t worry. I’ll lock my bedroom door and call 911 if I have to.” I slide the deadbolt behind him and head to the shower. The bed is yelling my name. As soon as I finish, I throw a blanket on plastered Weston M.C. Wyndham, V, and head to bed. Since the bar is closed on Sunday, I usually sleep as late as I want. I don’t move again until the sun is high in the sky and my room is bright.

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