James was out for a smoke. Smoking was allowed in the bar, but he preferred to smoke outdoors. He lit his Marlboro Red and tried to loosen the tension that was forming in his back. All he wanted was a nice stress-free drink after work at the bar, but it never happened that way. He didn’t mind his friends coming up to greet him, ask him how he’s been and give the usual, “Fuck work!” to commiserate with what was a mutual stressor for most of the people in the bar. It was the women that annoyed him.
He was sure it was the same of all biker bars. Easy women who wanted free drinks and a quick lay. He could appreciate them, though, for most knew the score and weren’t looking for more than what was on the table. The ones who didn’t, quickly learned and usually never came back. If he was in the mood or if the girl was right, he didn’t mind paying for drinks all night and then going back to her place. Lately, though, he was feeling cheap and the realization that the regular women there were passed around with rapid frequency made him a bit nauseous. He decided to take a break from bar chicks.
A loud exhaust broke his thought process. It wasn’t the usual type that could be heard coming or going from his favorite bar – it came from a modified import car. It came barreling down the empty road and quickly turned right into the dirt parking lot of the bar, leaving a plume of dust in its wake. There was only one parking spot left and he watched as they broke hard to stop. Any later and he would have run into the bar. Fucking idiot, he thought.
The person who jumped out of the car was not who he expected. The dark tinted windows had previously hidden the driver from him. Out came a little, stressed Asian girl, fresh faced with thick, dark glasses and her hair in a ponytail. Unlike the girls inside, she was wearing an oversized “Subaru of America” sweatshirt, skinny jeans, and a pair of sneakers. He watched her come half way to the entrance, only to realize she left her bag inside her little white Subaru.
“Damn it!” she mumbled as she turned back around and grabbed her purse from the passenger-side seat. She locked the car up again and ran straight for the door. James decided to follow her inside.
She sped towards the bar. “Excuse me,” she tried to get Dave the Burly Bartender’s attention. He was busy trying to talk the waitress, Annie, into going home with him after closing.
“Excuse me!” she said, with more force, her toe tapping in impatience.
“What do you want?” Dave said rudely, making sure she knew her presence wasn’t entirely welcome.
“Look, I just need a restroom,” she said to him.
“It’s only for customers.”
“Eh… I’ll have a strawberry margarita then.”
“We don’t serve bitch drinks.”
“What? Fine. Whatever. Just…. I’ll buy his drink,” she said as she pointed to James and laid a twenty-dollar-bill on the counter. “Now where is your restroom!”
Dave pointed to the back wall where a pair of drunk men were playing darts. The short girl pushed her way through the crowd, not caring who she had to push to get to her destination.
James ordered a shot of Jameson and smirked at the entire situation. It was the first time anyone ever bought him a drink. Cathy came up to flirt with him but her advances were ignored, he was still thinking about the girl. Realizing that she wasn’t going to get a free beer from James, Cathy turned her charm on for Chris, who was sitting a few stools down. Chris was already plastered and spilled half of his pint of beer on the floor as he and Cathy walked away from the bar and to an empty table.
James glanced towards the back wall and noticed the girl coming back toward the bar. She walked with purpose in her step and an annoyed look directed towards Dave. Her quick stride turned into a quick slide as she stepped into Chris’ puddle of beer. Unable to stop, she careened into the bar before landing on her back with a large thud.
The crowd pointed and laughed at her misfortune, but James got out of his chair to check on her. “Are you ok?” he asked.
“Ouch,” was the only reply he receieved.
“What’s your name?”
“Michelle.” She said. “And can you get my change from that mean bartender?”