He was one of those guys who you recognize at once, but can’t place them exactly. And then it leaves a sour feeling in your mouth. He’d spotted me too, I could see that. Walking over to where I sat with a scotch in my hand, he started with the age-old line.
“Don’t I know you from somewhere?” He reeked of whiskey.
I stared at him, trying my hardest to put a name to the face. I was sure I’d seen his freckled face countless times, but the recognition still eluded me.
“Man, I-I know you from sss-somewhere,” he repeated, slurring worse.
I didn’t reply. Sometimes, it is better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
“Hey bartender!” he called out, his attention shifting from me. “Another one!”
“Sure thing, Mr. Miller,” the bartender smiled his please-tip-me smile.
That’s when it hit me. Miller. Alice Miller. The girl I had an affair with. She kept a framed photograph of herself and her husband on the bedside table. That’s where I recognized him from. My girlfriend’s husband! Sh*t!
“You know, I’m sure as hell I know you,” he repeated yet again. I didn’t know where from he could recognize me. I’d never met him and the affair was top secret. Even my wife didn’t suspect. Did Alice tell him?
“I think you’re mistaken,” I answered politely, offering an uneasy smile. Thankful for the darkness in the bar, I finished my drink, paid and stood up. I was almost at the door when he opened his mouth again.
“I remember you!” he cried out suddenly and the blood I my veins froze. “I remember you in a red polo shirt and this stupid cowboy hat!”
Sighing, I thanked my stars. At least he doesn’t recognize me.
A moment later, I stopped dead in my track.
Red polo shirt, cowboy hat. There was only one such photo of me.
On my bedside table!
The last line was the inspiration. The suspense reaches the climax and there is some humor… Do leave a comment. I’d like to know what my readers think.