I pulled my car into the parking lot spot of La Push's only bar. I parked my car and got out. I entered the place and went straight to the bar.
"Hey Sammy, the usual?" the bartender, Embry asked me.
"Yeah thanks Embry. How's business tonight?" I asked as he poured me my whiskey.
"It's good, damn old man, if I didn't know better you should have had alcohol poisoning from all the damn whiskey and alcohol you drink."
"Hey I've been doing this for years, I'm surprised it hasn't killed me either," I cracked a smile and grabbed my drink before heading over to a table to sit down. I sipped on my drink as I watched the dozens of people walk by trying to enjoy their night. Then he walked in; the guy I've been waiting on. I watched him walk to the bar and sat down on a stool and ordered a beer.
He looked down at his left hand and sighed. He took a swig of his beer and set it back down. He grabbed the silver band around his left finger and pulled it off stuffing it in his pocket. I took a sip of my whiskey as he took another sip of his beer. Soon he turned to the young lady to his right and started to flirt with her.
I shook my head in disappointment. I've been watching this guy enter the bar for the past two weeks and taking off his wedding ring before he tried to pick a girl. Fortunately for him, he hasn't succeeded in taking them to some cheap hotel to mess up his life but it looks like he'll score tonight. I watched them talk and flirt around for an hour before the young broad got up to go use the ladies' room.
I got up from my seat and walked over to the bar and took a stool next to him. He downed the last of his beer and I turned to him.
"Hey young man, what's your name?" I asked. He turned to me and gave me a skeptic look.
"It's Jacob," he said shaking my hand.
"Nice to meet you."
"Yeah, so that's a really nice girl you got there."
"Uh yeah I guess so."
"How about another drink huh? On me."
"Oh no thanks, I'm actually leaving."
"Oh come on, you know how girls are in the bathroom. They take forever." He chuckled and nodded his head.
"Alright, I'll take another drink."
"Great, Embry give this young man another beer and pour me a whiskey."
"You got it Sammy," Embry went to get our drinks ready.
"So Jacob, where's the ring you had on last night?"
"I don't know what you're talking about." He quickly ducked his head.
"Oh come on Jacob, I know you're married. I've been watching you for the past two weeks. Every night you come in here and take off your ring only to end up going home empty handed."
"That's creepy that you've been watching me."
"I know but it was for your own good."
"Okay this is really weird, I think I'm going to go now." He got up to leave but I put a hand on his shoulder to stop him.
"I'm going to give you a piece of advice. Man to man, I understand that wedding bands getting heavy sometimes but don't cross that line."
He looked at me weird and crept out but took a seat anyways.
"I've been there; trust me it's not worth it. I've sat just where you are and that's the reason why I'm here every night in this bar."
He seemed to be listening to me now.
"Her name was Emily; she worshipped me like a god. I remember she use to be the light of my day, the one thing that kept me grounded and happy in my life. Then one tragic day I lost my anger and I ran to this bar. I told myself that I was fed up with her bullshit and that I was done with her."
He nodded and took another gulp of his beer.
"Our son was three and now he's twenty five." I turned to look at him in the eyes.
"He doesn't even know that I'm alive." He looked sad at that fact.
"I'm sorry," he replied looking away.
"I think of him all the time. I hope that he didn't turn up to be like me. I hope he made a living with his life and had a family that he loves and will sacrifice his life for. I wonder sometimes if its worth looking him up to see if he wants to connect with his old man. But then I quickly realized that he's better off without me and that he probably doesn't even want to know me."
"Anyways my point is Jacob that you spend one night and then you spend years in that shadow of regret and anger and you're all going to be alone with those emotions. So Jacob don't do what you're about to do and lose yourself like I did."
Just as he looked up to me, the girl he was talking to came up to him.
"Hey are you ready to go?" she asked putting her hand on his shoulder. He smiled up at her and nodded. He looked at me and then got up to follow her. I shook my head in disappointment. I actually thought that I got him to not do it. I didn't realize he stop and took a look at me. He turned to the girl.
"I'm sorry but I can't go with you," he said to her while taking out the wedding ring in his pocket. He slipped it on and showed it to her. She looked angry and stormed off. He walked back towards me and put a hand on my shoulder.
"Hey, I happen to know that you're son is indeed looking for you," he said to me. I was shocked. Did he know who I was? He took out his wallet and put some money on the bar. He turned to me and showed me a picture.
"That's your boy Nathan right?" he asked pointing to a boy in the picture. I took out my wallet and grabbed the only picture of him that I had. I put it right next to his. They were the same boy.
"Nathan's an old friend of mine. We used to go to school together on the rez. His mom Emily took that picture on picture day." My eyes tear up as he told me the story.
"We we're the best of buds. One day he came to school with red and teary eyes. I asked him what happened and he told me his daddy ran away." I let tears roll down my face and I quickly wiped them away.
"He promised himself that day that he wouldn't turn out to be like his dad. I'm having dinner with him tomorrow. I'm sure he'll be happy to see you," he scribbled down his address on a piece of paper and handed it to me.
I took it from him and smiled through my tears.
"Thank you Jacob."
"No, thank you Sam. You helped me realize that Bella's all I need in this world; nothing else." He shook my hand and left.
I shook as I looked down at the piece of paper in my hand.
"You found you're son." Embry stated from behind the bar. I nodded and smiled.
"Yeah, I found my son."
AN: inspired by the song When the Smoke Clears by Due West. Let me know what you think :)