It was closing time and George had been there since finishing work some hours ago. He was not drunk, it took a lot to get George drunk, but he was certainly merry.
Picking up his large best coat he said, “I know, let's go for a meal. Famished I am. I know this place where-”
“No, had enough,” said the last remaining of his colleagues, also buttoning his coat. “The wife, you understand. See you.” And this colleague hastily made his getaway into the pub car park.
It had been some celebration. George had at last become salesman of the year after being runner up for the previous four years. It had been a hard slog and George had made an extra special effort to be even more genial than usual. Twenty years as the office joker and what had he to show for it?
On stepping outside he found everyone gone. The promised lift had evaporated and a cold wind cut into him. George shuffled to the bus stop and was just in time for the last bus home. On the long meandering journey George huddled as best he could in the corner. Winter was early this year.
It was pitiably dark as George struggled up the steps outside the Victorian terrace where he lived. On the bare floorboards inside he looked upon the hall table; no mail. Huffing and puffing he made his way up to the third story. In the dim light and out of breath he slid his key into his flats door.
Inside his bedsit he put on a single bar of the electric fire. Keeping his coat on he slumped in an uncomfortable threadbare chair. He reached for the whiskey bottle but there was not enough remaining to get a man of George's size or experience tolerably drunk.