The only one’s who were getting benefited by the strong winter chills were the Bar owner’s. In those snowy times, people tend to shut down their shops and leave home as early as possible. Business was dull in general during harsh winters.
On one such icy-cold night, Rob was searching for an open bar after a long hard day. Marcus Robert, usually known as Rob, was an actor with a engaging schedule. He made his debut in a TV series for a single season, then went on to do couple of blockbuster action movies and now there is no looking back. At 30, he could be boast of having a great run in the film industry.
He always thought, ‘the one good thing about money and fame is that you can distance yourself from unwanted people and unwanted circumstances easily, isolate yourself and you get to pick and choose what you exactly want’. That was something Rob loved about being at the top. He was more of a guy who preferred ‘suffer in silence’ over the usual ‘over socializing’. One of his arguments for not being a part of Social networks.
That night as Rob drove around his car, he found this Bar at the end of the street. There was light coming from the place and board as well looked lit up. He guessed it should be open and drove towards that place. Luck favored him this time, as it was unusual during this climate to find a bar open at half past two in the morning. He parked his car, walked into the bar. The bell connected to the door rang once and this alerted the bartender who welcomed him. The bartenders face changed as he recognized the man but then he preferred not to show overt signs of excitement. Rob hung his coat and sat down,
‘Sir, Can I fix you a drink?’
‘Let’s have something Irish tonight, Jameson please. Double large, on the rocks.’
Colin, who was the bartender, soon got to work. Rob found himself much relieved tonight for two reasons. The busy schedule was over and he could have a week for himself as that night was his last day of shoot for the upcoming movie and he hadn’t tasted Irish Whisky in a long time.
‘Do you guys stay open always throughout the night?’
‘Usually no because no one stays back after midnight.’
Rob emptied his glass and pushed it towards Colin and urged him for a refill.
‘So why are you keeping it open, especially at this time of the year?’
‘I am not the owner, Sir. But I get my overtime wages and something extra if I keep it open at night.’
‘Oh, money problems.‘ Rob smiled as he took another sip from the glass.
As the count of the drinks started increasing, Rob started talking to Colin.
‘What exactly did you say, why did you take up this odd night time job?’
‘Well I have a family, Sir. Two school going kids and the expenses sometimes are sky high.’
‘How hard can it be, Colin? The kids are young?’ Rob reading his name from the name tag.
‘My daughter studies in Hewiott Academy in 5th grade, which is a bit expensive. Even though my wife works a job and I sometimes do couple of jobs, it becomes hard. Just some months. That’s how life is sometimes I guess.’
There is silence for a while and Rob finishes his 4th peg and asks for one last.
‘Tell me what is the new problem that came up making you spend your night here?’
‘The school has a charity day when they expect parents to raise money for charity. It goes to charity but then the school has a celebration day later on when the parents go along with the kids and they have number of games and challenges to amuse the kids and even parents participate. Things like that.
We could raise the money for her, but then I don’t think we will be going with her for the event though.’
‘Mind telling me, why?’
‘People who come there are really rich, while I don’t even own a proper suit. Even my girl might go with one of her friend because she thinks our 15 year old car doesn’t meet her criteria.’
Colin smiled and then looked down with a straight face.
‘There is a saying, if you can’t take the heat stay out of the goddamn kitchen. Why do you think Hewiott is better than any other school around? I studied in the convent downtown, so did couple of other I knew. I don’t think you are doing the right thing, Colin. Not to yourself and not to the kid especially.’
Rob finished his drink and got up. He asked Colin for the bill as he walked to the washroom. In the meanwhile, another man entered the bar. It was Rob’s driver whom he had called up before entering the Bar. Rob goes to the counter to pay of his bill and tips Colin with a 100 $ and asked him,
‘Is the bar open for the rest of the month at this time?’
‘I am not sure about the month, but for the rest of the week and may be the next week as well, I’ll be around.’
‘Colin, I’ll see you again.’ Rob smiled as he left.
(To be contd…)