The Dreams of a Suit

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: October 10, 2016

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Submitted: October 10, 2016

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 The alcohol burned on its way down, and I grimaced. The bartended gave me a look, chuckling.
 “You good there?” He asked, his chuckle slowly fading. I nodded, and took another sip. Another grimace appeared on my face.
 “I’m not used to the hard stuff.” He laughed at my response.
 “Then why would you order it? We have beer here.”
 “Beer won’t do the job,” He looked at me, and then shook his head, laughing. He topped off my drink and walked away. The warm embrace of alcohol was beginning to take hold on me. I felt very tired all of a sudden. I wasn’t used to drinking this strong of a drink at all. The last time I had was in college, since then I’d settled down, and gotten a five to nine. My cubical was my home, and the only place I could trust to stay constant. My relationships had all crashed and burned, and it was hard to admit to even just to myself that I was lonely. Maybe it was the loneliness that made me want to drink. I didn’t actually know why I was drinking. I looked into my half-empty glass, wondering what I’d done wrong. I’d had so many dreams for my life. I was gonna travel, and know the world I lived in. I was gonna be a doctor and save lives. I was gonna marry a model and have gorgeous, intelligent kids. I guess every dream tarnishes after awhile. I gulped the last of my drink and stood up. Grabbing my work bag, I laid a twenty on the counter. I began to walk out, hoping a walk would clear my mind. I pushed passed the other people who were either on dates, with friends, or drinking away their sorrows. I eventually made it to the door, and opened it into the cool October night. I breathed in the air, and began the walk home. Walking alone, I wished I had someone I could talk to, a friend or something. The only other people around were the bums in the allies, either burning trash or sleeping. I remembered my childhood friend, and wondered how he was doing. From there, I just let my mind wonder, not even paying attention to where I was going. I didn’t notice the city start to get darker around me, as I went into the park. I walked underneath one of the many bridges in Central Park, to lost in thought to see the man slip behind me. His voice cut my train of thought in two.
 “Drop to your knees, and don’t you dare scream, because I’ve used this gun once and I won’t hesitate to use it again.” I obeyed his orders, dropping down, and keeping my mouth shut.
 “What’s a suit like you doing in the park this late?” He asked, referring to my attire.
 “Uh, I don’t know…” I said, my voice trailing off, going back to my thoughts. He scoffed, and looked around.
 “You got money on you?” He asked gruffly. I nodded, and handed him my wallet. He went through it, taking whatever he pleased. When he was done, he threw it on the ground next to me.
 “You never saw me, and I’ll let you live, you sorry sack of shit.” He walked off, leaving me on my knees, lost in my thoughts. One stood out among the rest, even though it was just a tiny little voice.
 “What do you have to live for?” It asked harshly. It got louder as it repeated this over, until those words filled my head. “Of course I couldn’t kill myself,” my brain said. The voice quieted a bit, and I stood. Forgetting my wallet, I began walking again. I left the park, the voice still telling my what I should do. Cars were going down the street, none of those peoples seeing me. I found my way to an old, empty building. My body was moving without thought. I went up the steps, robotic almost. The doors had been covered with thin ply wood. I pulled it away from the doors, and opened them. They groaned loudly, and dust floated out. I slipped past the doors, leaving my work bag behind. The old floors creaked under my feet as I walked, looking around gingerly. The floors were smooth with age, and the wallpaper was peeling, showing the ugly grey walls. The building was like me, beautiful in the beginning, but dulling with time to be dreary. I began to walk up the stairs, stepping lightly in case they weren’t stable. They groaned under my weight. I went up to the roof, testing each step before planting my foot on it. When I got to the top of the last flight, there was a door. I tested it, but it didn’t budge. Putting more force into it, I tried again. Still nothing. I, then put my shoulder into it. Wood cracked, and the door flew open. I stumbled out onto the roof. The voice in my head came back, loudly yelling that I should jump. Listening without question, I went over to the ledge of the building. I calmly stepped up, and stood there. The world became very quite. The wind whipped at my hair. The noise of the city was just a faint background to the warfare inside my head. One voice was begging me to step down, the other wanted me to take one more step. I stood frozen, like a statue, not knowing what voice to listen too. A third voice spoke up, a familiar one.
 “I told you that we served beer.” It took me a moment to realize it wasn’t just another voice inside my head. I turned, and the bartender from the dive bar was standing in front of me.
 “I was bringing you your change, but you just kept walking, so I followed you here,” he gestured to the roof.
 “Oh, I also picked up your wallet and work bag, you really shouldn’t leave things like that behind. Someone may try to steal it.” He set my bag down on the roof.
 “Now, tell me, how did you get here?” I shrugged my shoulders, and he sighed.
 “C’mon, nobody just stands on a roof wondering if it’s worth jumping or not without a good reason, so talk.”
I stepped off the ledge, and sat with my back against it. The bartender sat next to me.
 “Lemme guess, judging by the suit, you’re stuck in a dead-end job and wonder what happened to the future you were promised.” I nodded, surprised at how well he summed it up.
 “You feel cornered, alone, like you’re job is the only constant thing in your life. Am I right?” I nodded again. I was almost shocked at his intuition; he seemed to be telling me my life story.
 “Yeah, I’ve been there, bout 5 years ago. I quit my desk job one day, and went and saw what I wanted. When I got back from a year abroad, I got my bartending license, and opened my bar. Never had an issue since.” I understood what he was saying, that I couldn’t just cop out and decide that my dreams wouldn’t come true. 
 “Let me get you a taxi somewhere,” he said, looking towards the sky as the night started to fade into morning. I nodded, at let him lead me downstairs. Once we were back on the street, he hailed a cab.
 “Don’t ever jump,” he told me. I nodded, and got in the cab. The bartended handed the cabbie the twenty I had laid on the bar.
 “Take him where ever he needs to go.” The cabbie took the money, and the bartended walked away. The cabbie turned to me,
 “You heard him, where ya wanna go?” The words that come out of my mouth made more sense than anything in my life,
 “The John F Kennedy International Airport.”


© Copyright 2017 Catori Foster. All rights reserved.

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