Fifteen

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ɸ

Lester came to group a little less disheveled and more interested in paying attention and participating. He even got there a little early to help Father Bishop set up the chairs. Consequentially he was the first one to settle in with a cup of coffee. The rest of the group filtered in over the next fifteen minutes and he noticed a few regulars missing when they got started.

"Good evening everyone. It's good to see you all back." Father Bishop began. "How was everyone's week?"

Everyone made vaguely affirmative noises then Lester said, "I met a girl."

"Tell us about that Lester." Father Bishop responded.

"I went to a bar for the first time since my much younger days and she was my waitress. I don't know if she felt bad for me since I sat there for the better part of seven hours or if she found me attractive, but I was still sitting there when her shift ended so she asked me to have dinner with her. We talked and enjoyed a good meal then we went back to my apartment. Use your imagination to guess what happened next."

"Sounds like a good time." Someone observed.

"Sure until the morning when she told me she just used me for a good time then told me that if her boyfriend ever found out about it he'd get violent with me." Lester ran a hand over his short hair.

"Damn,that's cold." One of the other guys exclaimed.

"No,it's alright. With my pending trial coming I shouldn't be looking fora relationship. I did like her though. Nothing to do about that though."

"Even so, what a thing to do to a guy." Jackie said.

"At least she let him know the score instead of ghosting him. I mean if he really thought they hit it off he could always find her at the bar. This way things won't get awkward if they do run into each other again." Emma added.

"I don't think that will be a problem. I have no plans to go back to the bar any time soon. Not her bar anyway. She hasn't put me off drinking. I don't think anything could put me off drinking at this point."

"That sounds like you're developing a drinking problem." Chimed in one of the alcoholics in the group.

"Sure does." Agreed another.

"That may be, but I really don't have much else to do with my life right now. Except maybe rent a storage unit to keep all my things in forthe next few years." Lester leaned back in his chair. "Can't mess my life up much more than it is now."

"That's not a healthy way to think of things." Jackie commented.

Lester sighed and shook his head. "You're right of course. I just don't know if I'll stop."

"I think we have tortured Lester enough, unless someone else has any advice for him. Let's move on to someone else." Father Bishop said after a moment of silence.

ɸ

Jackie came to group with a bit of a spring in her step. She couldn't wait to tell everyone that Lars turned out to be a nice, normal,attractive man contrary to their fears. In fact you rather liked him.She felt like she'd made something of a connection with Emma so she took a seat next to her.

"Hey Emma how you doing?"

"Alright.You?"

"Pretty good." Jackie entrenched herself in the chair and Father Bishop opened up the group. They started with Lester who seemed even more defeated than usual and continued on with a few other before she took her turn to talk.

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