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Everybody loves Harry. (standard:drama, 2431 words)
Author: red1holsAdded: Sep 16 2002Views/Reads: 2494/1541Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Everybody loves Harry, but would I like to be like him?

Stopping off at my local pub on my way home is not my normal habit. It
had been a terrible day and the idea of a beer and a little bit of 
company suddenly seemed like a great way to unwind. The bar was quiet. 
It always is early on a Tuesday. Just when I had resigned myself to 
drinking alone, I spotted Harry hunched over the corner table. 

My spirits lifted. Everybody likes Harry. No, that understates it.
Everybody loves Harry. He is intelligent, witty, good looking and 
excellent company. Half an hour with Harry and all my problems would be 

“Evening Harry!” I called over from the bar. “Would you like another?” 

Harry nodded. I took the two pints over to Harry and sat down. 

“Why so glum, Harry? This isn't like you.” 

“You don't understand. No one understands. This isn't my life anymore!”
Harry looked at me with two bloodshot eyes. 

“You are in a bad way. How many of those have you had?” I nodded towards
the empty glasses. 

“Stop it!” Harry's fist slammed against the table, causing beer to spill
over the top of the glasses. “This isn't me! I'm not meant to be 
popular. Try to remember! Remember back to before, when I had an 
ordinary life! Go on, try and remember me a month ago!” 

The outburst stunned me. I looked at the barman, who suddenly remembered
some cellar work. 

“What do you mean Harry? A month ago?” Something twitched in my memory,
but I couldn't quite grasp it. 

“Think!” Harry fixed me with a wild stare. “You will remember how things
used to be!” 

The fog in my mind cleared. Harry Clark was the original anonymous
accountant. On Friday evenings, we would sit together, reading our 
respective papers, him the Telegraph while I preferred the Independent. 
At ten, we would bid each other farewell. I would return to my wife, 
while he returned to his ordered bachelor existence. 

“That's not right, Harry.” I stammered. “You are the life and soul of
this place. You are the most eligible bachelor in the town. Everybody 
loves you, Harry.” 

“No, you remember how it used to be.” He fixed me with a knowing stare.
“The way it should be.” 

Harry took a long draught from his pint before hunching over it. 

“What? I mean, did it all change?” I stammered in confusion. “What's
wrong with your life now?” 

Harry sat back on his chair and stared at the ceiling deep in thought.
After a few minutes, he thrust his left hand under my nose. 

“This!” he pointed to a silver ring on the little finger of his left
hand. “This is what changed everything!” 

I examined the ring. It was just an ordinary, plain ring. Possibly
silver, but there was absolutely nothing exceptional about it. 

“I'm going to tell you about it and you WILL remember!” Harry's voice
resonated around the bar. 

Harry hunched over his pint again and started breathing deeply. Just as
I began to think that he had fallen asleep, he looked at me again. 

“Four weeks ago, I was at a conference in York.” His voice was calm,
almost a whisper. “I had tagged along with some of the other delegates, 
but they had waited until I was in the toilets and sneaked away. I was 
too boring for them.” 

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