Scarred Beauty

By: Sam Crescent

The waiter came and served them coffee, and placed their lunch in front of them.

“Thank you for seeing me,” Brad said, the words breaking the ice.

“I was intrigued by your message. I wondered what you could possibly want to see me about.”


Isaac glanced over at him as Brad stopped the waiter from pouring wine into his glass. The restaurant always served the finest wine with every meal.

“Why don’t you have some wine? I promise you it is quality.”

“I don’t think serving wine to a recovering alcoholic is considered a great step on the road of recovery.”

Silence met Brad’s admission. Isaac felt like an idiot. When he’d disowned his father and family, thinking about them had never entered his head.

“How long have you been free of alcohol?” Isaac asked.

“Three years from alcohol and gambling. Two years free from drugs.”

“How old are you?”

“I’m twenty-three.”

“But I thought you were twenty,” Isaac said.

“No. Mum and dad had me while he was still married to your mum. You left as they were moving me into the house.”

The silence well and truly broken, Isaac stared down at his salad. The thought of eating it repulsed him.

“I’m sorry to hear about your problems.” For too long he’d dealt in the business world where his emotions were not needed. Speaking with his brother was awakening something within him, making talking very difficult.

“Don’t be. I’ve gone through shit, but I’m better now.”

“I guess you better start from the beginning.” Isaac sat back, sipped his coffee as he listened to Brad inform him about his life. The steps to recovery and Isaac were part of a collection of people he wanted to get to know. He learnt the alcohol was only the beginning. His mum and dad completely missed the drug and gambling abuse. With every passing minute, Isaac felt like a complete and total asshole of a brother. He’d been so convinced of his superiority and of his mother’s superior situation, he hadn’t thought the damage it could do to others around him. He’d known Brad existed but had failed to even give a shit about him. The other man had been dragged under by his position and had fought his way out.

“What made you decide to quit and seek help?”

“I met someone. I met a lovely young woman who showed me love and happiness can come from other places than at the bottom of the bottle,” Brad said with a smile.

“Are you engaged to be married?” Isaac asked as he noted the other man wasn’t wearing a ring of any kind.

“No. It’s nothing like that. Noelle is my best friend. We share an apartment together not too far from here. She’s amazing, but she has her own demons to live with. Anyway, you see, I’m gay.”

Isaac waited for the food to be taken away before starting up the conversation again. The female friend sounded like someone who really mattered, so Isaac brought her up again.

“I guess Noelle is one of a kind,” he said.

“She’s the most amazing friend I’ve had. Throughout the rehabilitation process and the start of my new life she’s been by my side.”

“How come you didn’t bring her today?” Isaac wanted to meet the woman whom Brad talked so fondly about.

“I wanted to meet you in person, alone for my first time. She wouldn’t come out. She doesn’t like going out much.”

Isaac noticed the vague answer from his brother but left it alone. Other people’s business had nothing to do with him. When his phone went off, he told his secretary to reschedule all of his appointments as he would be busy for the remainder of the day. Isaac was shocked by how much he wanted to get to know the man in front of him. The life Isaac led left him unsatisfied, and the only way to get out of it was to take charge and be the type of man he wanted to be.

They talked about everything, the restaurant buzzing around them. Isaac didn’t pay attention to the waiters as they served coffee and then dinner. The day went by as Isaac and Brad got to know each other. The first meeting was a huge success.

Brad’s phone beeped during a conversation. Isaac watched as he pulled his phone out of his pocket and went to delete the call.

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