Outside the day was such that no one could forget they were in the middle of the hottest summer in years, but inside it was cool and dark. Some ridiculously sappy country song was just ending, leaving silence over the entire bar, but Claire didn't notice. She was finishing up her fourth drink of the afternoon, a screwdriver, and trying to decide if she had killed enough brain cells. Deciding that she hadn't, she ordered another "and this time, make it a double," she had told the bartender. She lit a cigarette, a marlboro red, the only kind they had left in the machine in the corner. She was used to smoking camel menthol lights, but the refreshing taste of any kind of nicotine satified her. She revelled in the fact that no one would ever find her in a bar like this.
She stood to go put some money in the jukebox, deciding that anything would be better than the deafening silence, when he walked in. She frowned and took her seat. She shook her head, she wouldn't allow him to ruin her moping. She stood again and walked silently to the jukebox where she perused the catalog until stopping at 'Hotel California" by the eagles.
"Long time, no see, Claire." he said, as he took the stool nearest hers. He ordered himself a drink, a coors light draft and took one of her cigarettes.
"Apparently not long enough. How did you find me?"
"Now Claire. Be nice. I have my ways. I'm here because someone was very worried about you."
"Because they care enough to send the very best, I suppose?"
"Claire, it's becoming very hard to love you right now."
"I was under the impression that you loved only yourself."
"Please, Claire, don't do this. I really care about you, you know that. I thought you cared about me too."
"Whatever I felt towards you died on the front porch of the funeral home, and was buried along side my mother."
"If you thought I wouldn't defend my father, you were wrong. He had as much right in that funeral home as anyone. He loved her with all his heart. He still loves her."
"He killed her! I'm an orphan now. I thought you might understand what I was going through and just feel simpathy towards me, but I suppose that you can't be counted on to do anything."
"Claire, she was drunk too. She could have been driving."
"But she wasn't. So you have two perfectly preserved parents and I have no one. We were home that night, Peter. Do you remember that? They could have called us for a ride, we would've come. Do you know what it's like to have no one? No, of course you don't."
"You had me, Claire, you chose to run away."
"Get real, Peter. You wouldn't tell anyone about us. I was your dirty little secret. You were probably glad when my mother died. Then it was ok to love me."
"Claire, I..."
"What, no magical response. I must have hit a nerve."
"What can I say to make you feel better?"
"Absolutely nothing. I was done with you and this a long time ago."
"So why did you run away? What happened that was so big they had to call me in?"
"I suppose there was no one else to call in. It would hardly be appropriate to send in Brandon or Kim. I guess you were the next best thing."
"Why? Kim's your best friend, has been since high school. She's the one that called me, but she never did say why she needed me to find you."
"Oh, well, that's Kimmy for you. She wouldn't admit outright she was sleeping with my fiance."