“Um, excuse me, but I'm here to see Darren Sparks,” I said politely waving at him. The big brawny bouncer continued to ignore me.
“Hey!” I yelled. I had a long day and made no money, I wasn’t about to be ignored by the likes of him. I was here for a fucking job. “I said I’m here to see Darren Sparks. He told me to tell you,” I seethed. The bouncer slowly looked my way and glared.
“Well, he didn’t tell me,” he bit back.
“Well, he told me.”
I knew the voice that spoke over my shoulder. I closed my eyes, hoping it was all a nightmare that I was going to soon wake up from. Daimon walked up to me, pinched my coat, and dragged me inside.
“So do you remember me now?” he asked. I couldn’t help but scan him. The man looked good in jeans and a grey sweater.
“No,” I said in a frosty tone. “But thanks for getting me in.” I nodded slightly and left.
I walked through a corridor of thick red velvet curtains that led me to a small door. I pushed the door open and was taken aback at how stunning Darren’s bar was. The lighting was low, setting the mood. Each sitting area had small art deco chandeliers that helped light up the area for the patrons. The walls had small compartments, each with locks for the various expensive drinks Darren’s bar had to offer. There was a long dark mahogany bar all the way at the end, with big red leather lining stools, which lined it.
“Addie?” I looked over and Darren stood with open arms, waiting for his hug.
“Darren, how are you?” I asked as I hugged him.
“Good, now that you’re here.” He kissed both my cheeks and held my hand as he weaved me in and out of the crowd to take me to his bar.
“Sit here.” He patted down on the last stool at the edge of the bar. “So, what do you think?” He held his hands up showing me his place.
“I think… it’s you,” I smiled.
“Thanks,” he smiled back.
“What are you drinking?” he asked, waving over his bartender.
“Whiskey, neat,” I said while taking off my jacket.
“Anything in particular?” he asked.
“No, you choose.”
I couldn’t help but feel out of place. It had been awhile since I had gone out and even longer since I’d had the time to see my friends. The bartender came back with my drink. Darren raised his glass and we cheered. I took a sip and loved it. I could taste the flavor of sweet fruit, with a slight hint of floral notes.
“You seem to like it,” Darren said watching me carefully.
“What’s not to like? It’s a Glenfiddich, isn’t it?” I smiled.
“It is. It seems our girl Addie knows her liquor,” he smiled.
“I used to, but not now.” I looked at my glass regretful of a past I hardly had.
“So tell me, the diner’s not doing well? Is that why you’re here?” He sighed as he leaned against his bar, watching me. I hated being pitied.
“It’s more for Sofia. I need to get her into Yale. She got the scholarship, but only a partial one. I still need to find the money for the rest of the tuition,” I shrugged.
“Okay. When can you start?” Darren took his glass and finished the last of his whiskey.
“How about next week?” I asked nervously. The truth was I had no choice. Ready or not, I had to do this.
“Okay, next week.” He smiled. I took my glass and finished it. I reached for my purse to take out my wallet. “Don’t you dare!” Darren warned. He kissed my cheeks again and hugged me good-bye.
I walked through the bar only to be intercepted by Daimon.
“Well, I see you seem to remember Darren,” he sneered.
“Of course, Darren was always good to me.” I smiled a little and tried to walk by him, but he stopped me.
“Really? Why? I wasn’t?” he asked.
“See the thing is, even if you were or weren’t, I wouldn’t know, because I don’t remember you.” I narrowed my eyes at him, but he laughed.
“Maybe I should make you remember then,” he warned.
“Do whatever you like. What was your name again?” I said condescendingly.
“Fine, Addie, have it your way.” He moved out of my way and let me pass.
“What do you mean you’re getting a job?” my father yelled. I knew it wasn’t going to go over well with him.
“Well, we need extra money and right now a friend of mine offered me work at his bar for a few hours a week. It’s for Sofia, Dad. We need the money,” I finally admitted. Thank God, the store was relatively full and my dad couldn’t really yell at me. He did go one up and look at me with such sad eyes; it nearly broke my heart as I looked at him.