The Believer

by Emily Beck

“Alright you lot. Are we all gathered? Timmy?”
            “Yeth. I here.”
            “Charlie, you damn Brit. You’re starring right at me.”
            “Well, I ‘ad to be sure. You come and go as you please ‘ere.”
            “That’s right! I run this mind. And don’t you for….”
            “Alright, Tommy that’s enough.”
            “The subject for this meeting is Jaxon. We ‘ave been getting ‘im into too much trouble lately. Timmy,”
            “What- do- you- want- Charlie?”
            “You drove the car last week and Jaxon got a speeding ticket.”
            “It’s not, not f-fair. You, you g-guys get to drive.”
            “Timmy, you ‘ave Down syndrome, you can’t drive. It’s not okay.”
            “Shit, Charlie! So what if he drove the car? No one got hurt.”
            “Tommy, did you tell him to drive it?”
            “So what if I did? He doesn’t have to listen to me.”
            “Tommy, your constant angry attitude is getting all of us into a lot of trouble.”
            “If, if I didn’t, he, he would hit me?”
“Tommy, you’ve not started that up again ‘ave you?”
            “Well, Jaxon’s hanging out with them now; the ones who don’t drink. I haven’t had a good beer in weeks.”
“That’s no excuse Tommy.”
Jessica sat at the table and across from Jaxon. He had his head in his hands and was shaking it. She pulled some Aspirin out of her purse and nudged him.
            “Jaxon. Jaxon, are you alright?”
            “Huh, what?”
            “Are- you- okay?”
            “Oh ya. I just have a headache.”
            “Again? I have some Aspirin here if you want it.”
            “No, no thanks. I think I’m going to pack it in for the night and go home.”
            “Jaxon, I really think you should see a doctor. These headaches have been happening a lot lately.”
            “I don’t need a doctor! I can handle the crap in my head.”
“Alright, but the boss won’t be happy with you leaving early.” She told him as he walked out the front door. He waived his hand at her and touched his head again, squinting his eyes.
“Great, Tommy, just great. If Jaxon doesn’t work ‘e doesn’t get paid. Look at what your argument caused.”
            “My argument! You’re the one who wanted this stupid meeting.”
            “If ‘e doesn’t work you’ll not get any beer.”
            “So, I don’t get it now anyway.”
            “Ch- Charlie. Where – is- Jaxon- going?”
            “I don’ know. I’ve never been down this street before. ‘E’s stoppen. Where is ‘e?”
            “God damn it! It’s a bar! Finally he’s listening to me.”
            “ ‘E can’t go into a pub. Where’s ‘is designated driver? ‘Ow’s ‘e going to get ‘ome.”
            “Jaxon!” Mark said holding the door open for him. “I haven’t seen you in a while. Come, have a sit down on this stool. How have you been?”
            “Good, man. Yourself?”
            “Business as usual. I can’t complain.” His face became blank and he blinked his eyes. He spoke slowly, almost like out of a horror movie.
            “That’s good.” Mark got a little scared looking at him. Then he reminded himself that he sees worse people all the time and he shook it off. “What’ll it be?”
            “A large bottle of Jack Daniels.” His head turned and his eyes were wide looking at Mark.
“Oh no Timmy, Tommy’s just ordered a whole bottle of Jack Daniels. That’ll get Jaxon wasted for sure. We can’t let ‘im do it.”
            “Y- you have to. When Tommy’s in c- control you- you can’t stop him. Let him drink. Then he’ll leave me alone.”
            “Jaxon’s wife Kellie will be mad for sure. She’s going to be in a right state when ‘e doesn’t come ‘ome on time.”
Mark made small talk with Jaxon as he drank the whiskey. The large bottle was half gone when a customer next to him ordered a beer and a bowl of gummy bears. Jaxon’s face went blank again. He blinked his eyes and began laughing. He spoke in a voice that was like a delayed learner.
            “Gummy bears. Are they the sugarless kind?”
            “I don’t think so.” Mark told him confused. “What’s so funny about sugarless gummy bears?” Jaxon cracked up and almost fell off his bar stool.
            “They give you gas!” he shouted it so loud that the whole bar was now focused on his story of sugarless gummy bears. “I ate f-five of them before church and d-during the thervice I f-farted tho loud I had to leave before I had an accident in my pants.” He was overcome with laughter and so was everyone else. Mark looked at the bottle of whiskey.
            “Jaxon, is this true?” He pulled out his phone and showed Mark his screen shots of the reviews. Mark admitted they were funny and he did start laughing at what he read. He handed him back his phone when it rang. A picture of a woman came on the screen with the name, Kellie- the wife. He turned it over.
“Great Tommy! Great! Now Timmy’s drunk and Kellie is calling to find out where Jaxon is.”
            “Charlie, I don’t care. And Jaxon doesn’t either. He’s not answering it. We’ve been held up in his head for too long. It’s time we have some fun.”
            “This is not fun, Tommy. Why did you trade places with Timmy?”
            “Look, I had my drink and Timmy loves gummy bears. It’s funny.”
“This could get Jaxon into trouble. I’m getting Timmy!”
Jaxon stopped laughing and his head hit the bar with a loud thump. “Jaxon? Jaxon are you okay?”
            “Huh, what? Where am I?”
            “You’re at Marky’s, the bar.”
            “How did I get here?”
            “You drove here.” Mark took what was left in the bottle and put it behind the counter. “But you clearly can’t drive home.” His phone rang again. He looked at it and his eyes blinked again before he answered it.
            “ ‘Ello love. ‘Ow are you?”
            “Jaxon, now I know you’ve had too much.” Mark turned to the cook in the back window. He turned around and starred at him. “You’re talking like you’re a man from Britain. What’s gotten into you? I’ve seen you drunk before but never like this.”
            “It’s me sister Amy. We always talk like this.” Mark placed a cheeseburger and water in front of him. “I’m fine, love. Kellie? Oh yes, love. She’s been trying to get a ‘old of him but ‘e drove to a bloody bar. I told him not to but Tommy took over and I ‘ad no choice.” Mark tried to focus on his other customers without staring at Jaxon or whoever this was that was in front of him talking. “There’s an ‘otel across the way; if I can get there to sleep tonight I think we’ll be alright.”
“We? Who is we?” Mark asks no one in particular and thinks of calling him a cab. He pulls a business card out of his pocket. “Oh love you don’ ‘ave to do that. Well if you want to drive in your lorey to pick ‘im up we’ll be ever so grateful.”
“Timmy, I want to talk to Nancy?”
            “N-Nancy? Who is that?”
            “You are stupid aren’t you? Nancy lives in Amy’s head like we live in Jaxon’s.”
            “Yeth, I remember.”
            “I want to talk to her!”
            “I- I don, don’t think so.”
            “What do you mean!? Nancy likes me.”
            “Y-yes but, Amy is worried about him and she doesn’t let N-Nancy come out when she’s worried.”
            “Stupid integration. If Amy hadn’t done that Nancy would still have her freedom.”
            “Alright love. I will see you in a bit.” Jaxon hung up his phone and stared blankly. His eyes blinked and he breathed deep. Mark stepped back.
“I don’t know who or what is going to speak now.” Jaxon grabbed the burger and took a huge bite. He eyed the glass of water and drank it down in seconds. Mark gave him another. Seeing that it appeared to be the regular, old, Jaxon, Mark spoke to him.
            “Are you going to be alright man?”
            “Yah, I think so.” Mark breathed a sigh of relief when he saw that it was the normal Jaxon who had walked into his bar.
            “Are you lot satisfied? You cause all this trouble and I ‘ave to be the one to bail you out. You’re lucky I live in Jaxon’s head too.”
            “Charlie, get your knickers out of your ass. We were only having a little fun. We haven’t had this much fun in a long time.”
            “Ya. Ya, Ch-Charlie. I liked the gummy bears.”
            “Yes, and so did everyone else in that pub. Now they will go ‘ome and remember a crazy man who drinks Jack and loves gummy candy.”
            “Oh, shut up Charlie. It was only a little joke.”
            “Ch-Charlie, who is c-coming to get us?”

            “Jaxon’s sister, Amy. The believer.”