After leaving Missy’s house, I drive to Club Venice, which is the place where I met her, and I hope nothing has changed as I drive there. When I get there, I walk over the bartender.

“Tired already?” the bartender asks with a welcoming smile.

“Long day, and it’s not even over yet,” I respond. “Give me a bottle of whiskey,” I continue, and the bartender nods and puts a bottle and glass in front of me.

The club is not full at this time of day, so I walk over to an empty table, pull out a chair, sit, and start drinking.

“No way! Silindile?” I hear a voice behind me say.

I turn around, trying very hard to get my mind to remember where I know the person from. When she sees the look of confusion in my face, she smiles. “Tammy?” I ask with the widest smile. “Oh, yeah! How are you?” I continue, standing up and hugging her.

“You moved here?” Tammy asks.

Before responding, I think about telling her I had just came from jail, but I decide against it. “Yes,” I say, nodding.

“Wow. I’m glad to see a familiar face around here. Are you still an IT specialist?” she asks.

“Yep! But I’m currently out of a job, and you? Still a tenderpreneur?” I ask back.

Tammy nods in response, and I can see life is going well for her. She used to be my roommate back in my varsity days. She and I had our “fun” moments, but we were never exclusive.

“And, what makes you drink so heavily? It’s not even three yet,” Tammy says, then she glances at her watch and sits next to me.

“Wife,” I respond, shrugging, then a hiccup hits me.

“Trouble in paradise, hey?” Tammy asks, laughing, and I nod in response. “Maybe I can help,” she adds, holding my hand.

“She doesn’t want me to see my daughter. She’s now engaged, and we didn’t even have a divorce. My child is four years old, and I last saw her when she was a few months old,” I say, taking the bottle and pouring some whiskey into the glass, then I hand it to her.

“Where were you all this time?” Tammy asks, taking the glass.

Before responding, I drink out of the bottle, then let out a sigh. “Prison,” I respond, shrugging.

“Why?” Tammy asks, sipping the whiskey. She has always been a calm woman.

“It’s a long story, but I need my wife and daughter back,” I respond, then wipe my mouth with the back of my hand.

“Do you have a plan? A lawyer?” Tammy asks.

“No. I don’t want lawyers involved. I just want my family back,” I respond, then take another huge sip from the bottle.

“I think you’ve had enough,” Tammy says, taking the bottle from me.

“Tammy, please,” I say, struggling with her.

Tammy eventually takes the bottle from me and pays the bill. “We’ll come back for your car later. For now, we’re going to my place,” she says, and we walk to her car.

***

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