Continued from here:
Despite Chuck’s optimism, Tommy now had the look of a man with severe constipation. Sitting there, knuckles pressed against his forehead, Tommy was a beaten man.
Chuck sat up straight, cleared his throat and swirled the ice in his drink. It was make or break for Tommy right here and Chuck had to pick his words and actions carefully, very carefully.
“Tommy” Chuck said in a tone that Tommy had yet to hear – more formal and business like. Tommy looked up, his hair ruffled, his face pale and gaunt. Chuck continued, “When did you receive the royal flush?”
“Last Saturday. Do you know how embarrassing it is to walk out of a pub soaking wet and reeking of piss?” asked Tommy.
“You don’t know Chuck too well,” replied Chuck, a wry smile across his face.
“Well, it has been the worst month of my life Chuck and it’s not getting better,” blurted Tommy, “fortunately she hasn’t had any contact with me since”.
At that, Chuck stood up.
“Where are you going?” inquired Tommy.
“Tommy, It’s time to straighten you out. DO NOT MOVE,” said Chuck as he moved away from the table, patting Tommy on the shoulder as he walked past.
Tommy watched Chuck head to the bar and start making small talk with a stunning blonde. The wheels in Tommy’s head started spinning immediately. He was in no state to chat up any woman that Chuck brought over. How did he look? How many drinks had he had? How did he smell? What was his breath like? Was his place a pigsty? Did he have any connies in his bed side table? Jesus, Chuck had been right on everything so far, but was nailing some random bird going to sort things out?
Tommy was so busy trying to figure out where Chuck was going with this move that he barely noticed Chuck sliding back into his seat with two more drinks and a napkin.
“Who was the blonde?” asked Tommy
“Way out of your league” stated Chuck bluntly
Tommy’s shoulders slumped.
Chuck pushed the drink to Tommy and then handed over the napkin and a pen.
“Are you a man or a mouse?” asked Chuck, his voice once again in business mode.
“What do you mean?” a confused Tommy asked.
Chuck glared at Tommy, “Are you going to let this psycho nut job keep kicking you in the balls?”
“I don’t want to but I don’t know what else to do” Tommy mumbled
Chuck adjusted his collar again and offered; “Tommy, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t”
“What?” asked Tommy.
“Start writing this down” said Chuck.
“Look, you have two, possibly three options here as far as Chuck sees it, none of which are painless,” continued Chuck.
“Option one – you say nothing”
“Option two – you tell your mate”
“Either way you’re fucked” said Chuck with a swipe of his hand
Tommy ran his hands through his hair slowly,” What about option 3?”
“You hire a hit man and have her taken out” smiled Chuck.
Tommy shook his head slowly and asked “do you know anyone who could take care of something like tha…….”
“Whoa, settle down big kohuna! You’re not at that stage yet,” said Chuck abruptly ending Tommy’s sentence.
Chuck took Tommy’s willingness to put a hit on the witch as a sign that it was time to close the chapter on this book. “Tommy, your average bloke would try and sweep this under the rug and get on with life. The downside to that is that things will never be the same between you and your mate while his basket case missus is still loitering around the traps. You will forever be on edge whenever she is around or more likely, you’ll just stop seeing them altogether. If you don’t say anything at all, your friendship will be done and dusted. Worse yet, say you leave it, you have even less of a leg to stand on a year down the road if the mentalist decides to confess. Your story will have even less credibility”
“Are you kidding me Chuck? How the fuck am I going to tell my mate? Asked Tommy incredulously.
“Settle down chief” said Chuck as he sipped his drink calmly. “First of all, you have missed one crucial piece of information in this tale of woe”
“Fact one – you’ve done nothing wrong”
“Like my mate is going to believe that” an agitated Tommy coughed.
“Chuck’s assuming that you kept every text, email and facebook message that the stalker sent you? All that stuff’s admissible in a court of law,” continued Chuck, unfazed by Tommy’s doubt. “On top of that, the only thing she has on you is one text saying that you were keen to forget it and an extremely rude email telling her to eat rocks. She has no dirt on you”.
Tommy looked at Chuck and for the second time in the night sensed that Chuck was going to lead him towards the light. “Please go on Chuck” asked Tommy
“Chuck never said this was going to be easy, but at the end of the day, you have to be able to look at yourself in the mirror. Its time to get on the front foot and take charge of this shemozzle,” stated Chuck.
Chuck dusted the front of his smart charcoal trousers and went on, “You say nothing and you lose a friend. You tell him what happens, he blows up and you lose a friend. On the other hand, he may stop, think about his girlfriend and realise that she is in fact a dirty strumpet and punt her to the curb. As Chuck said, at least you’re putting yourself in a position of control here. You are steering your own destiny, rather than being shoved head first into a urinal repeatedly. If you’re going to go down, go down swinging young soldier!”
Tommy was furiously scribbling all of Chuck’s words down, but looked up to ask, “So how do I do this?”
Chuck continued, “Tommy, the doing is the simple part. You need to catch him off guard when he doesn’t have any time to think about why you are there and what you are doing…”
“Like at work?” gasped Tommy
“Well work is good as long as he doesn’t burst into a sobbing mess and tarnish his reputation in the workplace” shrugged Chuck. Plus, there are normally a lot of people around”
“Why does that matter?” inquired Tommy.
“In case he tries to kill you,” said Chuck rubbing his hands together and smiling.
“Oh” said Tommy.
“You just have to go in there and lay it on the line Tommy. Spell it out from day 1 -DO NOT MENTION THE FUCKING HOBBY FARM! He needs to know how it started, how it progressed, how you reacted and of course why you stank like urinal cakes and stale beer at the pub last week. It is important that you say that you fought this at every opportunity and that your friendship is the most important thing to you. It will also be helpful in case of emergency to have a few of her lurid text messages on hand,” lectured Chuck.
“And to be quite frank my friend, he wont take it well. He’ll ask plenty of questions and he may range through a number of emotions. Sit there, and take it all. This will not be easy for him” warned Chuck.
An empowered Tommy looked at Chuck, but before he could speak Chuck continued, “Tommy, you’ve sat here and poured your heart out to a well dressed stranger. You’ve been honest and emotional and Chuck can tell that you’re damaged. This is the right thing to do for both you and you’re friend. But more importantly, you can do this!”
Chucks eyes burned with passion as he continued “March in there, look your friend straight in the eye and tell him what he needs to hear” said Chuck emphatically, remembering his introduction to Tommy earlier in the night. “Oh, and try to shake his hand with a little more grunt than a wet newspaper.”
Chuck emptied his glass, stood up and adjusted himself.
Extending his hand towards Tommy, Chuck said, “Tommy, Chuck knows that whatever happens, you’re doing the right thing”.
Tommy stood up and ignoring Chuck’s outstretched arm wrapped himself around Chuck.
“Hey watch the jacket bud!” cried Chuck as he stiffened
“Sorry Chuck”, stammered Tommy as he leaned back. I don’t know how to repay you, you’ve listened to me and you’ve pushed me in a direction that I was too scared to travel. I don’t know how to repay you.”
“Well Tommy, you can let Chuck know how it all panned out” said Chuck as he offered Tommy a Reality Bytes business card. “Stay in touch young man”
“I will,” said Tommy
Chuck began to walk away towards Mrs Long before turning and looking at Tommy again, “Oh, there is one more thing you can do Tommy”.
“Anything Chuck, what is it?” an excited Tommy said
“Well you can fix the bar man up for the 14 gin and tonics we just polished off!”
Tune in on Wednesday to find out how Tommy went.