City by the bay (Part 4)

City by the Bay (Part 1)

City by the Bay (Part 2)

City by the Bay (Part 3)

 

Sarah: 2018

“Get your ass in,” Allie ordered from inside the car.

I hopped in the SUV while noticing soccer balls and a myriad of kids’ stuff in the back.

“Don’t mind the mess. The kids think the car is their personal trash can.”

My car looked about the same, and I didn’t have anyone to blame.

“So, where are we going first?” I asked, handing Allie a fresh cup of coffee.

“To the apartment.”

The apartment. The place where I found my freedom. So many memories in that apartment.

Originally, Allie had lived here with her two cats until the night that changed everything.

This apartment had saved my life in some sense. Allie was a catalyst to everything. Without her, I might be…well, I didn’t want to think about that.

Fifteen minutes later we pulled up to the large grey apartment complex.

“Here we are,” Allie said.

Side by side we made our way to Apt A-6.

“We should knock and see if they will let us look around…you know for old times sake,” Allie said, going towards the door.

“God, no Allie we can’t!” I said, grabbing her arm.

“Why not, Sar? It’s worth a shot.”

Just then a woman came out of the adjacent apartment.

“Can I help you with something?” she asked, looking at us suspiciously.

“Oh hi, we used to live here about 15 years ago and came back just to see the place,” I said, holding out my hand. “I’m Sarah and this is my friend, Allie.”

Sarah and Allie? I remember you guys! It’s me…Chantelle.”

“Channie?! I didn’t recognize you with the blond hair!” Allie exclaimed, hugging Chantelle.

“Wait, are you and Danielle still together?” I asked.

“God, Sar, can you fucking wait to do your interrogations?” Allie

“Hell no!” Chantelle said, that bitch cheated, and I kicked her ass the curb.

“I always thought she was trouble,” Allie said, looking from me to Chantelle.

“Girl, you have no idea. Well, you guys want to come in? I have vodkaaaaa.”

Just like these old, broken down apartments, some things never change.

I followed Allie and Chantelle in, shutting the door behind me.

An hour later, Allie had way too much to drink as she staggered towards her car.

“No, you are not okay to drive, Allie. Give me the damn keys.”

“You’re right,” she said, throwing them my direction.

“Where to now?” I asked as Allie fumbled with her seatbelt.

“Are you sure you’re up to it?”

“Yeah, the kids are with my mom for the night. “The Husband” is away on business. So, I have nothing but time. So, drive bitch.”

I put the car in drive, hopping on the freeway.

“Oh my God! I love this song! Remember this sooooong?” Allie screeched turning the volume up.

I heard you’re doing okay
But I want you to know
I’m addic- I’m addicted to you
I can’t pretend I don’t care
When you don’t think about me
Do you think I deserve this?
I tried to make you happy
But you left anyway

How could I have forgotten this song? It hit the airwaves when everything was going down with him. Eric.

I’m trying to forget that
I’m addicted to you
But I want it and I need it
I’m addicted to you
Now it’s over, can’t forget what you said
And I never, want to do this again
Heart breaker, heart breaker, heart breaker

The hospital. Broken stuff in the apartment. DeAndre, Johnny, and Allie. It was all a blur.

Since the day I met you
And after all, we’ve been through
I’m still a dick, I’m addicted to you
I think you know that it’s true
I’d run a thousand miles to get you
Do you think I deserve this
I tried to make you happy
I did all that I could
Just to keep you
But you left anyway

He just wouldn’t stop. No matter what I did, it still wasn’t enough. I fucking tried.

I’m trying to forget that
I’m addicted to you
But I want it and I need it
I’m addicted to you
Now it’s over, can’t forget what you said
And I never, want to do this again
Heart breaker, heart breaker

How long will I be waiting?
Until the end of time
I don’t know why I’m still waiting
I can’t make you mine

After all was said and done, I just wanted to forget him. Pretending to forget was easy, seeing him beg, plead, and cry wanting me to take him back after that night, was so very hard.

I’m trying to forget that
I’m addicted to you
But I want it and I need it
I’m addicted to you

I’m trying to forget that
I’m addicted to you
But I want it and I need it
I’m addicted to you
Now it’s over, can’t forget what you said
And I never, want to do this again
Heartbreaker

I’m addicted to you, heartbreaker


“What are we doing here?” Allie asked with a half of a burger hanging out of her mouth.

She insisted we stop at Jack-in-the-Box, where she drunkenly ordered 2 #1’s and a chocolate shake.

“Sar, why are we at a park in the middle of the night?”

“First of all, it’s not the middle of the night. 2nd of all it’s not technically a park. It’s a Japanese Garden.”

“And why are we here?” She asked, slurping her shake.

Ignoring her question and the mayo on her cheek, I opened the door and started walking. It was dark, but the warm breeze was consoling. Crossing over the small walkway that bridged over the koi fish pond, I found myself walking a path, the path straight into my past.

“I’ve got something for you,” he said, pulling a small box from his pocket.

I leaned against the oak tree as he came closer to me.

“I know it’s not much.”

I looked down at my finger.

 This would change everything. I just couldn’t let him find out.

 

“Sarah! Sarah!” Allie was screaming in the distance.

I stood up, bracing myself against the oak tree, trying to find the path.

“I’m over here!” I yelled back, trying to see through the black of the night.

“Sarah, your phone!”

“I don’t have my phone, I left in the car.”

“No, I have your phone. He called Sar.”

“What are you talking about Al? Your drunk. Let’s go back to the c–.”

“Sarah, Stop! He called! He left you a message! Listen!!” she yelled as she threw the phone at my face.

“How do you know he called?”

“Sar, you had the number saved in the phone as D.S. I’m not an idiot. I might be a little tipsy, but I know who D.S. is.”

“Shit. What do I do?”

“Duh, you listen to the fucking message.”

I took the phone from her hand.

You have one missed message.

“Hi Sarah, I got your message. I really want to connect with you before you leave town. Please call as soon as you get this. We have so much to catch up on.”

He sounded the same. How can so much time pass but still person’s voice can make you feel like you are 21 again?

There was only one thing to do.

“Allie, we need to go. I need a drink.”

“I have the perfect place,” Sarah said, jumping into the passenger seat.

This night would be full of more than one surprise.

 

Allie: 2003

Of course, I was running late. Thirty minutes late to be exact. I knew Johnny would give me hell. I also knew I did not give a shit. My cats, my beloved babies, (because God knows I am not going to have the human kind,) Daniel and Johhny, a tribute to one of my all-time favorite movies, “Karate Kid” well, they were not doing too good. Just like the movie, my Daniel and Johnny did not get along. Something happened that involved a roll of toilet paper. Daniel was throwing up, while I swear to effing God Johnny was sitting in the corner laughing. Bastards. So, I was late and I make no apologies.

I decided to sneak in the back door. Hoping that I could play off that I had been at the bar all along.

“Oh, look who decided to join us.”

Well, there goes that plan.

I looked at Johnny who had his hands full of papers.

“It was not my fault!”

“Which one this time?” He said as he motioned for me to grab the coffee pot.

“Both. The toilet paper.” I grabbed the pot and two mugs and followed Johhny.

“Really Al, again with the toilet paper? Grab two more.”

“Is Sarah here?”

“I told you, you should have gotten a dog.”

I followed Johnny out to the bar area. We weren’t open yet, still had plenty of prep work to do.

“Hey Allie, you remember DeAndre, DeAndre, you remember my friend Allie?”

There at the bar sat Allie. DeAndre, who I mistakenly referred to as “Black Guy” a few days ago was standing next to Allie, as Jonny motioned for me to pass out the mugs for the coffee.

“Oh, it’s you. What’s happening here? Clearly, I was left out of the loop.” I said as I gave Johnny a sly glare.

“If you ever check your machine instead of worrying about your cats eating toilet paper, then you would know. He is here for the job.”

“The bouncer opening?”

“Allie, you had such a great idea. You were right, DeAndre would be the perfect addition, and so now here we all are, and I think we can put aside any hard feelings and maybe just see where this goes.”

Leave it to Sarah to put her Marry Poppins spin on it.

“Yeah, Bro, everything looks good, we are pretty laid back here, just fill this out and you can start tonight, does 9 work for you?”

Jesus, even Johnny was on board?

“Are they inside or outside?” DeAndre was addressing me as I was taking a sip of the room temperature coffee.

“Umm, what?” I asked in confusion. Was he talking to me? Is there an inside joke that I do not know about?

“Your cats, inside or outside?”

I set my coffee down, as I looked at Johnny, then at Sarah for some sort of clue to what was happening.

“You see, when you were late Boss Man here explained that you probably have some sort of issues with your cats. Being that I have a one myself, I think I can help you out.”

“DeAndre, I think Allie has the cat situation under control, it’s so nice of you to offer to help, isn’t it Allie?”

“I need a beer.” Exclaimed Johnny, as he knew I was going to lay into him when we were alone.

“Inside of course. Why would anyone let their cats outside, and more importantly what is it to you?”

“Dry food or wet?”

Is this guy serious now? The fact that Johnny and Sarah exchanged nervous glances did not escape me.

“Dry food.”

“Yeah, see, that’s your problem. Inside cats need a mix of wet and dry. Maybe even a little catnip as well. And you know, put the toilet paper roll where they cannot get to it.”

“Ah, what a novel idea. Put the toilet paper out of reach. I wish I thought of that sooner. I live in a piece of shit apartment. There is barely enough room for the damn toilet. No place for the toilet paper and why am I even talking about this?”

I grabbed Johnny’s beer as Sarah started cleaning up.

“Allie, start prepping, Sar and D, you have two hours to kill, be back here by 9.”

“What do you mean a mix of dry and wet?” I mean really, what do I have to lose at this point?

“When you have cats strictly on a dry food diet, they get thirsty. Wet food has water.”

Johnny and Sarah made a quick exit.

“Yeah…..”

“So what probably happened is your cats were thirsty, tried to get something to drink from the toilet and got distracted by the toilet paper. If you leave them a can of wet food, that takes care of their water intake and they would never make it to the bathroom, alibi toilet paper.”

I had to think about this for a moment.

“I mean no offense or anything, I am sure you leave water out for them…” Oh great, there was more.

“But if they are anything like mine, they use the water dish more as a play toy, and never get their daily water intake because they flip the dish over. Wet food fixes that.”

‘Johnny, pour me a double!” Where the hell did Johnny disappear to?

“Yeah, not bad advice from a black guy, huh?”

“Now!”

“Just trying to help. So, if we are done here, I will be back later tonight.”

“Thank you, DeAndre!”

“Sounds good Bro!”

Now they make an appearance?!

DeAndre shook Johnny’s hand as he made his way to the front door. Sarah was grabbing her purse. I can only assume she was going home to change.

“Wait!”

The words escaped my mouth.

DeAndre turned around as a nervous Sarah and Johnny stood there in silence.

“You said you have a cat?”

“I do. A pure white Manx. Her name is Bella. Imagine that, a black guy with a white cat.”

Yep, we are still on this I see.

“Bella? Bella means “beautiful” in Italian.”

DeAndre reached the front door, slowly he turned around, gave me a wink. “I know, that is why I named her Bella.”

Three hours later we were packed. Jeremy was busting out orders left and right, Johnny was working the bar like a pro. DeAndre took his place at the front door, checking ID’s while making sure no one got out of control, and I, well I was doing everything else. Where the hell was Sarah??

“Al, call Sarah again. We need her!”

“No shit John, I tried her three times already. I need my rum and cokes.”

The next thirty minutes was a chaotic mess. We were one girl down. The bar was packed. Very unusual for a Wednesday night.

Roger McGuinn was playing on the sound system. “King of the Hill”

L.A.’s asleep – you roll up your window
The night air is cold – the freeway is clear
In a green Gucci bag – are you prized possessions
The jewels of your mind – to hold back the fear”

As I was delivering a platter of tenders I notice Sarah walks in.

“Okay enjoy, let me know if you need a refill.”

DeAndre had his hand on Sarah’s arm.

And when Monday comes round – there’s a high lonesome sound
And she follows you down for the kill
And a while blinding light – makes it all seem so right
And you feel like the king of the hill”

Sarah and DeAndre were having some sort of exchange.

“Johnny, she’s here.”

“Get her apron, I am slammed.”

The driveway is long – your princess is lovely
Your servants all wait – for your knock on the door
How many years – will you crawl through this castle
So satisfied – and still wanting more”

DeAndre opened the front door while Sarah made eye contact with me. I made my way towards Sarah.

“Where were you?”

“And when Monday comes round – there’s a high lonesome sound
And she follows you down for the kill
And a while blinding light – makes it all seem so right
And you feel like the king of the hill”

“Sorry, Al, I’ll get to work.”

“What the fuck happened to your face?”

I looked at Sarah. I looked at DeAndre who at this point came in and shut the front door. I turned to look at Johnny who was behind the bar giving me a look.

“The guests have arrived – with all the right faces
But you miss the ball – in that room down the hall
It’s sunrise again – the driveway is empty
The crystal is cracked – there’s blood on the wall”

“Oh it’s nothing, I fell, you guys are busy!”

I slammed my try down on an innocent bystander table, making my way to DeAndre.

“What the hell is going on?”

DeAndre was looking past me. He eyes were focussed on Sarah.

“She has a black eye. Claims she ran into a wall.”

“And when Monday comes round – there’s a high lonesome sound
And she follows you down for the kill
And a while blinding light – makes it all seem so right
And you feel like the king of the hill”

“Yeah, ran into a wall my ass. Who dropped her off?”

“Not sure, give me time, I will find out. After all, that’s what you pay me for.”

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