From The Ashes – Part 3
“After he made fun of me for a few more minutes, I agreed to go out after my shift ended,” Jason explained. “He made me feel guilty for never seeing him. And with him losing his brother in a car accident last week, I had to go.”
Captain Warley jotted down notes as Jason explained the events that led up to his night out with his best friend. He was expressionless as always, a talent Jason always admired about his superior officer. Now, it made him nervous.
“Where did you meet him, and what time?” Warley asked without looking up from his notebook.
Jason stated, “We started out at Jack’s. That hole in the wall on Third Ave. About 10 p.m.”
The bouncer outside Jack’s looked bored, even though the place was hopping and there was a small line waiting to get into the dive bar. Jason’s insides began to vibrate from the loud music inside as he got closer to the door. The bouncer barely looked at his ID before letting him in.
“JASON! You actually showed up, you bastard,” Nick yelled when he saw his buddy approaching.
“I said I would.”
Nick pulled him into a hug, and Jason could smell that his friend was already several drinks in.
“Let’s get you started then. Everyone, this is my oldest friend, Jason,” Nick announced. “We went to middle school together! Like 100 years ago, right Jay?”
“How much have you had already?” Jason asked.
“It’s only my second beer,” Nick whined, pretending to be offended at Jason’s implication. “I’m not counting any of the birthday shots I’ve had though.”
Jason shook his head and said, “Of course you aren’t.”
Nick leaned in and whispered in Jason’s ear, ensuring the rest of his party wouldn’t hear him getting sentimental.
“I’m glad you came, man,” he said. “I really am.”
Jason nodded and said, “I’m glad I was able to.”
Patting Jason on the shoulder, Nick added, “Don’t ruin it, dude.”
“We left Jack’s about eleven. Wasn’t enough action for Nick, meaning not enough girls to hit on,” Jason told Warley. “We went to another place called Demure about two blocks up. I made fun of Nick for picking it, saying it sounded like a spa or some weird sex shop.”
Warley’s eyes perked up and gave a slight smirk.
“Demure is a hot spot, Sherman. All the young people love it there.”
Jason laughed quietly and said, “It was awful—the drinks too expensive and the girls way too young. Nick didn’t mind that second part, but I felt awkward and insisted we move on after a half-hour.”
Warley continued writing notes as Jason explained their next move.
“We didn’t stay at Demure long,” he continued. “The last place I remember was this place called Red. It’s in Hell’s Kitchen. Super trendy, and I felt out of place immediately. But Nick raved about it and said we had to stop in to see some people he knew.”
“I know that one, too,” the Captain said. “Not because I go there for a drink, but because I get calls for disorderly conduct frequently.”
Jason shifted in his seat uncomfortably. Even though Warley’s casual conversation was making him slightly better, he knew he was getting to the point in the story where things got foggy.
And foggy details didn’t look good when you woke up next to a dead girl.
Alcohol and Bar by Josetxu on Pixabay