The Pub

Name's Benny but people call me Ben and this is Rosebud Pub. I've been drinking here for nearly a decade through its many changes. When I started to drink at Rosebud it was a simple pub, then a biker bar a few years later, a gay bar. Which I will admit I kinda of miss because I always got a free drink at least once a night, though they were kind of fruity, no pun intended. Then back to the regular pub, but my favorite part of the pub is looking and listening to people that come here, they all have a story to tell and I just listen.

Benny looked around the pub and found three groups of people that seemed like they would have the best stories to tell, a pair of woman, young and pretty sitting at the bar, a man at a booth with a sad look on his face and a phone in his hand, and last but not least another man sitting in the corner with a gun at his hip. Benny looked at the woman and saw they were talking, so he moved closer to the pair until he earshot of them, then heard their names, Jenny and Torrey.

"Jenny you can't be serious."
"I am sure I want to but I don't know if I should." Benny saw the woman's face, it said it all. She was tired and seemed to be on the edge of crying.

"No, I mean why would you leave your husband, doesn't he love you?" Jenny looked at her glass of beer and downed it.

"Because I don't think I love him anymore. The spark is just gone, he doesn't even try to tell me he loves me he barely know I'm in the room."
"But are you really going to leave him, what about your baby boy are you just going to leave him without a mother?"
"I...I-" The woman shot up and ran out of the bar, tears coming down her face. Her friend raced after. Forgetting to pay her tab, Benny got up and paid it for them by throwing down a twenty. He hated it when people left without finishing their stories but it happened more than he would like it too. He moved to the next person, the man at the booth.

"What the hell do mean I can't see my son. No don't give me that." The man said yelling. "You leave me for five years, drop off the map and popped up and told me I have a son. Unfit father, listen to me you-" The man pulled the phone away and sighed.

"Another whisky sir?" A waitress asked the man. He nodded his head and went to Ben.

"One for me and I'll pay for that guys whisky." The Waitress raised her eyebrow and smiled. She moved closer and whispered.

"You know Benny it's considered rude to listen to other people." the waitress said. Benny just grinned and shrugged.

"What can I say I like to listen to people's stories." The waitress rolled her eyes and left Benny be. He went back to the man.

"Please, I have every right to see my son." The man was crying, tears stained his nice shirt. He wiped them away, he put away his phone. The waitress came back, with two glass of whisky. She placed the whisky in front of him. He down it and was about to pay but the waitress stopped him.

"Don't worry someone already paid for your drink." Before he could replied she left and handed the second whisky glass to Benny. Benny paid for his drink and asked the waitress a question.

"Hey is Jackie here tonight?"

"Yeah she is."

"Thanks." She left and Benny went back to listening the man. He just wept and said how his ex girlfreind was cruel when his phone began to ring. He looked at it and ran out of the pub. Benny shook his head, another story that he would not know how it would end. Now there was only one other person left to listen to. Benny ordered another drink before going to the man with the gun. Like before Benny didn't sit right next to them but just in ear shot. The man didn't say much, he just kind of stood there saying nothing and just had an annoyed look on his face. Benny wait for a few minutes and still nothing, Benny was just about to leave when another man walked into the pub. The man in the corner face lit up.

"Jackson!" The man who just came in said.

"Luke! What did I tell you about saying my name out loud?" The man in the corner hissed.

"Sorry, sorry so what's this about. You've been so secretive of late." Benny watched as the man pulled out an ammo clip, Luke, the man who just walked in went closer. "What's the meaning of this?"

"You remember when we were in highschool and I came out of the closet?" Jackson asked.

"Yeah, you got bullied pretty bad." Benny looked down with pity, he had a sister who came out. People just shamed her, bullied her and she got attacked more than once.

"Well, my boyfriend got bullied into suicide, they didn't charge the bullies. They got away scott free and I've tracked them down."

"You can't be serious. You're talking about killing people. You're better than that." Luke said.

"What makes their lives worth more than Eric. He just wanted to be a doctor, start a family. Adopted a child who had nothing ,a dog and give them a loving home and now. Now he's gone. The people who killed them have families. Their lives are happy." Tears came down his face and he wiped them away.

"Jackson-"

"Jackson nothing. I just wanted to let you know. I just wanted to say goodbye, don't try to stop me." Jackson began to leave and Benny broke the one rule he had. Don't interfere. Jackson was about to leave but Benny grabbed his arm.

"Who do you think you are?" Jackson asked.

"No one, I just wanted to say you don't have to do it."

"What-"

"My sister is a lesbian, she was ostracized the day she came out. Her family turned their backs on her, her friends turned into bullies. The whole world seemed to hate her but she never let it get her down."

"Your sister seems brave." Jackson left. Benny sighed and left back to the bar he ordered another drink. This would be his fourth one and he wasn't even buzzed. Benny wore a tired look until he saw Jackie, the girl behind the bar, the owner of the Rosebud come into the bar from her office in the back room.

"Hey Jackie how you doing?" Benny asked as she entered the room.

"Fine, just looking at the expenses and stuff. What about you?" Benny smiled.

"Fine, tonight though. Whew." Jackie hoped over the bar, which made Benny's heart skip a beat, especially when she put a hand on his shoulder.

"What is it?"

"I was listening to people's stories, nothing new and we got some good ones but they all left before they ended their story." Jackie giggle before grabbing a drink, she offered a sip to Benny but he refused.

"You know you're going to get in trouble one of these days."
"How come everyone tells me that, I just like to listen."

"I could use a bartender like you, at least you wouldn't have to learn about the story when it's already halfway told."

"Can I drink on the job?" Benny said smiling.

"No, but for you I might make an exception."
"So you still dating that guy?"
"Nah, we broke up a month ago." Benny's eye widen and he smiled, not letting her see of it of course. He didn't want to admit to anyone but he had always had a crush on the girl behind the bar, Jackie, ever since he started drinking here. He always wanted to ask her out but never found the courage, now matter how much he down. "Hey Earth to Benny, you alive."

"Yeah sorry, hey I got a question for yeah."

"Ask away." Jackie said pouring another glass of the good stuff.

"Would you like to go out on a date." Jackie gagged, she looked at Benny. His face with a worried look on it. He rubbed his neck and sighed. "Sorry I guess I had too much to drink. I'll be leaving."
"Benny...Ben. I would love to."