Five stars? Cam’s was rated five stars online for some reason, which somehow surprised me because based on the attitude Cam has, the highest rating I would give him is a 2.5 during a first meeting.
Maybe it’s the alcohol talking, or maybe when it comes to actually interacting with customers and doing business he isn’t the one working. I had no idea - perhaps he rigged this rating.
While I was contemplating on whether I wanted to attempt to work at this bar, I decided to do some research and see what customer opinions were. Where better to find out information than Google?
I hadn’t even mentioned the idea of it to Thea, considering how risky of a decision this was and that she had a big mouth. If I were to do this the last thing I needed were people finding out and potentially spilling it to my parents.
“You stare at that thing too often,” My dad complained as I scrolled through my phone, “Your eyes are going to get damaged eventually.”
I heard that complaint often, but here I am, still fine.
“Dad, don’t be dramatic.”
As I slid my phone into my pocket I slid off of the chair in the dining room and grabbed an apple to take with me to school.
“How about I drive you to school today, kiddo? It’s on my way to work anyway,” My dad suggested.
I gave him a little smile, “Thanks, dad. But I don’t feel like showing up in a cop car.”
My dad was already in uniform for the CPD, showing up at the front of my high school in the front seat of my dad’s police car didn’t seem like a fun idea at all. Although I love him dearly, any other day when he wasn’t on duty would be great.
“Is someone embarrassed that their father has authority?” He joked with me.
I laughed softly and grabbed my book bag from the floor, “Or maybe I just don’t want to cause a scene.” I walked over and gave my dad a kiss on the cheek, “I’ll see you later. Love you.”
“Psst, Livy!” Thea’s not-so hushed tone echoed in my ear as we sat in English class two hours later.
I glanced over my shoulders at her, raising my eyebrows slightly, “If you get my in trouble I may just slaughter you.”
“Funny,” She responded in a mono tone voice, “So have you gotten any responses for all of those damn resumes me put out yesterday?”
I shook my head slightly, “Nothing.”
She made a fart noise with her tongue, “Sucks. You know, I don’t think you need any qualifications to become a stripper, it’s worth looking into.”
Thea’s lips curved into a smirk and I smacked her shoulder, laughed softly, “You’re horrible for even joking about that.”
“Just giving you options,” She then gave a sweet smile.
Thea was a lucky one. Her parents handed her money whenever she pleased, she was spoiled as some call it. Not that my parents don’t give me everything I need, because I have all I need and more, I just wish that I had the privacy to do as I wished with money instead of being interrogated or told that I spend too much money on makeup. So I could go shopping every weekend with endless amounts of money - like Thea.
My dad is a cop, and my mom works at an insurance company. They constantly tell me about how they started doing odd jobs at the age of fourteen and fifteen, how it made their work ethic stronger today. They want me to work.
Don’t they enjoy my presence in the house? Before they know it I’ll be gone to college and they’ll be missing me.
Maybe they don’t believe that I can actually get a job. But I can. I technically have been offered one already.
“Ms. Brookes?” I heard my English teacher call upon me.
I looked up at the front of the classroom quickly, “Uh... Yes?”
“Do you have the answer?” He asked me.
Answer? He asked a question?
With wide eyes, I glanced at the white board in hopes to see a question written down but there was nothing. Damn, I must’ve been really distracted.
“No, sir.” I shook my head slowly, “I’m still trying to understand that question that you asked.”
My teacher nodded his head slowly before resting his hands on his hips, “Nice try, Olivia. However, I didn’t ask a question. Pay attention to class, please.”
I looked over at Thea who was making a face. Of course she would find this humorous.
After school ended, I returned home around three o’clock and worked on the homework I was given. My parents were still working considering my dad’s schedule was always all over the place and my mom usually got home around five thirty or six o’clock.
I curled in the corner of the couch, chewing on the back of my pen while I thought about the bar again.
What would happen if I got caught working there illegally?
I did some research on my phone and looked over the fines. Of course every state was different so it was difficult to keep up, but the entire thing helped me make up my mind faster.
As much as I wanted money, I wasn’t the type of girl to make irrational decisions. I can’t just illegally work at a bar, it wouldn’t pan out anyway. I’m going to do the professional and polite thing though. I’m going to go down to Cam’s and personally tell him that I’ve decided to look elsewhere, even though I was the one who practically begged for a job.
By the time I had come to this realization it was almost six o’clock and I wanted to get out of here before my mom came home and questioned me. I stood from the couch and quickly pulled on a pair of converse before heading out the door.
Since I didn’t have a car available to use, it took me another twenty minutes to walk there but I still managed to get there before six thirty.
I pulled the door open and was taken off guard by the crowd of people in the bar. It was busy, people drinking, the music on, loud chatter. Much different than when I was here the previous day.
When I looked towards the bar Cam wasn’t there, instead there was a blonde girl preparing drinks for customers and mingling with them as she did so. She had bright red lipstick and makeup caked on her face - yet she still looked so mature and beautiful. Now I felt like a child and completely out of place.
I stepped in further and looked around, having intentions on speaking to Cam and getting out of here.
An arm snaked around my waist and I quickly turned to smack the predator but was surprised to see just the guy I was looking for - Cam.
“And to think I thought you were going to no show,” He smirked deviously at me.
If only he knew that I actually was going to, “Well, I’m full of surprises.”
His eyes moved down my body, the look of confusion clear on his face, “Future references, don’t dress like this when you come to work. Not very attractive.”
I glanced down and realized I was wearing my black tank top and Grey sweat pants. Shit. I wasn’t supposed to actually stay here!
“I don’t have time to talk, you need to get to work. We’re busy.” He ushered me towards the bar until we were standing in front of the blonde, “This is Zoey. She’ll be helping you through your first few shifts, if you don’t get the hang of things by the time I expect you to, you’re out. Got it?”
I looked at him with a raised eyebrow, “Okay...”
“Great. Now, don’t bother me unless it’s important.” He said before walking off into the crowd.
I turned my head to look at Zoey who had proceeded to set up some glasses like the guy wasn’t a complete asshole.
“Is he in a bad mood, or?” I asked rhetorically.
Zoey laughed softly, shaking her head in response, “Cameron has one mood. It’s just his personality.”
“Hey, new girl! I’m waiting to get served over here!” A man called, catching my attention by his thick Boston accent.
Zoey looked at me and motioned towards the man, “Take his order and I’ll help you from there.”
I nodded, awkwardly approaching the man at the end of the bar, “Hello. I’m Olivia. What can I get for you?”
The man chuckled for reasons unknown and flailed his hand inpatient, “A beer! And don’t be cheap by not filling the glass. I want it to the rim.”
I turned to Zoey who was already waiting to help me, she muttered under her breath, “You’ll get used to people like him... The issue is once the foam goes away the glass obviously isn’t full.”
“Shouldn’t people know that?”
“When it comes to alcohol, people become stupid sometimes.” She grinned at me, getting a clean glass and pouring beer into it.
I really shouldn’t be here. And I wouldn’t be if Cam had asked to see my ID, but he didn’t. I knew it was because he had obviously forgotten due to the busy atmosphere, but my gut was still telling me to run.
Who drinks this early anyway? It was barely 7:00pm and being drunk before 9:00 seemed insane. I guess this is what life is life after high school, I wouldn’t know.
I continued to struggle taking orders, however Zoey was very helpful which made the situation a little less stressful. I tried catching on but with people constantly yelling orders from all over the place, it did nothing more than give me a headache.
Most of the customers were rude and intimidating, not asking but rather telling. It was a rushed process and I began to wonder how Zoey handled the situation so well.
It was 4 hours into working the bar when Zoey looked over at me, “You haven’t even taken a bathroom break. Girl, you look so stressed. Take five.”
“No, no. It’s fine,” I smiled at her, wanting nothing more than to step away for five minutes.
“Olivia. It’s slowed down... Take five.”
I sighed in relief and allowed myself to give in to her offer, “Thank you. I’ll be quick... Where are the bathrooms, anyway?”
She pointed towards the far end of the bar and directed me where to go. The moment I stepped out from behind the bar I was relieved to get a break from the drunk people yelling at me, it’s very hard on the ego.
Once I noticed the line of people waiting to use the washroom, I made the decision to hide somewhere else. If I had five minutes I was going to utilize it properly, which meant escaping to silence and relaxation.
I pushed open the entrance and entered the cool Chicago air, taking a nice inhale of the freshness. For the past few hours I’ve smelt nothing other than alcohol and body odor. It became nauseating.
“Enjoying yourself?” A husky voice mumbled, causing me to jump and see Cameron leaned against the building with a smoke in his mouth.
“Oh jeez...” I placed my hand over my chest and shrugged my shoulders nonchalantly, “It’s a challenge.”
Once he blew a puff of smoke from his lips, he took a small pause before responding to me, “I expected you to crack by now.”
My brows furrowed together, taking offense to his assumption. He didn’t even know me, how dare he assume that I can’t handle a job just by looking at me, “I don’t know why you would assume that considering you only met me yesterday.”
“Fuck, it doesn’t take a genius to understand the kind of girl you are...” He chuckled, dropping his cigarette and stepping on it, “Quiet, which isn’t a good trait for someone working in a bar. You have a stuttering issue which indicates your either shy or unsure of yourself... And then you show up in sweatpants?”
“You’re judging me based on appearance.”
“You don’t think I haven’t been watching you struggle tonight? It seemed like you were ready to cry a few times,” He pushed himself off of the wall and walked towards me, “You’re a mess, but the fact that you’re still here says something about your character that I didn’t quite predict.”
I hesitated before asking the dreaded question, “Which is?”
“You’re resilient. However, don’t be so quick to assume that I think you’re good for this. It’s only been a few hours and I still have reservations about you.”
I just stared at him, his look was hard and unwelcoming which reminded me of another reason I had no intentions on taking him up on the job offer. I wasn’t sure what his game play was but he made it very hard for someone to like him upon first impression.
The door opened and Zoey popped her head out, “There you are... Can you cover me for five? I need a smoke.”
Does everyone smoke around here?
I simply nodded my head and headed back into the bar without taking a second look at Cameron. I had seen enough of him for one night and now I had the strong urge to prove him wrong about me.