Why did I come here? Mark thought as he surveilled the room from the bar.
Apart from the fact that they all looked 10 years older, they have never really changed. The same cliques continued. Only now, Mark was alone.
He swirled the whiskey resting in his left hand, rousing his unsettled mind. He blinked, changing his focus from the dancing silhouettes of heads before him to the old fashioned glass in his hands. Writer’s Tears, poured over ice. The last time he had this particular drop was two years ago when he finished his first novel; a coming of age story about a boy learning the painful art of breakup. ‘Truths’, he called it.
Mark drew in a deep and satisfying breath. The air was thick with sentimentality as the usual suspects began to form before him.
Oh look, over there, that’s Sally. She still thinks her head is filled with diamonds, but they were really filled with rocks. A pity. She was his first.
And there were the nerds by the window, casting glances into the abyss beyond it. Shuffling feet and braving the social world. As always.
And near the TV was the boys club, currently watching Friday Night Football while attempting to catch up. Each pinching a stubby by the neck, pinkies curled in.
Oh, and there was the power couple, Peter and Caitlin. Every school has one. It was inevitable for them to get married; they were inseparable by the end of year 12.
Actually, there were few couples here, each holding onto old classmates or kissing fresh faces. The worst of them was Andrew, caressing some pretty blonde bimbo in the middle of the room. Why did our friendship end? Mark pondered. He took a drink of his whisky, slowly tilting the entire contents into his gaping mouth. The bruised liquid screamed as it cascaded down his throat. Mark perked up. Oh that’s right, he remembered, that pretty blonde bimbo was once my wife. Divorced me over a button. Well not exactly, she divorced him because he loved his writing more than he did her. The button was just the straw. A broken thing that needed mending, and she couldn’t do it anymore. Why bother? When she called quits, she ran to Mark’s then-best friend Andrew for comfort, and, well, that’s that as they say. That’s life. That’s the way the world ends, with nothing more than a whimper. Just like the depressing success of his first novel. He had finally made it, no thanks to anyone.
Mark sighed through his nose, turned back to the bar and ordered another whisky on the rocks. He watched the bartender as she proceeded to pour his drink. When it landed in front of him, he threw a 20 on the bar, plucked up the glass and turned to face reality.
“Excuse me, fellow classmates of Angel Pine High,” he projected to the crowd. “I’ve a confession to make.”
The crowd hushed and viewed him with apprehension.
“My name is Mark and I’m a recovering alcoholic.”