My head thumped in time to the music, and my hand shook as I raised the tumbler to my lips. I downed the shot and slammed the glass onto the bar.
“Another,” I growled.
The barman opened his mouth to speak but I shook my head, and he shrugged as he poured the drink. I lifted the glass and the harsh liquid burned its way down my throat.
“And again!” I demanded.
“Not my business,” he said as he placed another shot before me.
“Damn right!” I scowled, oscillating the molten fire within the glass and staring into its hypnotic depth.
This one slipped mellifluously down my throat, pooling in the centre of my chest, raising a gilded shield around my swollen heart. The music slowed, and my anger softened, and the swaying bodies filling the dance floor merged together into a rainbow of swirling colours.
This time the barman anticipated my request, and the glass appeared on the shiny counter leaving a trail of silver water shimmering in its wake. I caught it into my hand and spilled the golden glaze as my hand trembled. I fastened both hands about it, to stop it dancing, and laughed as its twin hovered before my eyes.
“You okay?” asked a voice at my side, and I spun on my stool, my head following moments later.
A shock of red hair tumbled down upon her shoulders and concern shone from her eyes. I nodded. “Is he all right?” She turned to the barman, who shrugged and moved to another customer.
“I’m fine,” I slurred. “Just having a good night, a good riddance night…all to myself. So if you don’t mind moving on…”
“Leave him.” Her friend tugged her away and they disappeared into the throng.
“We broke up!” My words echoed incoherently inside my head and faded into the music. “We finished!” I had no idea who I was talking to; the red-head or the barman or anyone who would listen. “We’re done, really done, finished forever this time!” My voice rose, whining through the music and the dizzy dancing. “Another drink, my man!”
Lights flashed, beats shook, sirens wailed, and I clasped the new, cold glass in my unsteady fingers. The drink sloshed over the sides, and I hurriedly sucked at it before I let go as it threatened to slide out of my grip.
“No more…” The voice was soft and mellow and I turned to the red-head.
“I told you honey, I’m done with women…” I blinked at the woman as her ponytail shook along with her head.
“Yes, you are,” she said. “For rather a long time, I’d imagine.”
The glass slipped from my hand, rolling, empty, across the bar, neon lights sparkling across its glistening surface. Blue lights revolved from the door as my arms were pulled behind my body and the click of metal reverberated through my spinning mind.
“Anything you say…” I tuned out as she recited my rights, and the night’s shots threatened to reappear.
More hazy shots rang out in my head, ones resurfacing in my memory, from a couple of hours ago. My legs yielded, and as I fell to the floor I recalled her body, her eyes, her blood, as she crumpled before me. As the policewoman at my side pulled my gun from my belt, I knew that tears and booze and no amount of drink in the world would ever conceal my sins.