Short Story Fiction
The Bench Part Seven: Happy Endings

The Bench Part Seven brings this story to its conclusion.

Corey, Wesley and Sunny entered the restaurant and took a seat.

Corey spoke up. “Order what you like, I’m paying.”

There was some small talk among the three until the food arrived. Sunny was getting anxious to hear what Corey had on his mind. Once they began to eat, Corey got right to the point.

short story fiction / The Bench part sevenJohn Tuesday / Unsplash

“Sunny, Wesley tells me you’re anxious to get off the street. It that true?”

“In the worst way,” replied Sunny. “It’s like I told Wesley. I dug myself into a hole and I can’t seem to pull myself out.”

Corey didn’t beat around the bush. “He also tells me you’re an alcoholic.”

Sunny stopped eating and looked Corey in the eye. She hesitated to respond. If he knew the truth and she said no, He would know she was lying. If she said yes, he might not think so highly of her.

Corey patiently waited for her reply. She decided not to lie and let the chips fall where they may. “Yes, Wesley is telling you the truth. I am an alcoholic. I hate myself for it but I can’t stop. Every time I try… I… I. Sunny began to cry. I’m a worthless drunk. I’m sorry.

Corey handed Sunny a napkin. “Here. Dry your eyes young lady. No reason to be sorry. It’s the answer I needed to here.”

“I don’t understand? Why is that so important? Do you like making people cry?” Sunny dabbed at her eyes with the napkin.

“No, not at all. I needed to know if you were willing to admit you have an addiction problem. Now comes a much harder question. Would you be willing to have someone help you beat this addiction and pull you out of this hole your in?”

“That’s not a hard question. The answer is yes, of course I would. The real question is, are you willing to help me?” If not, why am I here?”

Corey appreciated her candor. “The answer to that question is a yes, I am willing to help you. Let me explain how this works.” Corey laid out the requirements just as he had with Wesley several weeks earlier. As he talked he could tell she was paying close attention by the way her unblinking eyes fixated on his every word.

Once he had finished he asked Sunny what she thought. It took her a few seconds to process enough of what she had heard before she could respond. “Let me get this right. You’re willing to cover ALL of my expenses including giving me a part time job and the initial cost of a place to stay. All I have to do is agree to check in to AA and keep myself sober?”

“Yes, you got it.”

Sunny wasn’t so sure she believed Corey. “Why are you doing this? What’s the catch?”

“No catch,” replied Corey.

At this point, Wesley broke into the conversation. “Sunny, there really is no catch other than you need to go through the AA program and remain sober. No hidden agenda. There are few angels in this world especially in the music industry as you well know. Corey and his friends are the real deal. You and I are two of the lucky ones. For some reason we’re being watched over. Someone or some thing isn’t finished with us. We still have a part to play in this life.

“You’re being given a second chance. You’ve told me on several occasions that more than anything you want to get out of this situation you find yourself in. As your friend, I’m asking you to realize this is your chance. You can question it if you like but don’t let it hold you back or pass you by. The ball is in your court right now and yes, the pressure is on. It’s time to decide your fate. What will it be?”

Deep down Sunny knew Wesley was right. “I absolutely want to take this offer. I never expected something like this would ever happen to me. In the past I’ve had to fight for everything I’ve ever achieved. This doesn’t seem real to me.”

Corey replied. “You’re still going to have to fight for this. As Wesley and I can both attest to, AA is no cake walk. This could be the fight of your life. Good things happen to good people. Us sitting here today is no accident. It was meant to happen. So I guess the question is, how will you respond?”

“I am a good person. I put myself into this position and I need to get myself out. Now here you two are offering me a helping hand. How can I refuse? Yes, yes I’ll accept the offer. It’s everything I’ve been wanting. Why wouldn’t I.”

~~~~~

Sunny never went back to the bench. That afternoon she admitted herself and went through the AA program. As promised, Corey lived up to his side of the agreement. Wesley supplied his moral support every step of the way.

A full year later Sunny and Wesley still play and sing at the coffee shop. Their story touched the hearts of all who heard it. Wesley and Sunny eventually set up a Go Fund Me account. They hoped to raise enough money to start their own recording studio. The fund was an overwhelming success and so is their studio.

Today Wesley, Sunny and a few close friends get together and record songs. They post them for sale on their website. The setup has worked out extremely well for them. A percentage of the income goes toward Corey’s musician rescue group of which they are now a part of.

THE END

© Copyright 2023 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.


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