Whiskey and Water: Flash Fiction
Whiskey and Water
Her clinic appointment begins in thirty minutes, and I’m sitting on a bar stool, drinking whiskey. I guess this is just my way of escaping life’s harsh realities. But I should go and give her moral support.
We fell in love quickly. But I was straight with her right from the start. I wanted no children. Never. She didn’t like it, but she wanted us to stay together.
We were careful about avoiding pregnancy, except for one time. I can’t believe what a jerk I was about it. I told her I’d never be a father to the child if she had it, and that I’d never willingly support them financially. So she agreed to end the pregnancy. Somehow that made me happy, at least it did at the time.
My parents didn’t know I was listening that night several years ago when Dad admitted to Mom that he had never wanted children. I hated him for that. And from that moment to this, I never wanted children either.
I wonder, can a man choose to do the right thing, even though he may not want to, and then grow to appreciate the results? I think that’s what happened to Dad. Just last year he told me he loved me for the first time, and I think he finally does. Maybe I could do the same and learn to love my child.
I’ve sat here in this bar and talked myself into wanting to be a father, but her appointment is beginning right now. I could call ahead while I drive, but I’m most likely too late already. Truth is like whiskey sometimes. It burns as it goes down.
I knock back what’s left in my shot glass and the barmaid pours me another. I lift it to my lips. She watches a tear drop from my nose into the shot glass. Whiskey and water. I pick up my phone.