They had lost track of time and gotten stinking drunk as old friends are oft to do.
“You want another?” Charlie said while preemptively pulling out his wallet.
“Why not?” Ducky chuckled. “I’ve lost track though. You sure it’s your turn to pay?”
“Just get the next one.” Charlie slurred waving the bartender over.
Beside each slump of a man sat rows of empty Budweisers and Bud lights like soldiers standing at attention. Between them lay a battlefield of crushed peanut shells.
“Another?” asked the bartender.
“If you would be so kind.” Charlie slurred. He slapped $7 down on the bar. Six for the drinks and one for the bartender. He turned back to Ducky feeling a wave of, of well, something coming on.
“You know man, you’re my best friend.” Charlie began.
Charlie cut him off. “No. I’m not done. You’ve always been my main bro. Even when we were kids, when everyone else treated me different–you didn’t. I guess I just want to say thanks.”
“Charlie listen,” Ducky paused to place his new infantry in line. “You’re my number one bro too. Always have been.” He laughed. “Remember, remember back in seventh grade when you superglued Mr. K’s keyboard and mouse to his desk while I was lookout.”
They both laughed.
“My god,” Charlie said “I’ve never seen anyone go full madman so quickly. And then,” he chuckled, “when he figured out it was us, your dad came and picked us up. He was trying so hard not to laugh.”
“Yeah,” Ducky said finishing his last soldier. He looked at his watch. “Oh shit. Charlie I gotta run. Big meeting tomorrow.” He pulled out his wallet and threw down two twenties and signalled over to the bartender.
“Really? Huh. Well you got the first round next time we get together.” Charlie said unsteadily.
“You bet.” Ducky said pulling his jacket on. “Hey, what’re you up to tomorrow? I’m hosting a few guys from our London branch. Gonna be plenty of food. You should come by.”
“Yeah.” Charlie didn’t break eye contact from his beer. “Might do that. Gotta stop by the hospital and check up on the old man.”
“Oh yeah. How’s he doing?”
“Not good.” Charlie felt his eyes began to swell. “Old man was so concerned with building his ‘ever-lasting legacy’ he forgot not to get cancer.”
“Shit. Charlie I’m sorry.”
Ducky grabbed Charlie and dragged him to his feet. His huge arms wrapped around his friend. “Call me if you need anything. I’m not just saying that. You are family.”
Ducky let go and turned for the door. “Alright Charlie. I’ll be seeing you.”
Charlie stood there, stuck in time until the bartender broke the moment.
“You want another?” He asked Charlie pocketing Ducky’s tip.
“Yeah. Please. Can I get a Maker’s neat this time?”
“You got it boss.”