Drunken confessions

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Patrick had never seen Charlie drunk. He didn't even think it was possible. Charlie didn't like his other friends because they drank a lot at parties and became rowdy. He said alcohol made you stupid, that it was stupid to think you could get rid of fear with a bottle of beer.

That had been 8 years ago.

Patrick had always thought it would be funny to see a drunken Charlie. Now that he was witnessing it, it wasn't anywhere near funny.

It was just a day after he'd seen Charlie in the corridor and learned later that Charlie had an appointment with the resident psychologist. Patrick had forced himself to not think about Charlie for the rest of the day. He'd achieved that and more.

The next day Andrew had invited him to a boy's night out. Patrick thought it would be fun reconnecting with his old acquaintances. He didn't have Charlie anymore, so essentially he was friendless. He decided to join the few guys Andrew had kept in touch with and paint the town red. It was a Friday anyway. He didn't have a shift the next day. He could do with some fun.

Even though Patrick got along with the other guys Andrew had brought with him, he felt disconnected to them. After leaving Australia he'd cut himself off from everything that happened in his home country and everyone who lived in it. It would take a lot to reconnect with people who'd escaped adolescence and entered adulthood.

He spent the majority of the evening lurking a bit off the group, drinking whatever beverage he'd decided to buy. He joined in on the conversations but rather just listened most of the time. His mind sometimes drifted, and at one time it landed on someone he'd managed to avoid thinking about for one and a half days.

Charlie was sitting at the bar. He had his back to Patrick, but Patrick knew it was him. He was arguing with the bartender, who seemed really pissed off. Patrick jut watched for a few seconds and realized Charlie was drunk. He was stuttering and wouldn't let the bartender dismiss him.

Against his mind's wishes, Patrick walked over to the bar.

"Is everything alright?" he asked the bartender.

"You know this guy?" the bartender said.

"Uh yeah. Is he giving you trouble?" Patrick asked, asking himself the same question over and over again internally; what was he doing?

"Your friend here is drunk and insulting me. Get him out of here before I smash his face in", the bartender said through gritted teeth.

Patrick turned to Charlie. "Hey um..."

"Get the fuck away from me", Charlie snarled and almost fell off the stool.

"Charlie you are drunk. You are..."

"I'm drunk?" Charlie said and gave a dry chuckle. "Leave me the fuck alone".

Patrick knew he should have left Charlie alone, but he couldn't. Charlie wasn't his responsibility, but he cared about him. The last thing he wanted was for Charlie to get into trouble. He could go to jail or get beaten up. He could be left to die in a ditch somewhere.

"Come on, I'll drive you home", he offered.

"You have some nerve...Patrick!" Charlie spat.

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