Emeka’s eyes was like a brimstone- they owed that to the many rounds of beer the holder of the eyes has consumed. He did not seemed to worry him a bit, but it worried his friend, Ade, who sat beside him, trying to make him stop, after many bottles- twelve, to be precise.
“I think you should stop here.” Ade pleaded. “Please.”
Emeka looked at his friend without a word, but his eyes pierced Ade’s soul. He tried to raise his hand as a signal for another drink, but, Ade quickly stopped it midair and brought it back on the table with an angry slam that sent the empty green bottles rolling on the table.
Ade, just realizing that he would be breaking some of the bottles, tried to stop the ones that were trying to find their way to the floor of the drinking area, but he only has two hands and could only hold two in his hands. The sound of broken bottles drew all eyes to their position.
“You do realize you will pay for that, right?” Emeka finally found his voice.
Ade balanced the two bottles on the table and his eyes were quick to caught Emeka’s hand as they were coming down. It was no rocket science, he already signaled for another drink.
“You’re not going to have that drink while I am still here, Emeka!” Ade got angry.
“And who’s going to stop me?” Emeka asked.
“I told you, Emeka, you are not going to have that… hey, hey…!” Ade cut himself short and sprang from his seat. He stopped the barman midway. “Who has these drinks?” He asked the barman.
The barman scoffed and answered him reluctantly, “your friend of course.”
“What kind of question is this? The same one who broke the bottles over there. You were talking to him just now.” The barman replied.
“So, after you had bottled him down to thirteen…”
“What?” Ade asked.
“Twelve bottles, not thirteen.”
“And now, you’re going to add another four?” Ade asked as his eyes bulged at the fresh green bottles, sweating profusely in the basket the barman was holding.”
The barman shrugged and said it was his choice, not his. Ade begged him to let him take his friend home, but the barman asked if he was the one paying.
“My friend, over there,” Ade pointed to Emeka, “has a problem- a problem that he wouldn’t solve even if he drank himself to death.”
The barman said it was not his problem. And before they could continue, Emeka was right behind them.
“What is the problem here?” He asked as he balanced himself with the steel column at Ade’s back.
The barman explained to Emeka, who only smiled.
“Did you realize that he broke some bottles back there?” Emeka asked the barman who said he thought it was Emeka who broke them.
Emeka said it wasn’t him and he is not going to pay for it.
“Well, then, I have to collect the money for the bottle or the manger will have to deduct my salary. And that will never happen” The barman stretched his palm to Ade who looked at Emeka.
Ade whispered to Emeka, “You know I have no money on me here. Why are you doing this?”
Emeka chuckled and said to the barman, “You heard him?”
The Barman shook his head with a large frown.
“Well, Emeka began, “he said he’s not going to pay a dime!”
“What…? Emeka, why did you….See,” Ade turned to the barman, “he’s my friend, and he will pay you, okay? He’s just joking.”
The barman looked at Emeka who shook his head.
“Listen, I will have to be a little bit rough with you, my friend. Your phone will be held until you pay back that money!” The barman coldly told Ade and summoned the security, who appeared bored and suddenly excited that he was going to beat someone for the day’s entertainment.
Ade began to sweat. “See, I will talk to him, I will get you your money.”
After Emeka was satisfied with the humiliation he gave his friend, he finally agreed to pay for the broken bottles, only if Ade is bounced out of the tavern. Ade couldn’t believe himself, but he was glad.
“Mr.,” The barman started, “I know you look like a gentlemen, I will ask…”
“No need for that, I will leave.” Ade said. He turned to his friend, “I want you to know that if you destroy yourself because of a lady, you do not have anyone to blame about that. It is on you!” He finished and started walking out of the plank- the name popular tavern.
Emeka scoffed and made to return to his seat, but he slipped and fell on a nearby table, full of empty bottles. The barman did helped him up, but not without first chuckling at the foolish man.
“You have broken more bottles, Sir.” The Barman said. I hope you…”
“How many?” Emeka asked as he was guided to his seat.
“The barman looked back and scooped in a figure, “Ten, I guess.” HE said and hoped Emeka wouldn’t see it was only three.
“One thousand, five hundred naira.” He said and Emeka said it’s okay, he will pay.
The barman clenched his teeth in regret and hoped he had said the figure was twenty. Nevertheless, as he guided Emeka to his table, he deliberately placed the bottles at the edge of his table and hoped he broke more of them!