Excerpt: More Than Friends

New cover: More Than Anything
September 17, 2016
New release: More Than Friends
September 23, 2016
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Excerpt: More Than Friends

It wasn’t so much a downward spiral I was in as plummeting down an endless black abyss.

Everything sucked. My work, my living situation, my love life, my life in general.

I was currently at work. It was late, people were drunk, the bar was busy. And I was behind it, ready to not give a fuck at all anymore, as I mixed various drinks for everyone crowded around the counter.

Opposite me, at the other end of the bar, my cousin Jo worked.

It was thanks to him I’d got a job here in the first place. I’d been grateful—at first.

Now I hated the place. Hated the people. I wanted to be on the other side of the bar, be one of those getting smashed-out-of-their-minds drunk. I wanted to mingle, wanted to go on the pull.

I didn’t want to be the sober one serving drinks.

When we switched out a little, and it was my turn to be in the back and out gathering empty glasses, I snuck a shot of Vodka with me. I emptied it in one swallow and it burned down my throat.

Pushing through the throng of people to gather empty glasses made my skin crawl. Everyone were chatting over the music, all were drunk or on their way, all laughed and were happy.

I’m not happy. 

I’m so far from happy I don’t even know what happy’s like.

The night dragged on.

I snuck some more shots. Then the clock said two, the bar didn’t serve anymore drinks. We started cleaning it as we waited for two thirty—that was when people had to leave.

Once the bar was empty, we cleaned the rest of the room. Jo and I put all the chairs up on the table so they wouldn’t be in the way for those who washed the floor in the morning.

“You okay, Ben?” Jo asked as we worked.

“Yeah, fine.” So far from fine. 

“You’ve seemed a little down lately, is all.” He regarded me for a couple of seconds before he turned away.

I hoped that was it. I didn’t want him, or anyone else, to pry into my business. My business was my own—I didn’t want anyone to dig into it.

It was the last of it, thankfully.

Jo didn’t say anything else, besides good night when we closed the place, the four of us who were closing, and went our separate ways.

I headed home, all but dragging my feet.

The house was dark, as it should be.

Thomas was asleep, excited to drive five hours in the morning to go spend Easter with his boyfriend. His bag was already in the hall, ready to go.

Maria was also asleep. I had no idea if that weirdo of a boyfriend of hers were still around or not. He probably was.

And that was it.

Christina had moved out, Andreas was in the army.

I was all alone in the basement. I should like it. I didn’t have to hear Andreas and Alex have sex anymore—because they were bloody loud.

But I hated it.

I wish Andreas can come home now. 

And bring Alex with him.

Except when Andreas came home from the army, they wouldn’t stay long. They’d move down to the capital, or wherever Andreas got into the Police Academy. Then they’d be even further away than they were now.

Maria would leave too, for school. I knew she’d applied to a lot of them, the closest three hours away by boat or even longer by bus or car.

Then it would just be me.

And my uncle, but he had his boyfriend now. Who would probably move in once summer came around and school let out.

They were all shacked up.

Christina was with Jo—cousins dating, yeah. Andreas was with Alex. Maria and that quiet bloke of hers. Thomas and Leo… then there was me.

All alone.

A major fuck-up.

I had no idea what to do with my life.

What did I want?

Certainly not to stand behind a bar every fucking night. I wanted a place of my own, but that was expensive. I wanted someone to share with. But the person I was in love with lived nine hours away—and he had no interest in me.

He was also my best friend.

Thomas had a shelf for alcohol in the living room. As he hardly ever drank, the bottles had been there a while. I peered at them in the dark room, trying to decide which one to get.

Bacardi Razz or Bacardi Apple? Razz would be too sweet for my mood. Apple it is then. 

I snagged it, uncorked it, and took a swig directly from the bottle. It burned. But it was a good kind of burn.

Well down in my room, I collapsed on my bed without so much as turning the lights on. I almost tripped over my strewn clothes on my way, but made it there safely.

I took another swig of the rum.

I should’ve got something to mix it with. 

But I couldn’t face going back upstairs to retrieve that. It was better to simply lay on my back and stare up into the darkness. Everything was dark around me, all the time.

There wasn’t a single bright spot in my life.

Alone, miserable, no idea what to do with my life.

The only thing I enjoyed was sex. And lately there was only one way I could get it.

But I’d been avoiding Tarjei, too.

It didn’t do me a world of good though. It only left me in an even fouler mood, because now I couldn’t even get a shag.

“Fuck this.” I sat up, took a long sip of the rum, and stood up again. I’m going to see him. Have sex with him. It was the only thing that would make me feel better.

But I brought the rum with me.