He walked into a bar. And not just any bar, "Elixir" was his own.
Both his parents had been alcoholics. The irony wasn't lost to him. in fact, it was deliberate. He still vividly remembered, the look of disgust that automatically crossed his face when he saw them, sprawled on the couch for days; without even showering, the room littered with bottles of vodka. He remembered his father's reaction to his disgust- eyes mocking him, that filthy mouth exclaiming that he was like them too, that he would turn out the same way. Haunted by this fear, he had spent the past two decades proving that he was different.
He had known that merely abstaining would not do. No. So he had drowned himself in that poison, gotten used to that revolting smell and bitter taste till the point when he began craving for it, only to shun it later. He had felt the triumph, the relief flowing through his veins. But it hadn't been enough.
The fear had still been there. So he had worked his ass off to buy that old warehouse and converted it into a posh bar.
As he opened the door, the cool draft of air-conditioners and the aroma of expensive booze hit him. He felt the deep craving and made his way to the bar, delaying his usual trip to the office.
"Hey boss! The usual?" Eric, the bartender asked him with a smirk.
"Yes, Eric. Thanks"
Eric slid the glass of sparkling water towards him. He turned on his stool and scanned the lounge. He could see the regular patrons who gave brief nods when their gaze collided with his. Most of them were big businessmen who came to relax after a day's work. And then his gaze fell on her.
His heart gave a leap, this involuntary action forcing him to admit that he had been looking for her all along. This was her seventh day in his bar. She came and sat there for a couple of hours every day, scribbling furiously on a notepad, occasionally drinking. She had started to attract attention.
Her auburn hair fell in deep tresses past her shoulders and she had the most stunning grey eyes. Her plump lips had a scar in the middle that made him mad with intrigue. He had never been attracted to someone on this level before. He would go to her today. It had taken him seven days to work up the nerve to approach her. He didn't want to waste any more time.
He got up and moved towards her. She looked up just then. Recognition flared in her eyes from the previous few days and she gave him a shy smile. God! He had to maintain his composure. He forced his gaze downward- and stopped cold in his tracks.
He was looking at the transparent bottle of Vodka that stood on her table, mocking him. Suddenly, he felt suffocated. He hurriedly rushed past her with a curt "hello" and retreated to the safety of his office. His shoulders hunched in defeat.
The fear had reared its ugly head again...