"What were the chances?" She said to herself while she walked through the new born rays of the early morning; feeling hot against her skin. She wished she had put some sunblock on before leaving, but how would she have known that she would be walking home in the harsh early morning sun light with the night's memories still fresh in her head. A small smile found its home on her lips when she thought back to what had happened only a few hours ago. The night was perfect and ended up just how she wanted it to. She had set out to make memory and that's just what she had done...
That night she did something different. Instead of going out with a gaggle of girls; she set out by herself. The trill and dangers of setting out by herself fueled her; and over set any social anxiety she was having. She had an outfit brewing in her head for a while now and decided to bring it out for the night. Standing in her closet in only her black underwear set she reached out for a white tank and black shorts, underneath the shorts she wore her trusty black nets, and finished with her boots. Her outfit made her feel like she was tough and ready to fight if need be. After lining her eyes and pinning her hair back she was ready for her solo low night out. The last thing she grabbed before leaving her apartment was her ID and motorcycle jacket.
The sun wasn't quite down when she set out to make her memory. The days were creeping longer and longer; each day now giving a slight feeling of added freedom with in those few extra hours of day light. Lucky for her just steps from her door was loads of adventure just waiting to happen. She loved her city the city she was born in. It was smaller than most, and always‘s over looked, but it was the place for many starts. The history of her city was almost tangible. In the 20's the bootlegger's ran it. Then the mafia had its turn when the casino's came to makes their homes on the beach. It is a place where the underdog always wins and blue collars matter the most. But, tonight none of that mattered.
Following the path of least resistance she walked to the boardwalk. For her it acted like a throughway that linked the three cities that sat on the same little sandy beach. She only had to go a few blocks till she made it to her first stop of the night. At Flannigan's she knew a girl could always get a free drink in a safe place. The bar was dark and seemed to have a smoky air to it even though smoking in bars had been banned for a long time. She took a seat at the bar facing the door and her back safely to the wall. A habit she picked up from her father as a little girl. He had brought her there when she was little and that's why she came there herself still to this day.
The bartender with a nod slid a glass with amber liquid in it with four ice cubes floating towards her. She smiled back at him as her for of a reply and payment; he went back to wiping the same glass he had been when she walked in.
The same bartender stood behind cherry bar top for as long as she could remember. She tried to remember what the man looked like who tendered the bar here when her father used to come here while she slipped her drink, but she could only come to the conclusion that it had to be the same man, because it was only his face that popped into her mind.
It wasn't long before she finished her drink and with it came the rest of the courage she needed to go forward with her plan. She winked and thanked the bartender leaving him a ten on the bar top just as she left; you know for good measure. The sun was still out when she exited the bar, but only slightly. She had hopes that it would be gone by now, but now it didn't matter as she walked down the main strip of her ‘over looked' city. She passes all the major stores and chain restaurant only stopping once to gaze into an YSL window to momentarily lust over a pair of boots. She had to cross a busy intersection to get to her next destination. A loud honking sound pulled her from her thoughts; a car load of younger guys hooted and hollered at her crossing. She enjoyed the little ego boost before ducking into a hidden doorway of a yellowing concrete building that could be barely made out with the naked eye.
Growing up the way she did, in the places that she did, you tend to learn all the secrete doors in a city meant to take the money of unsuspecting strangers. Through one dull hallway, into another; to any other person it would look like the same hallway was copied and moved over to another locations, but she knew the sublet differences that they all held. It wasn't long before she made to another uninteresting yellowing wall with a door that could be barely seen unless you knew where to look for it.
It took her two hands to push it and when she got it open her ears were assaulted by the sounds of the casino floor in full swing. She had seen it all before; old ladies pouring their social security into one arm bandits, men in suits losing their children college funds throwing dice at the tables, and the fanny packed tourist thinking they could beat the house because they read a book. She however knew better; the house always wins; you may walk out with a little extra in your pocket, but they end up with the title to your car or something worse.
It didn't seem worth it to her she thought as she passed by the tables and machines occasionally giving the hello nod as she passed random dealers and floor persons she had the chance to ally with. Her feet moved on their own accord; they knew where they were going; even though she didn't. All she had to do was get by without being noticed by anyone. She knew the eye in sky already would have spotted her, but assumed that some had already gotten her back in the crow's nest and let her slip in even though the only ones who should be walking those yellowing hallways were employee's in benign uniforms .
The casino floor gave away to a luxe-ly lined tiled walk way led over to the boardwalk and into a remodeled pier. The pier had been redone to look high fashion mall, but it lacked something. It lacked people who could afford to shop in its high-brow stores. The third floor had some special qualities though; it was filled with restaurants and a few bars.
Again, breaking her goal of making a memory by herself she went somewhere there would be friendly face for her, little did she know that was just what she was supposed to do. She walked right into a lightly crowed sports bar. One side of the bar was filled with guys in black and red jerseys on cheering loudly, all looking up at the flat screen on the wall. She took a seat at the other side of the bar just as an old friend noticed her. He was a tall man with brown eyes wearing wayfair frames and had overly slicked back hair. To her he looked like some hipster wannabe, but she knew better that to voice her opinions out loud; to him if she said that it would have been a big offence and cause him to pout the whole night.
A swift hug over the bar and a few words whispered in each other ears, before a set of shots were placed in front of her. She wasn't much for shots, but since they were for free and giving by a close friend how could she refuse. Within moment three shots were down; and she was feeling warm, loose and now a little bored. Her bartender friend was occupied by some young collage girls on a night out leaving her by herself for the time being. She certainly didn't want to her bartender friend like that; so, she let him soak up the glory of having a group of hot young girl fawning over him. She watched him remembering how it felt to be so fresh and green on a night out on the town in her city.
The city seemed so full of adventures when you are young and it was; well at least for her. But, now the sheen had worn off. She been there and done what most of her city was all about. All the important people knew her or knew of her. Her hang outs were all the places where the outsider's all wanted to be at. She secretly wished for those feeling of new things; the rush, the butterflies. She just wanted to feel something again, anything again. Her bartender friend winked at her like she was the only one who could see it. The four girl giggling in front of him threw her a dirty a look to which she replied with raising her glass in a kind of mock toast. When her momentary bitchy'ness subsided her attention went to the only other group of people in the bar.
A mass of green was on the screen with little black dots following an even smaller back dot. The group of seven or eight guys roared when the chasing dots ran to one side of the screen. After the third wave of screams it dawned on her that they were watching football. Another shot was placed in front of her while she watched the screen above her head, from her now feeling guilty bartender friend. She picked up the shot, shook her head and said out loud to herself.
"Ahh football..." And down her shot still shaking her head; what she didn't know one of the guy that was watching the match had taken a seat next to her.
"Football? Don't ya's call that something else around here." Came from unexpectedly from the side of her.
She laughed and with air quotes said "Yeah, soccer."
His accent took her aback. Firstly she didn't realize someone was sitting next to her; nor did she even think about the fact American guy don't normally watch soccer matches. But, even though his presents shook her a bit, she didn't let it show on her face and turned to him to say."Well, that what you guys call it, right; Football?"
He smile and held out his hand for her to shake. "They call me" he pointed over his shoulder at the group of guys still glued to the game over their heads " They call me J" he said in a thick bough of an English man. Now, she knew enough about the UK to know the guy sitting next to her by his accent he was mostly likely a little rich boy. She dismissed it though; she liked the way he sound wanted him to continue talking. She smiled at him, but didn't tell him her name. It didn't discourage him; he just slid a little closer to her. He then waved over the bartender who had a grin on his face that would rival the Cheshire cat.
"Um, two of whatever she's having?"
The bartender had to look away and chuckle "Oh, ok Jamison coming up then."
He looked to the girl he was sitting next to in a new light. Girls back home didn't drink that; but he just wrote it off as an American thing even though he knew deep down it wasn't, but something that only she did. While they waited for their next round J leaned in and asked "So, where's your boyfriend tonight?"
Confused and thrown off by his question she lied. "On his way." She wasn't sure yet about this guy and there was no way in hell she was going to say she came alone.
"Oh's" was the only thing he said to that and it got her in the way he had meant it to. "Yeah's and....?"
She took the bait, just like he thought she would. "Well, if you were my girlfriend I would never let you leave my sight and keep you safe from people like me."Intrigued she asked "You?"
"Yeah, like me, because once I get ahold of you I am never going to let go"
All of a sudden she started laughing. He couldn't figure out for the life of him what he had done to make her laugh like that.
She turned to him her emerald eyes meeting his chocolate ones. "You almost had me. That's a good one." She continued to laugh; while he looked bewildered at her. He liked seeing her smiling and laughing. When he first set eyes on her she seemed tough and serious, but now she looked to him as if she was just a normal fun loving girl; maybe just misunderstood. She could tell he was put off bit by her laughing, so she decided to play nice.
"Where you from?" she asked while taking a slip of whatever chaser that was laid in front of her.
Their small talked outlast the rest of the match and even beyond his friend's attention span. Soon it was only them two at the bar, besides the normal after restaurant rush that happened every night. They talked about the difference and similarities of living on different sides of the same ocean. He was surprised how much she knew about London and ‘football', while she was impressed by his confidence and slightly turned on by his arrogance. He was willing to share what it was like growing up in the UK, he told stories about prep school and going to Uni at Oxford. He was fascinated by what little she shared. She was drunk enough to tell him about her father who built three of the casinos that lined the beach; including the one they were sitting in.
He told her he was CEO of a security company that just went public this week. He even told her about ringing the bell on Wall St just that morning. She didn't really think about what he meant about it all, but was happy for his company. Her night was turning out how she would have like it; having an adventure and making a memory.
The little smile that found its home on her pink lips grew into itself. She thought if anyone would see her grinning to herself they would think she was crazy as a loon, but she didn't care; the night was going too well. After the sports bar she took J to a little piano bar that only the locals knew about. She felt herself be a bit of trader bringing an outsider there, but brushed it off as it was a one night thing and he would never find the place without her. The night ended with watching the sun rise on over the beach in his arms. They kissed and made already broken promises to each other as the sun lit the sky. He hoped he would see he again; she was so different than the girls he usually met. She knew otherwise. In her world they would always be two separate people separated by an ocean. The memory would live on in her heart forever though.
The memory of the ways his hands felt as they slipped under her shirt once through the door of his hotel room would have to be enough to satisfy her. The passion was palpable when they kissed into the bedroom, dropping pieces of clothing along the way. He was gentle, but knew what he wanted. She let him have his way, since it was the first time; she had ever done this with someone who she had just met. The excitement of a one night stand on her terms gave her the extra push she needed to enjoy herself fully in the moment. He placed tender kisses along her sun-kissed body while she let out little moans of joy. Their bodies fell into rhythm and before she knew it he was asleep next to her.
Carefully, she lifted herself from the sheets and found her clothes. She dresses with only the new born sun lighting her way. Her night felt complete, but before she left she grabbed a pen from the desk in the outer room and wrote a little note for him. A quick thank for the memory and with that she left the room to go back to her life.
The gilded elevator doors opened and she stepped in. Immediately her eyes caught a glimpse of the camera the hung in the corner. She smiled even though she was by herself. She knew someone was watching her in the crow's nest. She wondered who was up there and watching her leave the room of someone unknown. A laugh escaped from her lips as she thought about it. A slight bing told her she had made it to the lobby in one piece. This time there was any need for secrete doors, so she walked right out of the front and into the warm sunlight.
The walk home was faster than she would have liked. She wanted to revel in the warm sunlight and the memories of the night before. As soon as she was through the door she stripped and went into the shower. The hot water felt amazing on her tired muscles, and if sleep wasn't pulling her eyelids down she would have stayed in longer under the hot falling water. The mirror was fogged up when she exited the shower and looked at herself. She still looked the same, but she didn't feel the same. The night taught her that she could stand on her own. She could make her own memories. With the thought of her new starts she sunk into her bed still smiling and fell into a dreamless sleep. She wasn't sure if she was going to do something like that again, but it was enough for her to know that if she wanted to she could....