In the Mirror Behind the Bar
Chapter 1

Copyright© 2011 by Carter County

"Well I'll be damned. It's Jake Riley. Hey Jake," Jimmy greeted me. "How you been? Haven't seen you for a long time."

I nodded. "Hi Jimmy. I'm good. Been busy so I haven't been around much," I answered. "That's gonna change though, I'll be in Kelly's more often now."

Jimmy looked puzzled. "I don't understand. What are you talking about?"

Sitting at his table I said "Buy me a beer and I'll tell you a story."

"Something happened to me that I would have bet money against. I got scammed. You know I've always gotten my share of the young ladies that came into Kelly's. Well, I met one that grabbed my attention and made me give up all the others," I explained.

"She was in here about four months ago with several other ladies. I knew Julie, one the girls sitting at the table, and walked over and said hello. I was hoping for an introduction to the woman that had caught my eye." I held up my empty bottle and Jimmy ordered another round.

"What was so special about this one? You've always pretty much had your choice of ladies," Jimmy stated.

I grabbed the beer as the waitress set it down. After drinking about half of it I answered, "She was tall, about 5' 9, slender with that long auburn hair I like so much. Her blue eyes could just bore a hole through you if she wanted. I guess she wanted to get to know me because from the minute I sat down she never took her eyes off me."

This should be my last beer, I thought. If I drink another one it will lead to an all night binge. "Her name was Gillian," I continued. "We shook hands and I felt a, I don't know a spark or something. From that moment I was lost. It didn't matter how, I wanted this lady."

"Wait. You mean you fell for this Gillian right away?" Jimmy asked in disbelief.

"Yeah, I was hooked from the first minute. Sort of funny considering my experience, you know? Anyway I told her my name is Jake Riley. Gillian said she knew because she'd asked Julie who I was."

As I talked to Jimmy I thought about what happened after being introduced. Jimmy's statement that I pretty much had my choice of the ladies was true. I'm 6'2 with a muscular build from working construction. Tall enough that the ladies could wear heels but not so tall that I towered over them.

I've been told that I make an impression with my blond hair and green eyes. More than one young lady has told me that I'm ruggedly good looking. I don't know about that but I've never had much trouble attracting female companions. Personally I think it's because I'm mostly Irish and have kissed the Blarney Stone. I seem to have a way with words and aren't afraid to approach women.

Gillian and I talked most of the evening, dancing a few times and getting to know each other. I noticed she had a band of white skin around her ring finger. Picking up her hand I pointed to the tale tell signs of a recently removed ring.

She sighed, took a deep breath and told me she and husband were sort of separated. At my questioning look, Gillian explained that they were going to get a divorce after the first of the year. They were waiting until then because of tax and financial reasons but their marriage was over.

I shrugged; his loss is my gain, I thought. Gillian wouldn't give me her phone number but did take my number. My marriage is over but I don't want to rub his nose in it, she told me. Around midnight she said she had to leave and that she'd call me.

Over the weekend I wished I would have pushed harder to get her number. I wanted to see her and spend more time with her. Monday evening Gillian called. We made arrangements to meet at Kelly's on Wednesday.

I walked into the bar and Gillian waved me over to her booth. It was way in the back of the room and was about as private as you could get. She jumped up, hugged me and gave me a quick kiss. I've missed you and could hardly wait for tonight she told me.

She said she wanted to go somewhere more private and I suggested my apartment. I told her it was about ten minutes away. We spent the better part of three hours trying to break my bed. Gillian was very adventurous almost to the point of being freaky. Her attitude didn't bother me a bit. In my mind there's always room for being freaky.

The one thing that bothered me, the one thing I was disappointed about was that Gillian said she couldn't spend the night. She said she couldn't rub her soon to be ex husbands face in the fact that she'd found a new man. Despite separate bedrooms he still checked up on her from time to time. Gillian kissed me goodbye saying she would meet me Friday evening at Kelly's.

Friday it was the same story all over again. Gillian came back to my place and did her best to kill me with sex. If you have to go that would be a fine a way to go, I thought. I asked her to go to a dinner party with me on Saturday but she said she and her parents already had plans. Again she left to go home, telling me she'd call me about meeting next week.

For the next two months Gillian and I met on almost every Wednesday and several Fridays. Every time I suggested a different day she had plans; either with her husband, her family, or friends from work.

The first of the year came and went. I thought that the paperwork for her divorce would be started in January. March rolled around with no mention from Gillian about her divorce. When I questioned her about it she said they'd have to wait until after filing the taxes for the previous year. We continued to meet at Kelly's and most nights went back to my apartment.

Just after April 1st, I asked Gillian to accompany me to a dinner party. I explained it was my dad's birthday party and I wanted her to meet my family. She told me how sorry she was but her mother was coming over to help her sort through the things Gillian wanted to take with her once she got divorced.

I went to the party alone. As I started to leave my brother Bill asked for a ride home. On the way we decided to stop for a drink and went into a nice bar and grill called Charley's. Sitting at the bar I saw someone in the mirror behind the bar that shouldn't have been there.

Gillian and a man were dancing on the small dance floor. She was totally engrossed in what he was saying. When she reached up and stroked his cheek I knew she was engrossed with him too. I assumed that the man was her husband or maybe another friend with benefits. But I noticed that she had her wedding ring on.

Motioning to the bartender I told him I thought I knew the guy but I wasn't sure. He told me that was Donnie Samples and his wife Gillian. He said they were regulars and were in Charley's almost every Saturday evening. I thanked him and said he wasn't the guy I knew.

Bill saw the look on my face and asked what was wrong. I smiled ruefully and told him I just found out that I was being played. He looked around at Gillian and Donnie. I told him I'd tell him about it when things were settled. He downed his drink and said we should leave. Bill said he really didn't want to go to jail that night. I smiled and walked out with him.

I took a drink, stopped talking and looked at Jimmy.

"Damn, that's a hell of a story," Jimmy said. "You fell for this bitch?" I nodded and he asked, "What are you going to do?"

"It's Saturday night and if that bartender was right Gillian and her husband will be at Charley's tonight. Bill is gonna meet me there in about an hour and I'll have a talk with Gillian. And her husband," I replied in an angry voice.

"You gonna kick his ass?"

"No, nothing like that. He hasn't done anything wrong; it's all on Gillian."

"Why does your brother need to be there?"

"If I go alone there might be trouble; if there are two of us Donnie might just listen to me instead of fighting. I hope so," I said.

"I'll go with you," Jimmy offered. "I want to see the end to this story."

I nodded and we drove to Charley's. My brother was sitting at the bar when we came in. Donnie and Gillian were at the same table. I was worried about her seeing me before I could get close to her but she had eyes only for her husband. I got a drink and walked toward the two sitting at the table, trailed by Bill and Jimmy.

When we got to the table Gillian looked up and saw me. I always thought it was just a figure of speech that someone's face went white. Gillian's face went pasty white and her eyes opened wide. She didn't know what to do.

"Hi Gillian, why don't you introduce me to your friend?"

She was speechless and when she did try to talk she stammered and stuttered. Donnie saw his wife's reaction and started to stand up.

"Don't get up on my account," I said. "I'm Jake Riley, a friend of Gillian's.

Donnie looked from Gillian to me and back again. Then he noticed Bill and Jimmy as they stepped up beside me.

"Look Donnie, I don't want any trouble. That's why these two are with me," I said pointing to Bill and Jimmy. "I've got a few things to say and I'd like to do it without trouble if I can. Okay?"

He nodded and sat back down. Donnie wasn't really happy but he seemed to be willing to listen to what I had to say.

Turning to Gillian I said, "Donnie's a good looking guy; he doesn't look anything at all like you described him. He's not fat, obese I think you called him, and he's not sweating like a pig. Doesn't dress like a slob either, maybe I misunderstood you." I held up my hand to Donnie as he started to interrupt. "A few more things Donnie then I'll be done. Okay?" He hesitated and then nodded again.

"I notice you're wearing your wedding ring this time, Gillian. What was it you told me? Oh yeah, you said you couldn't stand to wear it because it reminded you of your husband."

"Jake, please don't..." Gillian started but I spoke louder and kept talking.

"I heard you tell Donnie you loved him as I was walking over. Guess things at home must not be as bad as you told me. Last Saturday night in here, you were so tied up in Donnie that you didn't notice me at the bar. Did you?"

Gillian had tears running down her cheeks. She shook her head no at my question.

"Donnie, what does Gillian do on Wednesdays and Fridays? At least what does she tell you she's doing?"

"Wednesdays she spends with her mother and sometimes on Fridays she stops with her co-workers for dinner and drinks," he replied. Looking at Gillian I could see the suspicion building in his eyes.

"That's what she told you?" Not waiting for an answer I said, "Several Fridays and almost every Wednesday for the last, what four months, Gillian has come to my apartment and f$%ked my brains out."

Donnie's face turned red with anger and he almost stood. Then he sort of fell back onto his chair. He looked at Gillian and then at me. He saw by the look on her face that I was telling the truth. "Why?" He asked.

"Why did I tell you or why did she do it? I can't answer for Gillian but for four months she's been telling me that you two were getting a divorce. That she was still with you for tax and financial reasons. Gillian said that she and I would be together when the divorce came through." I felt sorry for the guy. He was in love with a wife that was a slut for another man.

"Gillian I didn't come over here to get back at you or to get revenge. I came over here because Donnie deserves to know what a bitch and slut you are. He deserves to know before he invests any more time in you."

Turning back to Donnie I continued, "I'm sorry you had to find out but if it was me I'd want to know what a whore she is. I'm sorry I was the one involved."

Motioning to Bill and Jimmy I turned and walked away. I looked back when I got to the door. Donnie was talking heatedly to Gillian as she sat there and cried.

Back at Kelly's Bill, Jimmy, and I got a beer. Tapping his bottle against mine Bill said, "Someone had to stop her Jake. If she hadn't of latched on to you it would have been another guy. I'm proud of you."

Looking at my brother I shook my head. "I'm so f$%ked," I said.

"What?" Bill asked. "Why would you say that?"

"I'm still in love with the slut," I replied.

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