“What?!” He jolted to a sitting position and regretted it immediately. His head was spinning and hurting even more. It was already past noon. What the hell had happened? Oh yeah… Kara had left him alone and he’d gone out drinking. Apparently he’d had way too much, because he couldn’t remember what had happened after he’d left for the bar.
“Good morning.” Jonathan was greeted by a familiar voice when he entered the living room. Patrick Kane was sitting on the sofa reading the newspaper. The TV was turned off and a mug with steaming coffee was sitting in front of him. Coffee. Just what he needed now.
“What are you doing here?”
“I see, you don’t remember.” He put the newspaper down and stared at Jonny. “For once I was the one who had to pick your drunken ass up from a bar. You should go and take a shower and shave. You’ll feel better afterwards. I’ll make you some coffee.”
Patrick was right. A shower would wake him up, maybe really make him feel better. Actually, it didn’t make him feel better, but he was awake now. And he didn’t bother shaving. What for?
The smell of coffee greeted him, when he returned to Patrick. Quietly he sat down, took the mug and warmed his hands before he took a sip.
“How are you feeling?” Patrick looked at his friend across the table. He still looked tired, but not like he was about to throw up anymore. It was an improvement.
“Okay I guess. But I can’t remember what happened yesterday.”
“You went to The Shindig and got drunk. You wouldn’t talk to anyone, but drank more and more until you called me to pick you up. The bartender didn’t want to let you go by yourself and made you call me.” Usually the roles were reversed. Patrick got to know what Jonathan had gone through multiple times. “When we got here you told me about April.”
“Oh man.” That didn’t sound like him at all, but April leaving like that had definitely been a shock to him. And he’d only wanted to have a beer or two. He never thought that he’d end up like this.
“And you said that you’re in love with her and want to find her.”
“Yes, and you made me promise to help you. We can only plan it around the games, but I’ll do my best.”
“Really?” Jonathan suddenly looked up. Well, searching together was a lot better and maybe easier than doing it all by himself. Maybe Abby would help him as well. “Abby said that she wanted to go to Pittsburgh.”
“Well, we’ll be there in about a week.”
With a heavy heart April looked around the room. She hadn’t been in the Stumble In for a very long time. It hadn’t changed that much, only that there was hardly a customer there right now. They’d start coming in in about an hour, when they finished work. The band that was supposed to play there that evening was already setting up their equipment. April put the towel down and turned around to Steve.
Steve was the owner of the bar and a huge supporter of local bands and singers. Twice a week he let them play there, if he liked their music. Every Saturday and every Tuesday at least one band played there. Needless to say, on those days there were more customers than during the rest of the week. Steve even thought about adding Thursday to that list of days.
April looked up at him. He was an inch taller than her, had short, blonde hair, dark brown eyes and a killer smile. Many girls that came to the bar flirted with him. It had always been like that, but he wasn’t interested in them in the least. He’d already found his life partner in Brandon.
“Thank you, Steve, for giving me my old job back.”
“Are you kidding me?” He hugged April to his side and smiled at her warmly. “I’ve missed you and I would always give you the job back. Especially since I hope to see you back on that stage as well.” When he peered into her face, he realized that something was wrong. Her smile wasn’t sincere and she looked tired, but he knew that she didn’t want to talk right now. Maybe she’d open up in a couple of days. After all, they’d see each other a lot. “I’m sorry for staying out of touch, but with that douchebag at your side, it didn’t make sense. He would have driven you away from me anyway.”
“It took me long enough to get away from him and I’m glad that you accepted my apology.” Dan had really destroyed all of her friendships. Luckily Steve didn’t bear grudges.
“Of course I did, silly.” He pinched her cheek and let go of her to get in front of the bar again. He wanted to ask the band how many songs they’d want to play later on. “I’m glad you’re back.”
“Me too.” April mumbled to herself. She couldn’t leave Chicago. If she’d actually known someone in Pittsburgh, she would have gone, but after talking to Steve and asking for her job back, he’d offered her an apartment. Brandon had just moved in with Steve, so his apartment was still vacant. She had a job and a place to stay in Chicago. Abby, and probably Jonathan as well, thought that she was in Pittsburgh, so they wouldn’t look in Chicago for her. She was in a different part of the city. It would take some time until their paths would cross again. Then she’d feel comfortable with the situation and be able to explain her behavior to them. Probably. She’d have to lie, of course, but she’d make them believe her lies. She’d already done so on the phone to Abby.
April shook her head to concentrate on work. It wasn’t the right time to think about Jonathan. So she picked up the towel again and started drying off the glasses on the counter. There were only a few left. When she was finished she could go in the back and get a couple more bottles of water. She’d always liked working here. Once the customers arrived it would be a good distraction for her.