“Come on, Ari. You never let loose! Have some fun for once! You’re only young and hot for a short time!” My best friend, Jade, says to me.
“I have fun!” I retort trying to sound convincing, even though I’m trying to convince myself more than I am her.
“Oh yeah? And what did you have planned for tonight?”
Damn. Jade sees through me every time.
“Well... It’s Thursday so... not much. Can’t we just go out tomorrow night?”
“No! One day at work hungover is not going to kill you! Come on! You rain checked last time; you owe me!”
I sigh, I had really been looking forward to taking a hot bubble bath, then snuggling up in bed with a good book tonight.
“Fiine,” I drawl. “But just for a couple of drinks and not too late.”
“Yesssss! Okay, be ready by nine and I’ll meet you at yours. Gotta go, Bye!”
I hear the line click off and I put my phone back in my bag, shoving it under my desk. How does Jade always convince me to do these things? She makes out like I never go out; I mean I only went out last month... no two months ago... no three? I roll my eyes, maybe I don’t have fun. I let out a breath and look at the chrome clock which is too large for the wall of the office floor I work on. 2:15pm. There’s a pile of folders in my ‘in’ tray which I had put off until tomorrow but I should probably get started because if I know Jade, which I do all too well, a couple of drinks will turn into more.
The rest of my day had gone by too quickly and I hadn’t managed to even make a dent in the ever building pile of paperwork on my desk, I had been dragged into a late meeting by my boss to take the minutes and by the time it was over it was already after five.
I had thrown a frozen pizza in the oven before jumping in the shower and the scoffed it down, burning my tongue in the process. I’m adding the finishing touches to my minimalist make up when the buzzer goes off repeatedly and I know instantly it’s Jade. She has many good qualities that make her an amazing friend, but patience is not one of them.
I don’t even bother picking up the receiver, I just press the button to let her into the building and unlock my door before returning to the bathroom to give myself a once over.
“I’m hereee”. Jade’s voice drifts through my apartment as she comes in. “Are you ready to party?”
“Yeah, I guess.” I walk back through to the living room whilst tying my chestnut hair into a low ponytail.
“No.” Jade says firmly. “Just no.”
“What?” I look up at her and she has her hands on her hips looking like a disapproving parent. I know exactly what she’s not happy about. Jade is wearing a very short, very tight strapless sequined aquamarine dress which matches her eyes and looks perfect against her honey-coloured skin. Her platinum hair is curled and carefully pinned. She looks stunning. Whereas I am wearing a pair of black jeans and a t-shirt with my old combat boots.
“We’re going to a club, not boot camp.”
“Well it’s too late for me to change now, we don’t want to have queue for ages.” I give her a victorious smile, feeling pleased with myself.
Jade’s stern face contorts into a sweet smile as she stalks towards me. “We won’t be late.” She coos, “because the club doesn’t open until ten.”
“What! Why did I have to be ready for nine then?” I groan.
“Because I knew you’d try to go dressed in all grunge and teen angst. So, I brought you some outfit options.” Jade grabs the tote bag which she’d placed by the door, pulling out two dresses making my jaw drop. “Don’t look so scared! You’ll look amazing in them. Try the red one on first.” She grins forcing the small amount of fabric into my hands, turning, and pushing me into the bathroom.
I give her a glare over my shoulder but comply knowing it’s useless protesting.
The red dress is backless, and the flowing skirt barely covers my butt with a neckline that reveals way too much for my liking. I stare at myself in the mirror. Absolutely not!
“Well?” Jade says opening the door “Wow you look hot! Like majorly hot! Like you’ll definitely get laid tonight hot!”
“I’m not wearing this! It’s so short I may as well go out in my underwear!” Jade wiggles her eyebrows at me and smirks. “Not a chance in hell!”
Stomping her feet like a toddler and throwing her hands in the air, she pouts. “Urgh fine, party pooper. Try the black one on!”
Leaving the bathroom and closing the door, I hear my old couch creek as she sits on it heavily. I grab the black dress and hold it up examining it, at least this one looks a little longer. I change quickly and pulling the skirt down as far as it’ll go and step out. The stretchy material of the dress hugs my figure, drawing too much attention to my butt and chest than I would usually allow. In fact it clings everywhere, I wish I could just get back in my comfy jeans and soft t-shirt but when I see Jade’s face light up I know there’s no way she’s going to let that happen.
Jade fans herself dramatically, “Yes, girl!”
“No, it’s too tight. It’s practically a second skin.” I moan.
“Well it’s either short and lots of skin, or black and clingy. You’re not going to pull in whatever that other outfit was.”
“Did you think that might have been by design?”
Jade huffs at me, dismissing my comment entirely as she walks behind me pulling the hair tie out making the tendrils fall passed my shoulders. “There. Beautiful.”
“Fine I’ll wear this one if I can choose what shoes to wear,” I fold my arms and raise my eye brows knowing that she’ll have me in killer heels that I’m sure to break an ankle in.
Jade folds her arms too and stares me down, pursing her glossed fuchsia lips. “Fine,” she says narrowing her eyes at me.
I grab my boots from the bathroom and run into my bedroom before she can wrestle me to the ground to take them off me. I come back out having put a pair of fishnet tights and my boots on and twirl for her to let her admire the outfit.
“Well even though you’re wearing those things,” she points a manicured finger at my boots, “You actually look like a sexy rock chick, I approve.” She nods. “Just some final touches, and we’ll be ready to dance our asses off.”
After Jade applies some dark eyeliner and blood red lipstick to me, whilst I make jokes about looking ready for Hallowe’en, we’re finally ready and not before long we’re standing in a short line to get into the club. It’s a tall, repurposed old warehouse with large windows covered by black shutters with a neon flashing sign above the entrance displaying the club’s name ‘The Pit’.
“‘The Pit’?” I give Jade an unsure look, “I might have gone with ‘The Dive’ or ‘The Shit Ho..’”
“Stop it,” Jade slaps my arm playfully, “I heard it’s amazing.”
The line moves quickly and before we know it we’ve paid our entry fee and we walk into an open plan room made up of different levels, it’s dark but the ebony, cast iron chandeliers and sconces dotted about give off a warm, romantic glow. The smoke machine on the dance floor creates a mystical fog that hugs the floor throughout the space climbing up the dark wooden panelled walls. If there wasn’t pop music blaring, I would have thought I was inside some sort of Victorian Gothic manor rather than a club.
Jade grabs my hand and pulls me towards the bar at the back of the room, there are lots of people crowding around but we manage to squeeze our way through until our bodies meet the counter.
“What’ll it be, beautiful?” The chiselled bar tender asks Jade with a crooked smirk.
She giggles girlishly and twists a strand of her blonde hair which has an almost ethereal glow in the light of the room. “Two shots of tequila, handsome.” Jade responds with a flutter of her long eyelashes. He gives her wink and places two shot glasses on the counter-top in front of us, pouring the golden liquid into each until it almost spills over.
The bar tender stares at Jade, looking her up and down with hungry eyes, running his tongue over his bottom lip wetting it slightly. “I don’t recognise you, is this your first time in ‘The Pit’?”
Jade gives him her best ‘come to bed’ eyes and smiles coyly. “Mhm.”
“Well then the drinks are on me.” He winks at her again before walking further down the bar to the inpatient, thirsty customers who have been bartering for his attention during his and Jade’s eye fuck.
“Oh. My. God. He is yummy.” Jade shouts in my ear, “I’d let him pour tequila all over me and lick it off.” She giggles.
I roll my eyes and knock back my shot in one. Jade is my best friend and I love her, but she goes through guys like tissues. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with it but we can’t go anywhere without her drawing the attention of some guy and I can see why she is gorgeous but it doesn’t leave much time for girl time.
A new song starts and Jade squeals, “I love this song! Let’s dance.”
“Not yet. I’m going to get another drink.” She looks at me with disappointed eyes, but I can see she really wants to dance. “It’s okay, you go. I’ll get us some more drinks and find you.”
“Promise.” With that she takes her shot and sashays onto the dance floor immediately walking up to a muscled guy in a tight t-shirt and equally tight trousers who places his hands around her waist pulling her into his arms their bodies moving rhythmically to the melody.
I turn my attention back to the bar, leaning over slightly hoping to catch the attention of someone serving but they’re all busy. I sigh, putting my elbow on the counter placing my chin in my hands. People continue to crowd around the bar, and unaware sweaty bodies are pressing up against me. I feel two hands snake around my waist hold my hips and I assume it’s Jade coming back to see if I’ve got the drinks but then my nostrils are filled with an earthy scent and masculine cologne and I feel warm breath against my ear and neck. Hairs all over my body prick and my breath catches in my throat, my mouth goes dry.
“Are you lost?” The deep, gravelly voice rumbles gently in my ear.