Upon meeting Jimmy at the pub next to my house, to which I was already joyfully gargling away with cigarettes and cider, I knew he wasn’t going to be his usual self, or rather, the only slighty dodgy nineteen-year-old teenager that I had become accustomed to over the previous months. All of the previous times we’d met, he would only have had a cheap bottle of Tesco priced cider at the most, which meant he had only ever been in my presence in a reasonably sober state of mind. His first sentence to me in the pub that night signified to me just how different he was under the influence of certain illegal and legal substances.
‘I canny have any more to drink, I’m already malkied’, he murmured. He followed up with ‘Frank, you have no idea where I’ve been or what I’ve done tonight’ which is Jimmy’s signature line for informing me that he’s taken a lot of drugs, drank a lot of drink, and everything in between.
Sitting at the back of the pub sipping away at my cider, Jimmy could only smile and laugh at anything and everything I never said. A strict combination of cocaine, valium tablets, marijuana and of course, alcohol, had left Jimmy in a very cheerful world of magic and comedy, it seemed. I enjoyed his presence. The music was somewhat therapeutic, the atmosphere was motivating and everyone seemed to be having a blast of a time as we sat protected in the warmth of the Tavern. Upon the pub closing at twelve, we swiftly headed for the next bar which closed at one in the morning. Incidentally, this is the same bar that Jimmy worked at, and still works at to this day, despite his cruel and unforseen actions on this night.
Walking to Jimmy’s workplace was one of the longest and harshest walks of my life. The air was stagnant and brittle and the pavement was like stumbling over a cold and endless tombstone.
‘I’m going to f#cking kill someone tonight, he slurred. Honestly, I’m ready for it, I’m in the mood for a fight tonight. The first person to start something is getting their eyes gauged out’, he continued in a seriously malicious tone of voice.
I couldn’t believe it. I had heard an abundance of stories from Jimmy about the troubles he’d wormed himself into in the past regarding fighting and violence, and they all stemmed from this kind of chatter. Even though I wasn’t sure if he would actually hold true to what he was saying, I still somehow knew he wasn’t joking around and that if someone did confront him in an aggressive fashion, then something serious could ignite. His sadistic speeches only got colder as the chilling midnight air tightened around our pale bodies.
Approaching the end of our glacial stroll to Jimmy’s workplace, he then resorted to saying some of the most sadistic things I’d ever heard anyone say in my entire life. I like to think it was the snake of drugs and alcohol tied up inside his body that was talking, not him.
‘See that Becca at the bar, she’s getting battered tonight’.
‘Why?’, I asked nervously.
‘Because it’s fuckin’ freezin’ mate, I don’t think I’m actually gonna be able to make it eh!’, Jimmy blundered.
I couldn’t have thought of a better excuse to go on a killing spree myself if I tried.
Shocked at what he’d just preached, I fell silent and focussed only on evading the cold by slipping into the bar with Jimmy.
After standing at the bar half legless for approximately twenty minutes, Jimmy forcfully enters into a risky conversation with one of the female staff members at the bar. Unfortunately, it was Becca, and as much as I wanted to do something to coax him away from the soft innocent personality that stood elegantly behind the bar with a smile as she poured him another drink, I said and did nothing and watched patiently to see what would unwravel. I’m not quite certain what the topic of conversation was between the two but I could easily tell by their facial expressions that it was nothing malicious. After all, if he was going to murder someone, surely he would have just committed to the dirty deed as soon as he entered the building. A warm shower of relief poured over the top of my head as he finished his conversation with the girl and turned to speak to me again. I began to think that Jimmy had been all talk and no action, that he was a man of mind and not matter. It was just the drugs manipulating his angered mind and not his real thoughts that persuaded him to say all of those evil things on the way here, I thought comfortably to myself. I began to enjoy myself again.
A few more drinks and before we knew it, it was closing time and we found ourselves standing outside smoking our 99th cigarette of the night with the other reluctant pub leavers. There were so many people floating in and around the bar at this time and this made Jimmy very vulnerable to the volatile emotions that he had felt just an hour ago previously.
…And so it began.
The talk of murder and chaos and destruction ignited again. Spurting out vengeful phrases like “that little c#nt wants it!” and “Look at that wee c#nt, he’s getting stabbed!”, Jimmy began randomly picking out targets. The whole situation was like a game of mine field and it was only a matter of time before someone was seriously hurt. At this point I was growing steadily eager for something to happen, not just because I had never witnessed the shock and excitement of genuine violence in real life before, but also because I was dying to see if Jimmy lived up to all the stories of villainism he’d proclaimed about in the recent past.
Watching intently for something horrific to spark, I said very little. After five minutes of corrupt minded drivel from Jimmy, he swiftly and suddenly leapt a few steps to the left into the bearded face of a gentleman wearing a tight summer t-shirt and a dark casual pair of jeans, getting as close to the bearded man’s face as seemingly physically possible. The stocky, bearded man was clearly no stranger to the gym and boasted a degree of masculinity that outgunned the pimpled face of Jimmy.
‘What you saying about me!?’, Jimmy viciously screeched.
As the iconic words sprang recklessly from Jimmy’s cursed mouth, a look of confusion with a hint of anger spread across the bearded man’s face and his group of friends like a dark plague. There was no going back now, Jimmy had officially started something that I could only hope he could finish.
I was finally going to discover Jimmy’s true personality…