This my entry for @mctiller’s The 24-hour short story challenge
I don’t know where @mctiller gets his ideas, but I’ll give it a try
Jake was deep in his thoughts, sitting on a bar counter, soothing his nerves with a spirit drink.
"The first drink always burns my throat," He thought to himself. Where the hell is Carl?"
He swallowed another sip of vodka. This time, he did not feel the heat left by the vodka in his numb throat.
He was startled to feel a pat on his back.
— Hi, Jake! You're pretty jumpy! Huh?
"My friend Carl always uses his sense of humor to deal with serious issues"
— Tell me about it! What is the reason for the mysterious message you sent me to my cell phone?
Jake finished drinking his vodka in one gulp and asked the barman for another one.
Carl waited until his friend finally decided to share what happened. Releasing a bomb that he never expected.
— My wife is a cat!
Jake took his second drink in one gulp and requested another one.
— Hey! Easy man. Slow down.
Carl signaled to the bartender to indicate that he wanted the same thing that jake was taking.
— It's obvious that women are wild beasts, aren't they? Carl said, taking half of his drink and letting out a big laugh.
— It's not what you think! Angela is a cat! Literally a cat! — Jake emphasized, raising his tone of voice, surprising the other people who drank at the bar.
In the background, a stranger answered: Mine is a bitch! I'll drink to that! And all his companions drank at the same time and broke into laughter.
Carl toasted the strangers from the distance, finishing his drink. And immediately he asked for another drink.
— Let's see. Explain to me in detail what you have just said.
Jake rubbed his face with both hands and began to describe what happened.
— Today is our anniversary. We have been married for more than 6 years. I wanted to surprise her, so I decided to take the day off and dedicate it to her. I went home and I was very cautiously and approached our room to deliver a bouquet of flowers.
Carl nodded his head, giving all his attention
— But the surprised one was me. For a moment I thought it was an illusion. She was on her back and began to contort and curl like a ball then she fell down, her robe covered her whole body. At first, I froze. I got over it quickly and I lend her help, thinking that she had suddenly fallen ill.
Jake closed his eyes and quickly took his drink. Carl did the same and again asked for two more. Jake continued with his narration.
— I was petrified! I lifted her robe and found a cat in her place. Can you believe it!
— Relax, Jake. — Carl answered seriously — What happened next?
— It looked at me with its big eyes, like surprised, immobile. For a moment that seemed to me like an eternity. Suddenly it took a step toward me and I recoiled reflexively and fell flat on my butt.
— Immediately, the cat fled through the window and I ran away down the stairs.
Carl broke into a laugh.
— You are kidding, right? Is this a joke?
— Do you think I'm kidding? I'm in such a nervous breakdown! Jake answered emphatically.
Carl cleared his throat and ordered two more drinks.
— Let's take it easy. We are talking about your wife. The most cordial, reliable, charitable and sweet person I have ever met. She had to have some defect, right?
— And It's for sure, there should not be mice in your house! Carl laughed softly
— You and your damn sense of humor.
— I'm sure she has some logical explanation of what happened. Give her an opportunity. For the love of God, Jake. It's been 6 years living together! You won't throw that away, right?
Jake was spinning his half-empty glass, meditating on Carl's words.
— Are you allergic to cats?
Jake looked Carl confused.
— I remember that your mother told me that a cat made you take your first steps when you were a baby. You didn't walk, you always crawled everywhere, but at that moment you saw a cat for the first time in your life and you tried to grab it and when you could not, you got up in front of everyone and went after it.
Jake remembered the story and drew a smile.
— Let's drink for that, mate. Added Carl
They both took another drink.
— I'm sure she has not stopped being the same person she is. And surely she has not stopped loving you, otherwise, she would not be sitting for more than an hour on the other side of the bar, waiting for you to decide to talk to her.
That last sentence surprised Jake again.
— What have you said?
— You heard me very well. She is waiting for you. And for her face, she is a little worried, I guess it's about what you're thinking about her in this moment and also because of the number of bums that abound in this bar and who have tried to invite her a drink.
Jake frowned, annoyed by what he just heard.
That made Carl more reassured, seeing that Jake still cares about his wife.
— I'd better go or I'll be late for my job.
Jake remembered that Carl was a company watchman. He liked to work at night.
— Don't think it over too much, give her a try.
Jake nodded as he continued to stare at his glass.
Carl paid for the drinks and walked towards Angela.
— Do not worry. He will come to you.
Angela smiled appreciatively for Carl's help.
— Don't mention it. We always help each other between our species
Before leaving, he saw Jake get up and go towards Angela.
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