Flash Fiction Monday!! Join in on the fun!
It was that time again. Time to throw the week’s work off my back and enjoy the next two days off. Normally, I would be content to sit at home and lose myself in a good book but tonight I wanted a change of pace. A new bar opened a few months back called “Azure” that everyone had been raving about. Why not? Even if it’s not my type of hang out, at least I’d know what the people were referring to when they chatted it up in the office on Monday.
With keys in hand, I stood in front of the bathroom mirror debating my clothing choice. The sweater was a little snug but not too bad. In fact, it was just snug enough to flatter the “girls”. The only questionable article was the skirt. I’m a jeans and t-shirt person, so anything that shows more leg than my ankles always makes me slightly uncomfortable. However, it wasn’t like I was showing much skin anyway since the skirt stopped at my knees. One more quick glance to make sure no fly-aways were evident, flip the light switch down, and I was off. Tonight was about embracing the uncomfortable and experiencing a different side of life.
Tall glass spires rose up through the night sky illuminated by blue spotlights. There was no way to miss this building. In fact, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see the bat symbol overhead. It was relatively early in the evening still so the entry line was short. Making sure to park in a well lit area, I squared my shoulders, checked my lipstick (and teeth) in the rear view mirror and gave myself a pep talk since I was feeling more and more like this wasn’t such a grand idea.
The bouncer at the front door waved me through without so much as a glance. So much for thinking I looked young enough to card. It was obvious the owner of the club took the name to heart. The benches and stools were all differing shades of blue, as were the shades (over non-existant windows) and light fixtures. Then again, they could have been white but appeared blue thanks to the overabundance of blue lighting.
The booth closest to the bar but furthest away from the stage looked perfect to me. I would be able to see what was going on through-out the club and not have to go too far to get my refills. A small woman in snug a black crossover top was eyeballing me from behind the bar. I smiled and headed her way, thinking she looked a bit sick in this lighting. “I’d like a Greyhound, please” I told the woman as I slipped onto the stool.
“Sure. You been here before, Hun?”
“No, Ma’am. Tonight’s the first!”
“Enjoy yourself then. Word of advice, try not to walk around with your mouth hanging open and your eyes darting everywhere like you’re a country mouse in a city church,” she said with a smile that looked more like a grimace. This woman was not someone I’d care to get to know, but if she can make a good drink then I’d suck it up for the sake of the drink! She slid the glass across the bar, asking for eight dollars as she turned to start another drink.
“$8? For one drink?” Hoity Toity continued to glare at me like I had just asked if leprechans were real. Digging into my purse I handed her a ten and walked to my booth. At those prices I was going to have to make each glass last as long as possible. I was also not going to start a tab, as eventuall you have enough drinks that you don’t realize how much money you’ve piled up.
The booth was comfy and somewhat secluded. The next hour passed relatively quickly. People watching has always been a fun past time and at the bar it proved to be quite entertaining. In the corner, were two girls giggling to each other each time a cute man walked by. At the bar was an older gentleman who looked like he’d seen better days. In a ten minute period he went through three cigarattes, never making eye contact with anyone. In fact, I even spotted Mr. Delaney. Mr. Delaney was a portly, mid-forties guy who had been married for 25+ years. He was a fair employer and someone you didn’t hesitate to express concerns to. In fact, he reminded me quite a bit of my father.
I got up to get a refill when Mr. Delaney started heading toward me. His movement was slow and deliberate. I looked around for his wife, but didn’t see anyone that fit the bill. Soon enough he sidled up to me at the bar; however, he was a little to close for comfort. “Can I buy you a drink?” he asked while leaning into my personal bubble even further.
“Thanks, but I’ve already ordered. How are you doing?”
“I’m doing pretty good. I’d be doing better if you’d let me buy your drink next time,” he slurred and punctuated with a wink while running his finger up my arm from elbow to shoulder.
“Mr. Delaney? Are you feeling ok?” As soon as he heard his name he straighted up and backed a foot away.
“Do I know you?”
“I’m Susan, from collections” I said as more of a question than a statement.
“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t recognize you. I…I…I have to go. See you on Monday.” With that, he turned and melted into the crowd.
“Is Lenny the Letch bothering you?” asked Hoity Toity as she sat my fresh drink in front of me.
“Lenny the Letch?”
“Yeah, he’s here almost every weekend trying to pick up girls half his age. Sometimes it works, most of the time it don’t.”
Suddenly goose bumps ran up may arms and raised the hair on the back of my neck. The shock of Mr. Delaney hitting on me, as well as his constantly cheating on his wife made my stomach curl. I could never look at him the same again. Monday’s company meeting should be interesting. Maybe I should call in sick…