Mick looked up. A girl in her 20s was looking at her with a faint smile.
“Hey,” he said with a return smile. It wasn’t often that a girl would come to a guy directly in a bar.
“Is this seat empty?” The girl asked.
“Yeah,” he said with an inner glee. Then he remembered and his heart sank. Even if she liked him, there wasn’t much he could do about it.
Mick had died a couple of weeks ago. His soul had decided to stay around the body and while he couldn’t enter the body and revive himself, he was able to hold it and use it to enact, almost like a zombie. The first two days after that had been great and he decided that he will continue to live on like this. Then, his body started to show signs of deterioration. He realized that his body’s functions that were protecting him from bacteria and other microorganisms had stopped functioning. His heart wasn’t pumping blood and he was definitely not going to last. He decided to complete some final tasks – taking care of his parents’ finances, ensuring that his brother was off his ground, finishing his will, etc. before he leaves his body. It had taken two weeks to get everything done and each passing day had been harder than the last. At this point, he was just a hollow shell with skin preserved through chemicals. Mick had decided that tonight was the last night and thus, he decided to come to a bar. Alcohol isn’t going to do any good to his already dead body and would destroy a multitude of cells that will never regenerate. But he wanted to drink once more before he died.
The girl sat down in front of him and gave him a smile. She had a glass filled with ice and plain vodka or tequila if he had to guess. He could never judge a drink and with transparent drinks, he was just lost.
“I haven’t seen you here before,” the girl said. She was wearing a tall skirt, almost like a gown.
“Yeah. I don’t come to bars and pubs often,” Mick said. In truth, he had not come to a bar in a couple of years. The alcohol was cheaper to buy in a market and he preferred organizing parties at his home.
“Oh. I love parties and pubs,” the girl said with a visible change in her mood. Mick scolded herself for blowing his chance and then scolded himself for forgetting that he had no chance.
‘Mick! you died because of alcohol poisoning you idiot. If anything, you should tell this girl to reduce her drinking.’ Mick thought in his mind, remembering how he checked the first day on how he died. The only logical conclusion was either bad alcohol poisoning or overdosing on alcohol, which basically meant alcohol poisoning. The night before, they had partied harder than anything he had ever seen. Of course, if his death was discovered, the next morning would have been a damp one but that didn’t happen and all his friends left the place happy. Hungover, but happy.
“Good for you,” Mick said and focused on his drink. It was a mix of every drink possible. It tasted horrible but he wanted to drink everything once more. He had taken a pint of beer on the side as well just so that he could wash this horrible concoction with ease. Thankfully, he could feel all the sensations in his body albeit he had to focus on them now. For example, he could lose a limb and not feel it if he didn’t focus but he could feel his body being eaten alive by flesh-eating bacteria on his right thigh, right now. He tried to kill them twice daily so that his body could remain in shape but by night, they often restarted within twelve or so hours.
The girl sat there quietly for a couple of minutes, probably waiting for Mick to say something but he didn’t bother so she started again.
“Please tell me you aren’t the quiet type.”
Mick smiled. He realized that death had definitely changed him. From the shutter box that he was called earlier, he was now deemed a quiet type.
“And why is that?” Mick asked. Her curiosity in him had piqued his curiosity in her.
“I think you would be a really interesting guy to talk with,” the girl said.
“Really! And why is that?” Mick asked.
The girl giggled for straight fifteen seconds before answering.
“Because in all my life, I have never seen a guy whose ear fell off and he didn’t notice,” she said and bent down to pick an ear. She held it to Mick who immediately recognized it as his own, a feeling confirmed by his hand which couldn’t find his right ear on his head.
He looked at her scandalized. ‘It doesn’t matter. I’m dead anyway. It doesn’t matter.’ He repeated in his mind but his soul was panicking at this point. He didn’t even know that souls could panic.
“Don’t worry. I’m not letting your secret out,” the girl said with a genuine smile.
“Thank you!” Mick said and hid the ear in his pocket.
“When did you die?” The girl asked.
“How did you know?”
“Two weeks ago.”
“You are holding up quite well for a two weeks old dead body.”
“Not really! This is frankly the end of the road for me.”
The girl laughed.
“I was joking, you idiot. You are in terrible shape.”
“What?” Mick said looking at her confused.
“First thing. Stop drinking alcohol you idiot. That is bad for a dead body.”
“This is my last day. I’m planning on leaving tonight. I can drink whatever I want.”
The girl rolled her eyes.
“Were you this idiot when you were alive or has death decreased your IQ points?”
“How did you die?”
Mick looked down, ashamed.
The girl’s eyes widened.
“Urghhh. If you weren’t the only dead guy around,” she said loudly, “and so frigging cute,” she whispered.
“Come with me.”
“To teach you a few things about life after death.”
“Like what? And who are you?”
“Like when you are out partying, drink water mixed with ice, which is also water. No one would know,” she said showing him her glass.
His eyes reflected the shock he was feeling.
“You… you… you…”
“Don’t act as if you have seen a ghost. Or at least the first ghost.”
“Yeah. If you take proper care, you can have a normal life. At least for more than two weeks.”
“Okay,” Mick said hopefully.
“What’s your name? I’m …”
“Wait! Don’t tell me your real name. Let’s keep this interesting. Tell me a random name you can think of right now.”
“Uh. Okay. My name is Pongsathorn. And yours?”
“So, Selina. Now what?” Mick asked as they came out of the bar.
“Now, I teach you how to live when you’re dead,” Selina said with a grin and a twinkle in her eye.