The Valentine’s Day Massacre

It was Valentine’s Day, and this was how the universe chose to wish me a well one.  Perhaps I shouldn’t inflate Ryan Antolini’s hot air balloon-sized ego and put him in the same company as the powers that be… so it’s exclusively Ryan’s fault he showed up at Marlin’s Inn with Ashleigh Hayes, the woman I was supposed to marry.

Ryan, let’s leave.  Ashleigh tugged on his coat sleeve with a weak grasp.  If she truly wanted to leave, she would have grabbed his hand.  I know.

Hold on.  I need to make nice with some new friends I crossed the last time I was here.  She pouted as she threw her arms down, then quickly tucked them into a fold.  Ryan faced her.  All I need is a second, Ashleigh.

I had my back to the bar since their unexpected arrival, facing the expanse of the joint.  At the mere mention of the name, Ashleigh, Kilgore and H.L. emerged from the billiard’s closet, and Hank perked up from his slouch beside me.

Did that sunuvabitch just say what I thought?  Hank turned around as Ryan approached him, and not me.

Old man, I think we got off on the wrong foot.  Ryan extended his hand to shake Hank’s.

Hank wanted nothing to do with it.  That ain’t your foot.

Distraught, Ashleigh rushed toward the restroom sign.  She was crying, and Ryan didn’t seem to notice.  I stood up and slipped away from the pair of stubborn pompous fools.  They continued to ignore me as I headed also toward the restroom sign.

I’m trying to make a peace offering, Ryan explained, open palm still out and up.

You’re lucky, Hank began.  I no longer smoke.  He imitated putting out a cigarette in Ryan’s hand, and I darted around the corner.

The remainder of what happened between those two I’d have to hear second hand, so to speak.  And what happened between Ashleigh and I?  Well, I haven’t quite figured that out myself.

What I can tell you is this:

  • The ladies room in the Marlin’s Inn is way nicer and cleaner that I ever would have guessed.
  • They actually have a couch in there.
  • Ashleigh kept saying she made a big mistake…
  • …but I don’t know if that’s because she left me for Ryan
  • …or because, how can I put this eloquently?

We did it.

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] I sat beside her to console her.  The wreckage and melted steel pacified the bomb.  And she planted her nuclear lips on mine.  The remainder of my weakened frame collapsed and folded upon her.  Yada yada.  As I mentioned before… we did it. […]

  2. […] After Hank stopped me from leaving Marlin’s Inn that fateful Valentine’s Night, no one had much more to say to me.  It was closing in on closing time, and Santiago already shut […]

  3. […] Parting Words Since my recent hook-up with Ashleigh, I’ve been dreaming about her more frequently.  I’ve called her from random phone […]

  4. […] could probably manage to deal with that fact, if not for the face that we had our fling on Valentine’s Day.  If I didn’t drink so much on the day before, I might be inclined to think my pangs were […]


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