Eric spotted Khole sitting on a stool at the far end of the bar. He knew she would sit there all night, waiting patiently for him to finish his shift. He barely glanced her way, knowing full well that this would only make her more anxious and wanting him even more. He had learned to keep women dangling, begging for more from him.

Of course, he blamed his manipulating behaviour on Dolores; he never blamed himself for anything. Problems or bad behaviour were always somebody else’s fault.

At least Khole had her own flat. She had a good job too. Neither her friends nor her family could convince her Eric was bad news. Like many women before her, she thought she could change him.

Women, like Khole, often begged him to take them back to his place. He would reply: “I’m sorry, but I still live with my parents. Pathetic I know, at my age, but I can’t afford a flat of my own.” He tried his hardest to make them believe that he meant it.

In fact, Eric had a nice, comfortable flat in Richmond Hill now. He didn’t like the women enough to want them to stay over. He didn’t want to have to wake in the morning and find them still in his bed.

He’d been out with Khole a few times. Well, he hadn’t exactly taken her anywhere except to bed. By the time she would wake up in the morning he had already left. She didn’t seem to mind, so why should he?

If he didn’t spot any new talent he’d end up going back to her flat. Either way, he couldn’t lose. He grinned at the thought. He knew Khole would wait for him, no matter what time he finished.

Eric also had two cellphones. One he kept strictly for work and family. The other one was for the women he bedded; the ones who slipped him their numbers.

From his post at the bar, Eric looked up, startled, as he heard a mighty crash. A large, older man had just fallen off his chair, bringing the table full of glasses tumbling to the floor along with him.

Eric noticed the horrified look on the face of a younger woman who was seated next to the man when this happened. She looked as if she wanted to burst into tears.

Eric shook his head and sighed deeply. It was going to be one of those nights.

“Is he dead?” a woman shouted. “Do you think you need to call an ambulance?”

“I doubt it,” Eric murmured under his breath. People often fell over in the Barn and Barrel. He went over to where the guy was lying, sprawled out on the floor.

“No, he’s not dead,” he said, to nobody in particular.

“I’m not drunk either,” said the man, as he suddenly opened his eyes and tried to sit up.

His lady friend put her arms out and helped him up. “Let’s just go, Moses,” she pleaded.

Eric looked at her properly for the first time. She didn’t look like the usual type of woman that frequented the Barn and Barrel.


Tell us what you think: What do you think is the ‘usual type’ of woman that frequents the Barn and Barrel?