.

The two old men sat at the bar, each supping down a Guinness in the local pub, The Dandy Dog.

“We’ve been pals more than forty years, Arthur. So, as a friend, I got to say I was surprised when you told me you were getting married. I mean, not that I’m doubting your love for Bridget, she’s a nice girl; a nice young girl. What’s the age difference? You said she was thirty-two, so that’s thirty-eight years difference in your ages. I mean she’s a cracker right enough, a lap dancer, you said? And not that you need a chaperone, fella, but you’re pretty damn rich; a self-made man. I mean, did you not even consider her reasons for saying yes?”

Arthur put his beer down, licking foam from his upper lip, and said, “Hell, Bill Archer, I reckon you’re just a wee bit envious. It was pretty much love at first sight. I know there’s an age difference, but Bridget was really into me, she gave me a free lap-dance, I bought her a cocktail and we chatted. I know it was quick, and all, but hell, Bill, if a girl like Bridget offered to marry you, wouldn’t you say for sure?” Arthur took another long sup of Guinness, “Anyway, we just got back off honeymoon.”

“And where is she now, Arthur?”

“She said she was exhausted. Told me to come down here and have a beer. She’s very caring, Bill.”

Bill looked at his mate with an incredulous look on his face. “You’re killing me, Arthur, you’re not serious, man. You’ve been married a week and already she is telling you to go for a beer? There’s just something not right about it, Arthur.”

“What do you mean, Bill? I thought it was very sweet, her being exhausted and all. She gave me a kiss and helped me on with my coat, then found my stick for me. I needed it, because she told me the elevator to the apartment is out of order. Now, you’ve got to believe that’s a woman who cares a lot about me, right?”

“Well, Arthur, I’ll tell you what it means to me; it means she wanted you out of the apartment. She’s probably got a golden boy hidden away. Probably on top of her right now.”

“You don’t honestly believe that, Bill. Surely?”

“Arthur, you’re a multi-millionaire. You have four houses around the world and your apartment in the city. Bridget was a lap-dancer at the Pokey Hole Club. You’re an inch from death, man. Maybe less.”

Arthur felt a little hot under the collar, “So you’re saying what?”

“I’m saying I wouldn’t have left her alone. I’m thinking she’s got a guy somewhere, and she needed you out of the apartment. That’s what I think, Arthur. Why don’t you sup up and head back?”

“Maybe I should, Bill. I never really thought about it. We never did anything on honeymoon, the old trigger doesn’t fire anymore. I would use Viagra but I’m on Nitroglycerin for my heart. Doctor said taking both will kill me standing up!”

Arthur grabs his cane and heads back to the apartment. It takes him fifteen minutes to climb the stairs and is puffing hard at the door. He rattles the key in the lock, hand trembling, and finally pushes it open.

“Hello, honey. You’re back so soon,” Bridget said, sitting on the sofa wearing only a negligee.

“Bill got to thinking, you were pretty anxious to get me out to the pub this evening, and it’s only six-thirty, why are you wearing your negligee?”

“I wanted to be ready for you coming home, Arthur,” she said, patting the sofa with her hand.

Arthur feels a little stupid. Why had he believed Bill? He calms down and walks over to the window for some fresh air. Looking down he sees a beautiful red sports car, with the top down, a young handsome guy is lighting a cigarette. Arthur puts it all together. He doesn’t know how he missed the guy on the stairs but maybe the elevator was working after-all. In a rage, with all the last energy he has, he tips the chest freezer out of the window. The last super human effort of a jealous old man, before he has a heart attack and falls dead. The freezer fell from the sixth floor onto the red sports car, killing the young man who was lighting a cigarette.

The two, Arthur and the good-looking guy, meet up again at the Pearly Gates of Heaven. Saint Peter is standing there to greet them.

“So, young man, what happened with you so early in life?” Saint Peter asks.

“Well, I’m not exactly sure. If I recall, I stopped driving to light a cigarette. After that nothing at all.”

“That’s truly sad, just stand there, I’ll be with you momentarily. And you, sir. It’s seems timely. What happened to you?

“Well, Saint Peter…it is Saint Peter, right? I just got married and came back from my honeymoon, and while having a drink with a pal, learned that maybe my new wife was having a fling behind my back. I came home and somehow, I missed him on the stairs. First I saw of him, he was sitting in his sports car. I used every last ounce of my strength and pulled the chest freezer to the window, tipped it up, and slid it out. I may have had a heart attack.”

“I don’t know how many times I stand here and hear the same story. Stand with the young man, I’ll be right with you. And you, sir, what are you doing here?”

“Saint Peter, I got to tell you, I ain’t got a clue. Last thing I know, I was climbing into a chest freezer!”

I was born in London, adopted, lived my youth on an island off the west coast of Scotland. I now live in California. I write to travel.