A whole bottle of vodka and three hours later I passed out good on the limo floor. I closed my eyes for what only seemed like two minutes, when I was nudged awake by the heel of a boot.
“I’m disappointed having a slumber party in my limo without me, and here I thought we had bonded”, she says in a sing-song tone.
Leaning against the opposite seat I say, “Bonded? Oh you mean the part where you had a knife to my throat.”
“Yes”, she said fixing herself a drink.
“You call that bonding?”
She throws back a shot of Johnny Walker like it was water. “I let you live didn’t I. Now we’re friends forever.”
Chuckling she refills her glass again, as I deal with the limo spinning.
“What time is it?”
“One in the morning. Why you got some place to be?”
I don’t answer, but I watch her. I watch the sarcastic demeanor and false bravado fade away. Anger rises in her like the morning sun, as she tosses the glass shattering it against the partition. One hand grabs the bottle of liquid courage, the other hand she digs her nails into the plush leather-while simultaneously grinding her heels into the carpet. Small beads of sweat form on her forehead as she rocks back and forth. One of her legs bounce as she controls her breathing. She takes a long hard swig of Johnny Walker, and notices me watching.
I say, “So if you’re going to have a nervous breakdown and flip out. You mind if I have the driver drop me off.”
She doesn’t respond as she takes another heavy swig from the bottle. A few moments pass and the anger subsides in her. At this moment she coddles the bottle between her thick thighs, both hands around the neck of it.
“You know I could never understand why it always takes one person to ruin things. Why does one person always matter or get to you. We as women, at some point and time and life we do things for that one. Either we want that one guy to notice us, or if we can impress this one person.”
Slumping on the leather seat I reply, “That’s interesting, I thought this is the age of ‘I get cute for me, sexy for me fuck what a man thinks. I’m independent.’
She laughs at the voice and over animated gestures I make while poking fun.
“Don’t be fooled by those childish ass grown women. Most of them are so caught up in the accomplishments of life, so caught up in having to do everything like its a checklist because of this drive, that they drive right pass happiness. Don’t get me wrong, being independent, making a comfortable life, getting finances in order, finding yourself is fine. They want just as much attention as the rest of us who openly admit to getting dressed up to catch a man’s eye. Where we meet is, don’t disrespect us and no matter how I’m dressed you will treat me like a lady. Outside all that other childish babble they spitting, they want to get fucked and get that kitty licked just like the rest of us.”
“So you’re upset about a man?”
Rolling her eyes at me she talks a long hard drive from the bottle.
“Hell no, I’m talking about a critic. I know I’m not the next J.K Rowling, Zane, Kimberla Lawson Roby or James Baldwin-nor am I trying to be. But damn it I’m damn good at what I do. People think this writing thing is easy work. It’s not, to create characters, places and believable dialogue is a pain. You damn near have to go crazy in order to get something.”
“So a couple critics got you frazzled. I’m sure for every hater, there are at least ten people who love your work. Did you not see the same line I saw outside the bookstore? Did you not see the way those people flocked to you in the park earlier?”
The limo stops in front of the Sears Tower, LJ opens her door. Climbing out the limo she exhales and takes one more long hard drink from the bottle before tossing it to the concrete. The glass shatters and like a boss with no fucks given, she walks through the broken glass crushing it even more. Crushing the shards as if they were the main issues that ailed her.
Moments later I’m on an elevator with LJ and her. We get off on the 67th floor which is the restaurant known as ‘The Metropolitan’. Zoe takes two steps off the elevator, before a well-dressed man greets her with a smile. I hear soft jazz music in the background, LJ holds out his hand-his way of telling me to exit.
No one is here, but the views from the windows I can see of the city are breath-taking. Every table perfectly set, candles lit-this place was definitely expensive. This was the kind of place you took someone on a special event-not just every day dining.
I venture around to the biggest window and stare down at the city of Chicago. All the cars below look like illuminated ants speeding all over. The city looked like a complete electric ant farm, so peaceful so mellow.
“Well, well there is ladies and gentlemen boys and girls.”
I can see his reflection in the window without turning around. Rin stood about ten feet from me smiling and rubbing his hands together. Turning around I give a fake nervous smile, and walk in his direction. He throws his arm and me playfully as we walk toward the table where Zoe and LJ are sitting.
“I tell you kid, you did good tonight. Despite the little lecture you tried to give me about killing that scumbag. I can see we are going to have a good working relationship”, he says as he aggressively sits me at the dining table next to Zoe.
A waiter pours water into an empty glass in front of me, he pours wine in another glass nearby. Another waiter whispers into the ear of Zoe and she nods, as Rin makes his way to the empty bar to fix himself a glass.
I hear the elevator ding, signaling someone’s arrival. Glancing out the corner of my eye I see Zoe swirling the wine in her glass with a nonchalant attitude. Looking where her eyes are focused, I see the same well-dressed man I was introduced to earlier in this night of insanity.
Mr. Alonzo Xavier Styles. He still had that young Denzel Washington swag in his grown man walk, a different suit this time-but that same captivating smile. He shook hands, graciously greeting the waiters as he made his way to the table.
Zoe playfully acted disinterested as he kissed her cheek, but that looks soon dissolved into a smile. Adjusting his suit jacket he sits down at the head of the table, on his left side is his queen and at his right hand sits Rin. LJ sits next to Rin, as waiter refills his glass of wine.
Alonzo holds Zoe’s hand, his thumb stroking the top of her hand in a smooth loving manner. Zoe trying to act hardcore and not show she’s not some giddy school girl. I drink my wine, then suddenly I feel like 2pac, all eyes on me. Four sets of eyes watching my every move.
“So Rin and LJ tell me you had quite a night…..Mr. Washington.”
I drink my wine and nod before answering, “Yes, quite a night-but I’m afraid you’re mistaken.”
He smiles, while making eye contact with his guys before returning his attention back to me.
“How am I mistaken?”
“My name isn’t Washington at all.”
They all laugh at me, and begin pointing fingers like I just told the greatest joke of all time. Nervously I laugh with them. Rin slaps the table and begins laughing at me pointing, tears in his eyes. Holding up my wine glass I salute them all.
Alonzo is the first to stop laughing, none of the others notice and he stares at me with concern.
TO BE CONTINUED.