Don't make the mistake I did. Don't laugh at what I say. I was young once, too and I felt the same as you. So I put off the offering. And while I was waiting somebody else came along with a lot of smooth talk, and that was the end of Bill Malloy.- 43-
Bill Malloy was not a heavy drinker. Then again, who was compared to the likes of Sam Evans or the prestigious Roger Collins? They were outliers and really should not be counted. But Bill wasn't fond of drinking anything stronger than Maggie's black coffee on a regular basis or perhaps a glass of Jameson once every three weeks if the mood struck. If he ordered two, why half the Blue Whale's hair would turn white.
But tonight. Tonight, Bill ordered one drink. And another. And another. And yet another. When Bill ordered his fifth within an hour, Bob the bartender nearly dropped the glasses he was drying.
"Another, Bill? You sure?"
"A-yup, Another one. Worried I'll stiff ya on the bill?" Malloy chuckled, but it was a bitter, dry sound.
Bob's face scrunched up a bit, "No, no, of course not but...it's a bit much, don't you think?"
Bill waved him off, glass in hand. "Nonsense. I can hold my liquor better than most people here, Bob. Another Jameson please." And he slapped down a few dollars on the bar.
Bob's nervous tick didn't seem to go away as he poured and re-poured.
Seven shots in and Bill was seeing triple but asked for one shot more.
"Bill, I—" Bob stuttered and snatched the glass from Malloy's hand. "I can't in good conscience give you another. Why don't ya go home, Bill? Whatever's bothering ya, it can't be anything that that housekeeper of yours soup can't fix."
Bill grumbled at the suggestion, hand still in the air holding nothing but the memory of a shot glass. "Home? No. Not yet. Can't go home," his words were strung together in a drunken mumble and a few other bar patrons were starting to whisper to themselves. They were all fishermen, all Collins employees, and all under the orders of one Bill Malloy.
And there's something about watching your dependable level-headed boss drink himself silly that doesn't sit right in the gut.
One fella at a nearby table spoke up.
"Well, you don't have t' go home, Mr Malloy. But y' can't stay here," he insisted, and started rummaging through his pockets. "I'll call you a cab, okay?"
The man cursed as his fingers found nothing of value and he fumbled, looking down and patting his clothes. He only stopped when the door to the Blue Whale slammed shut. Bill Malloy was gone, and it seemed damned foolish to try and stop him
Bill could've headed towards his car, carefully parked outside the bar and waiting. But even drunk he wasn't an idiot. He'd walk, thank you. But rather than heading down the road toward his home, where no doubt a warm meal and shower was waiting for Malloy turned on his heel and wobbled in the opposite direction.
He was heading to Collinwood. Liquid courage would see him through.
This whole situation with Young Joe Haskell and Carolyn and Burke Devlin and whatever the hell Roger Collins and Sam Evans had to do with it had been eating at him enough to get him onto that bar stool. But it was another member of the Collins family that got him off of it. A much more personal situation that had been slowly but surely eating at him since he was a youngin.
He waited too long back then. And he has waited too long now. Damn it all. He had enough of waiting around.
Life was far too short anyways.
He was going to get it off his chest even if it killed him.