Love's Betrayal

The empty glass was smacked down on the old wooden bar with a dull thud. A drop of whiskey slid down the side as worn fingernails picked at a chip of black paint.

"Bring me another glass." The words were slurred slightly, the voice full of anger, despair.

"You've had enough, already," the bartender said, picking up the empty glass.

The man sitting there groaned and put his head in his hands, repeating her words softly to himself, as if he didn't quite understand them. He groaned again, looking up at her with bloodshot eyes. "Bring me another glass."

She glanced sadly at him before going to fulfill his demand. Her high-heeled shoes clicked loudly against the hard floor as she walked, lost in thought. She remembered how he was, before the breakup; it had only been a week ago. The man, Luke, had come every night to the bar, but only had one beer. He came more for the fun, the social activity, then for the alcohol. Back then, he hadn't needed it.

The last time he had been there was Saturday, and his brown eyes had been full of life and happiness when he met her gaze. Now, as he looked at her, waiting for his sixth glass of the night, his eyes were dull, empty. A sigh escaped her lips as she handed him the whiskey that he so desperately craved.

A few seconds later, he slammed the glass on the bar again, having gulped down the liquid at an alarming rate.

"More," he slurred, a stupid grin on his face from the rush of alcohol.

"You've had enough," she said firmly. "You can't drink your problems away."

"Watch me," was the reply, as he tried to glare up at her. His eyes were too unfocused for him to manage.

"I'm sorry, Luke… I know how much you loved her."

Luke pushed himself away from the bar angrily, the barstool tipping over. Both man and chair fell to the ground with a crash. The two people that had been sitting at a table across the room abruptly stopped laughing. An eerie silence filled the room for a moment as Luke stumbled to his feet.

"I didn't love her… I didn't love her…" He repeated the words, over and over again, more to himself than his friend.

His brown eyes were wide as he turned and staggered towards the door. A few cuss words escaped him when he walked into the doorframe, before he managed to make it out into the street.

It was nearing midnight, and no car headlights shone on him. Hoping that someone would have the decency to run him over was just wishful thinking; no one was that nice to him. His house was usually a five minute walk away; it took him ten minutes in his intoxicated state. When he reached the building, he practically fell through the door. Luke slammed it shut behind him and made his way to his bedroom.

One week. He had survived one whole week without her.

His head was beginning to throb as he searched. He hadn't ever needed to use it before, and was having trouble finding it now. It wasn't helping that the only thing he could successfully think about was her, the very person he had tried to get out of his head with alcohol. He had loved her; he still did. And she had betrayed him, slept with another guy.

One week. That was way too long.

Luke's fingers brushed against cool metal buried underneath his socks. He grinned, having found what he was looking for, and pulled the pistol out of the drawer. The moonlight fell across the walls and floor in stripes from where it fell through the angled blinds. He looked around the room where they had spent so much time together, talking and laughing. So many memories were here; too many. He couldn't live like this.

One week. He couldn't live without her.

The metal was pressed against his temple, firm in his hand. They would say that the alcohol made him do it, that he wouldn't have done it if he wasn't drunk. But the alcohol was just there to numb the pain for a while. He had known that in the end, he would turn to the gun.

His pointer finger lightly touched the trigger. Here was his escape. This was it; now or never.

One week…

"I fucking loved her," he said to the empty room, before the trigger was pulled and the bullet shot through his head.

Epilogue

A decent amount of people showed up for his funeral; about twenty or so. Only one really understood the reason for his suicide, though; the bartender. She was the last to see him, and talk to him, before the death. Standing there, watching them lower the coffin into the cold earth, she knew that it would haunt it forever. She could have done something, prevented it somehow. Deep down, she knew nothing but his ex-girlfriend could have stopped him, but she still blamed herself. Her eyes wandered around the solemn group, all preparing to leave. She wasn't there.

With a sigh, Luke's friend cast a final look at his headstone and trailed behind the others, out of the graveyard. She would never get the images out of her head. The lifeless eyes, the body; she had been the one to find him, the following morning. Worried about him, from his actions the night before, she had gone to his house to make sure he had gotten home safely. When he hadn't opened the door, she had become even more worried, cautiously letting herself in and calling out his name. That's how she found him, on the bedroom floor. Lying there, eyes closed, gun in limp hand, a puddle of blood around his head. Dead.

Her car seemed so intimidating, as she slid into the driver's seat. She wanted nothing more than to drive off the nearest cliff she could find. Dead. The word repeated itself in her head, over and over again. It was hard to believe. She couldn't believe it. Was there a point in living without him? He had been her friend, a constant in her life. Who could understand the pain she felt, the immeasurable guilt? Dead. Maybe there wasn't a point anymore. Living wasn't worth it. Dead. She could let herself think like that. Dead. There was a hiking trail, along a cliff, not far from there. She couldn't drive off of it, but she could always jump. Dead.

Her body was shaking now. There were too many emotions; yet only one thought. One single word, that was repeating in her mind, echoing almost.

Dead.