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Outside Inwards Upside Down

Reese knew exactly where she was going as she ascended the stairs back to the Psych Ward on the third floor, but she still felt disoriented. As she approached the doors of the ward, she determined there was no way to sort out what had really happened in Room 26 – at least not at this time. So, she thought it best to put it out of her head for the rest of the workday. She had enough duties to keep her hands busy and mind occupied anyway.

She did work out an arrangement with the nurses so she would not have to look in on Room 26 again for the remainder of the day. With that task off her to-do list, the rest of her shift ticked by quickly and before she knew it, the time had come to go home. As she delivered her shift report to the on-coming Assistant, she realized that going home would mean her mind would likely go back and fixate on the incident in Room 26 from that morning. She made a decision then and there that she would go home, shower, and then take herself out for a drink – if she was lucky, maybe she could find a live band or some karaoke. Music had always managed to lift her spirits.

And she did just that. The shower felt refreshing and with a towel wrapping around her hair, she fingered through her closet looking for something appropriate to wear for the evening. The weather was cool, but humid – so she thought it best to dress in layers. A simple black t-shirt, blue jeans, and her favorite zipped sweatshirt was the obvious (and usual) selection. She usually didn’t mess with makeup and tonight was no exception to that rule. With brushed teeth, polished glasses, and a pair of clean sneakers, she bounded out the door with a destination in mind.

She settled on Rick’s Bar for tonight. It was a little out of the way, but after the day she had – she just wanted to go someplace quiet where nobody knew her name. Even though Rick’s usually had live music on the weekends and the place was always packed to capacity, weeknights were a different story. She was pleased to see the parking lot nearly empty upon her arrival.

As she locked her car behind her, Reese felt a twinge of sadness pucker at her throat. If she wanted to be someplace quiet, she had always gone to Jameson’s- a small neighborhood bar owned by Christopher’s parents. That had always been her favorite bar in town until the recent breakup.  She was certain that every bartender in that place had heard the story from his side. And she was equally certain that both his parents and his brother would be in the bar at some point throughout the evening. After the day she had, a confrontation of any sort was the last thing she wanted.

As she stepped into the bar, she was equally pleased to see the place was nearly empty – save for a group of four men who appeared to be blue-collar workers sharing a pitcher of beer as they shot a game of pool, a couple sitting in the corner making eyes at one another, and a solitary man  who appeared to be middle-aged sitting at the bar nursing a darkly-colored cocktail. The bartender looked friendly enough, so she took a seat at the opposite end of the bar from the strange man.

“What can I get you,” asked the bartender with a smile.

“Classic Ginger,” she said flatly. “Make it with Jameson.”

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