He looked at his somber reflection on the old mirror stained with age and neglect. A short, gaunt man in a loose-fitting black suit stared back at him. He flattened his disobedient hair that was thinning anyway and straightened the lapels of his borrowed suit.
As he was about to go out he saw the solitary frame picture on the nearby wall. It had been taken fifteen years ago, on the last day of his schooling. The three of them stood in front of their school, grinning at the camera. There he was, thin as ever, flanked by his best friend and the girl he liked – who coincidentally would go onto marry his best friend four years after the photograph was taken.
He was the first to ask her out. She had declined him politely and with a lot of grace. She told him that she had fallen for his best friend. They all remained friends afterwards. But, from then on, he was a specter, a silent shadow in the background as their relationship bloomed. He was the best man at their wedding, and the Godfather to their son.
Now, his best friend had died in a freak accident at work. He smiled ruefully at their younger images and walked to the Church for his friend’s funeral.
His breath caught in his throat on seeing her – a black-clad angel of beauty and sorrow. She flew into his arms and he held her as she cried her heart out. He held her hand as they lowered the coffin into the grave, tousled the unruly curls of their son, kissed the cheek of his best friend’s mother, said his goodbyes and walked back home.
His shirt was still damp from her tears and his palms warm from holding hers’. He walked into the local bar and ordered himself a gin and tonic. It felt surreal to him – his best friend, a 6’5” specimen of good health and vigour was no more. Fat help all the strenuous workouts did to him.
He felt sorry for their son, a mousy little runt. He vowed to spend more time with his Godson.
But first, he had to do something. Something, he had wanted to do for a long time. He looked around the bar. There were very few in, less than ten. He pulled out his wallet and counted the notes inside. Satisfied, he called out loud
‘This round is on me, friends. Drink up! Cheers!’
He would celebrate the bitch’s misfortune today.