Our eyes locked with guarded expressions, both trying to manage a detached disposition. Chanelle assessed my body language with a tight smirk, I picked up on a devious ambiguity to her otherwise innocent demeanor. Scrutiny pinched her dark gaze as I reached for one of the index cards neatly lining the granite counter, our eyes still locked. My heart jumped a bit at the thought of what I might dredge up. Please for the love of God.. When the card was finally an inch from my nose is when I glanced down sharply at the playful lettering in glittery pink gel. “Fuck.”
Chanelle grinned knowing full well I just damned myself for the hour. “I’ll get started on the register, loser.”
“Fan-fucking-tastic.” I mumbled, waving both middle fingers wildly. Miffed I’d ended up stuck with cleaning duty for the third day in a row. The restaurant was empty and always had a stagnant odor permeating the atmosphere after close. It wasn’t a hang out for the elite, in other words. In addition to cleaning vomit off the floors and scrubbing stains out of fabrics, (I condemned whoever decided to decorate a pub with a substantial amount of cloth), I had to deal with this particular crowd on a Saturday night. Not ideal in any sense of the word.
Chanelle brought in enough attention as it was, with her giant eyes and doe like features she could coddle a petulant feral with ease. The second some brute decided to get even a little belligerent with our girl, there was no doubt another carnal would step in to come to the rescue. The customers loved her high pitched squeaks and aloof personality. Tonight didn’t prove much different, but the moment some guy tossed a pickled egg down my shirt, everyone decided it was party time. The atmosphere shifted to a drunken daycare. From then on every encounter was arduous and irritating, getting dollar bills thrown my direction, getting sandwiched between patrons and of course having to listen to their distressing tales of the one that got away, a glimmer of hope burning in their gazes while eyeing me fervently, even cautiously.
While Chanelle mustered up the gallant and bold, I drew in a different kind of crowd. She’s the sun while I’m the moon I suppose, her tiny physique and button face contrasts wildly to my voluptuous build and resting bitch face. Her big brown eyes beg for security while mine scream moxie and speculation. Blue black hair that rippled slightly down to my waist, light blue cat eyes that could pierce diamond as Gammy would say, and a pallor to make it all pop. I was the Witch of White Bluff and I secretly found delight in the title. The attention it brought however was debatable.
After scraping gum from below near every damn table in the place, I wound a finger in Chanelles hair gingerly and traced my index down the nape of her neck, smiling when goosebumps formed. She turned around and let out an exasperated sigh, “You may as well start cleaning out the toilets, Lily. And sanitize your fuckin’ hands before you touch me you mutt.” Her smirk had a tinge of aversion. She’d expressed her hostility toward same-sex relations and it only beckoned me. I’d say love over hate was the goal. Antics ultimately, she was too close minded for my liking.
“Fun and games, Cheeky.” She smiled at the nickname I branded her with. As far as the customers were concerned, Cheeky may as well have been on her birth certificate. Thankfully she preferred it that way. We take what we can get in the anonymity department. My name’s actually Lilith, though I was known as Lily within the confines of this hell-hole.
“Well cut it the fuck out.” She jabbed.
She rolled her eyes and grabbed the keys off of table two, swinging the key ring around her tiny manicured finger. “If only I could lock your ass in here.”
“No one can lock up the Witch of White Bluff.” My hands were tiny pistols now, pewing left and right.
“You’re so stupid, Lily.”
All I could muster was a shrug. It was almost midnight and It’d been my fourth night in a row.
She giggled as she opened the door and I swallowed the cold air in frantic gulps, instantly chattering. I was never too fond of the cold, for some reason I could never adapt to it. We gave each other a once over before saying our goodbyes for the night. I blew a kiss in her direction and she wrinkled her nose and gave me a half-wave.
“Why don’t you send one my way?” A voice I didn’t recognize. One that gripped me like a vice. One moment my anxieties weren’t a factor, then I was punched in the gut by a set of eyes I’d never truly decipher. He was sitting in a car smoking what I assumed was a blunt. From what I could see, his bone structure was marvelous, curly brown hair draped his shoulders and his eyes seemed almost aloof. Somehow I sensed a man who was on the verge of being unhinged.
“Lily, you’re gonna get yourself in trouble by the looks of it.” Cheeky snapped me back into reality for a brief moment. “Though he looks more interested than anything… And that’s a GT.” Her smile peaked at her dimples but... what was that in her eyes? Under her chubby cheeks I saw panic but she quickly averted my gaze and brushed my inquisitive look off. I hesitated for a moment while I watched her twiddle her thumbs, but she seemed fine after popping a piece of gum in her mouth.
Besides, that wasn’t just a GT. That was a 69 Toyota 2000GT. “Anyways, I gotta head home, I need a joint and my snuggie immediately.” I gave her a quick hug and started towards my car. I spotted my cabriolet and dashed towards it, craving the hot gusts of air it would offer in a moment’s time. But first I mustered up the courage to sneak another glance in the pretty boy’s direction. To my relief and disappointment, he was gone. I blew out a huff of warm air into my palms and stepped into the car. The feeling he incited brought back a wave of disorienting nostalgia. That was the kind of feeling I got as a kid when I experienced my first crush. An all encompassing sense that made your skin tingle and your stomach lodge in your throat. What the fuck was that? Schmaltz and anxiety, I concluded. The only feelings I could clearly identify.
I plugged the auxiliary cord into my phone so I could listen to Pandora. I went to the Growlers station and let Mac Demarco go on about his kind of woman. Driving at night was always one of my favorite things to do in Tennessee, thanks to the warm lights and the lush landscape. While easing to a halt at a stop light, I lit a cigarette and tilted my head back letting out a sigh as I typically do for no damn reason at all.
“Something bothering you?” That voice made my heart lurch and my stomach drop. I dropped my cigarette and instantly felt it burn the inside of my thigh which of course made me screech and bounce around like a fucking maniac. Once the butt was out the window I glanced threateningly in the voices direction. Fuck. I knew it was the same guy but I wasn’t in any mood to assess the situation with rational thought. The second I looked his way the anger vanished and I felt the tidal wave once again. He was watching me intently, his eyebrow cocked with a bemused expression.
“You scared me.” I said breathlessly. There he was, the guy could be a psychopath for all I knew and he still had a radical effect on me. I instantly detested him. “Why won’t this light turn green?!” I was irate once again thanks to the lack of control I could muster in his presence.
“Doesn’t bother me any.” I could hear a smile in his silky smooth voice. The vibrations reverberating from his chest were making my libido pulsate. I turned my glare towards him and managed to hold it with great effort. Wow. This guy is a fantasy. A walking, talking reverie. His eyes permeated the darkness with their own obscurity, bone structure that made me envision Jim Morrison straddling his microphone during his reign, a pout that made me parched and drenched. I could feel my gaze widening and it couldn’t be helped. Finally, the red in my peripheral shifted to green and I gunned it, trying to escape his eerie presence.