“The boss lady? Ah, forget her, sweet sugar. You have this beautiful dame right here in front of you. How’s about you and me go for some giggle water?” She wagged her eyebrows at him.
“Are you for real? Hey!” he yelled over to me. “Is this lady for real? What the fuck is giggle water?” he asked me, seemingly uncomfortable.
“Alcohol,” Silvia said, shocked that he didn’t know.
Well, the truth was I didn’t know either, but that was Silvia. She was stuck back in a time I couldn’t relate to.
“How about I take a rain check?” Daimon said half smiling.
“Ah raspberries,” Silvia pouted.
“Hey Addie? Addie? Addie?” He called my name each time in a different tone.
“I'm sorry, sir. How is it that you know my name?” I grinned. God, if it wasn’t for customer service and the fact I didn’t want him to know I remembered him, I would have thrown his ass out so fast.
“You can’t be serious? Addie, it’s me,” he said holding out his hands like ‘hey I’m unforgettable.’ I shook my head.
“You are… who exactly?” I asked again, shrugging.
“Daimon, Daimon Evans,” he sighed.
“Oh, I like the name,” Silvia moaned again.
“Well, it’s nice to meet you Daimon, Daimon Evans.” I smiled and nodded.
“You have to be fucking with me,” he said not too pleased as he stood up and walked over to me. “I know you remember me,” he said low as he glared at me.
“I'm not going to lie, it rings a bell.” I shook my head again. “College?” I offered.
“Fine, we’ll play your game, your way.” He threw some money on the table; looked back at me as he fixed his coat and began to walkout. “For now.” He pulled the door open and left.
“You’re telling me you don’t remember a fine piece of ass like that?” Silvia pointed at the door.
“No, I don’t. I remember a boy who made my life miserable.” I growled low into my chest. Silvia rose up from the booth and stood beside me.
“Ah shucks, honey, if he looked like that, he could have made my life a living hell and I would have loved it,” she said as she started blowing kisses at him through the window.
I inched closer to the storefront and watched as Daimon walked away. Why did I suddenly feel like my future had this ominous cloud over it?
The rest of the day was slow. I took my time cleaning my little restaurant of forty seats. It was small, but it was all my parents could afford. In its hay day, this store was known throughout the neighborhood, but now not one person passed by.
I made the decision to apply at a bar. I needed the extra hours, plus it was Darren’s. Throughout the years, he became a great friend, someone I could lean on when I had rough patches. When my mother died, he was there for me, the only one I could depend on. I still to this day don’t know how he knew about her passing, but there he was at the funeral home, standing by me if I needed anything. He was the one I spoke to about Yale and my decision to stay. Darren was always and would always be my friend. One charity case to another.
Now the thing was how was I going to say it to my father? The hours wouldn’t interfere with work. Darren said I could start at eleven and end my shift at two in the morning. I needed to think about our future and the reality was this store was going bankrupt. My father would have no means to find a job the way he was, plus his medication cost us a lot and then there was Sofia. I needed to think about her future. I wanted her to fly, to soar away from us and find her own happiness. I knew it was only a few hours, but Darren promised me it was worth the money. Plus, in case the restaurant failed, I at least had a job I could work at.
“Yeah, Dad, I'm going to be late tonight. I'm going to see some friends, okay?” I called him the moment I locked up.
“Okay, be safe.” He sounded so tired.
“Okay Dad, bye.”
I finally made it to midtown. Darren’s bar was swanky and expensive. The man loved his liquor and used the place to earn him connections. He understood how our school worked and used it to make him more money. I looked down at my clothes and felt like shit. I watched as the people walking in were wearing clothes, which cost more than the mortgage on my house. I took a deep breath and called Darren to give him the heads up that I was there.
“Hey, Darren? It’s me, Addie. I'm here.”
“Okay, tell the bouncer you’re here to see me and he’ll let you in,” Darren replied.
“‘Kay.” I hung up and headed for the bouncer; the man was huge. A refrigerator was smaller than him. I tried to get his attention, but he didn’t even spare me a glance.