Douglas O’Malley

I met Douglas O’Malley one night on my way home from work.  I stopped off at my local for a quick, but much-needed pint.  It had been a rough day.  Week.  Year.  But I kept going.  Somehow.  My local had become my second home almost.  The barman knew my name and knew the type of beer I liked to drink.  I would just need to say, Hi, as I stepped towards the bar, and he’d be pulling me a dark, smooth ale, all within two minutes.  I liked my local.

Douglas O’Malley was sat on the stool at the corner of the bar.  He had one hand on his near-empty glass, and the other thumbing through the pages of a national newspaper.  Nothing unusual, except, he wasn’t reading the paper.  He was just staring past it.

Calling the barman over, I whisper, “Is he alright?” nodding to the weathered man sat on the stool in the corner.

“Yeah, he’s just… been through some things.  He’s a great character.  A lovely chap.” The barman smiles and finds another customer.

Looking back at the ‘great character’, I tried to think about what things he could have been through.  And my heart fell thinking of the possible worst.  Shaking my head – shaking out those thoughts, I pick my pint up and walk around to the man sat on the stool in the corner.  He lifts his eyes up from his paper – or the point past the paper and smiles at me.

“Hi, I’m Heather.  Can I join you?”

“Hello, sure.  Douglas O’Malley.  Lovely to meet you, Heather.”

 

….

Prompted by this link.

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