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Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Drama · #1197457
Resolutions are meant to be broken...
Prompt: Write about a fictional character and their new-year resolution.

         “Slow night, eh?”

         “You betcha.” I smile, watching his large frame settle upon the swivel stool. There are dark rings beneath his eyes and they have nothing to do with the kohl he was famous for when he was a rock star. There are bags of fatigue that accent lines of age across his cheeks and jaw. His lips are curved in a perpetual frown as if he has eaten something distasteful and can’t quite get rid of it.

         “The usual?” I ask, already reaching for the bottle of vodka, but to my surprise, he lifts a hand to stall my movements.

         "Orange juice.”

         I would have laughed at his request, but something about the way he looks has me pouring him the tame drink instead.

         “She’s leaving me,” he finally says in a voice barely audible, even though Neil Diamond crooning softly in the background is hardly a factor. He reaches for a cigarette which he lights with trembling hands. “I went to see her tonight…figured I’d stop by and wish her a Merry Christmas.”

         I refuse to mention that Christmas was a week ago.

         “She wouldn’t let me in,” he continues. “Blocked the goddamn door. Her eyes…they were cold, man. Felt like she was killing me with just her stare. I could hear my kids in the background. I begged her. Come on, you’ve gotta let me see them, you know? I been clean for at least two months, but nah. It wasn’t enough. I hurt her one too many times, man. One too many times.”

         I don’t know what to say. I can only stare at the man, who had wooed millions with his voice and music, confess his latest failure. His inability to be a good father.

         “What’s today, Ricky?” he finally asks.

         “New Year’s Eve.”

         He nods and crushes the cigarette. “You know what I’m gonna do next year? My resolution or whatever that shit is.”

         I remain silent, listening to his fingers rap an unfamiliar beat on the beer-stained counter.

         “I’m gonna make a comeback, man. I’m gonna…I’ve got songs in here.” He taps his temple gently. “I’m gonna start up a new band and make the money and show her I ain’t no slouch, know what I’m saying?”

         “Yeah, Sid. I hear you.”

         “Yeah…” He looks lost for a moment, as if unsure of where he is or what he’s doing, but then shakes his head and rises to his feet. “How much I owe you, Ricky?”

         “It’s on the house. You have a Happy New Year, man. And I’ll be looking forward to your new album.”

         He stares at me in bemusement, and I have the feeling he can’t even remember what he just told me. “Yeah…the album. Thanks man, I owe you one.”

         It was the last time he ever came to my bar and word is that he’s still working on that album of his. I can only wish him much success and good fortune. Goodness knows he needs it.

Word Count: 500
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