18th Birthday by D. I. Jolly
“I have an issue, no… a problem… NO!… A conundrum.”
Said Josh with what seemed to everyone else at the table like an exaggerated seriousness, but Johnny recognised the expression on his friends face and knew that for whatever reason, Josh was being sincere.
“What’s wrong now?”
“Well,’ Said Josh before stopping and looking around the bar. They had been sitting at their favourite booth in their favourite bar for a few hours and as the clock had begun approaching midnight, the weight of his conundrum had started to become heavier and heavier. ‘Well, it’s just that, I really love this bar, and I love coming here, and they’re always so nice to us.”
Said Johnny flatly.
“But in a few minutes, it’s going to cross midnight and cross into my birthday. And I want to tell everyone and have a massive party.”
Johnny nodded thoughtfully, knowing what the problem was.
“But it’s your 18th birthday, and we’ve been lying to the staff for over a year so that we can drink here.”
“That is a problem, also my birthday is only next month, and if we start that ball rolling, I think it’s going to roll right over me, and then we lose our favourite bar, our reputation as fine upstanding drinkers and that’s no way to spend a birthday.”
Josh waved his arms drunkenly as if to say, “Right! See! Exactly.” Johnny thought for a moment trying to find a solution, then heard his watch beep, telling him it was midnight. A sudden flash of a drunken idea hit him and without a moment’s hesitation he stood up from his seat, and stepped up onto the table. He smiled broadly and began to clink two beer bottles together to get the attention of the bar.
“Hey! Hi! Hello! How lovely it is to see you all, yes hi hello, I’m trying to make a speech, so please, everyone look at me.”
Mostly everyone in the bar turned to look at the loudly talking man, with a few random claps and cheers as he smiled around at the room.
“It is now midnight which means that it is my best friend’s 20th birthday!”
The entire bar erupted into cheers and applause and after a minute Johnny led the bar into a very loud and drunken rendition of Happy Birthday. The staff all joined in and fresh beers and shots were placed on the table, as Josh received hugs and handshakes and kind words.
Johnny for his part gingerly stepped down, careful not to knock over any of the new drinks that had just been delivered and waited until he could give his friend a birthday hug. Which came with a gentle whisper in his ear.
“You’re a fucking genius!”
To which he replied.
“Just don’t blow it, we need to remember this for my birthday next month.”
Josh looked at Johnny with a serious expression and they nodded at each other, and then proceeded to get incredibly drunk.