Chapter 14: The Bar
‘It’s been a week since I’ve heard from Samantha.’ I send the text to Jack and await his reply.
‘I’m sure she’s just busy. And she probably wants you to have a normal first week of college.’
‘How can I have a normal week if I can’t focus. I can’t concentrate on anything and I’m always worried.’
‘Worried how?’ Jack responds.
I sit and ponder before replying. Worried how? How am I worried? Well for first off, we entered a contract that I still don’t fully understand. Secondly, she still is with someone else...maybe I’m not enough. Maybe she needs this other girl more than me. What else am I worried about? I have practically no experience with anything. How could I even catch her eye? What is special about me? She literally has everything, and I have nothing.
What can I tell Jack? Do I tell him everything...that would be weird. And I can’t per the contract. What would he think about it? Probably that I’m just a tool, a pawn she can boss around. Is that what I am? Am I a pawn in her life? I’m just like any other woman she’s been with. I agreed to please her and let her pretty much control me.
But she hasn’t controlled anything since I signed it. Why haven’t I heard from her? Maybe she changed her mind. Maybe she didn’t sign it yet. Maybe she doesn’t like me anymore. She did sign it though...I remember that. Or not...she could have pretended to sign it. Why would she pretend? She smiled and seemed happy when I signed it though.
Maybe she was just happy from that night...that night. I have never experienced anything like it. I’m also worried what it did to me. I liked it. Why would I like pain and to be controlled? It changed me...I crave that feeling again. Why is life so complicated since I met her? I feel like a whole new person. I just want to be with her and know we’re okay.
Why can’t I focus on college and my future. Can’t I just be a normal girl? What am I going to say to Jack? What am I really worried about?
‘Well, we signed a contract defining our relationship.’ No, I can’t send that. I erase the text and restart. ‘The last time I spoke with her, we talked about our relationship and decided to have one. I’m worried that she changed her mind.’ That seems better, it’s the biggest worry and everything is tied into it. I sent the text.
‘I doubt she changed her mind. Sam seems to be the type of person who would say what she wants.’
He can’t call her Sam. That’s my name for her. ‘Her name is Samantha, not Sam. That’s what you will call her.’ I send in response. Was that too harsh? Since when do I demand anything? But I can’t have other people calling her Sam. We agreed that would be my name for her.
‘Jeez, sorry for offending you. Why does that matter anyway?’
‘It just does. I’m sorry, can you please use her full name?’
‘Yes, but you know my thumbs may fall off because you are making my type all those extra letters when I say Samantha. Haha.’ Jack jokes.
I smile at his response. ‘I suppose you’re right about it though. I don’t think she would waste time in letting me know if something changed. I just don’t know why she hasn’t responded or called me.’
‘You’ve been through this exact thing before right? She’s probably really busy with work. Why don’t you just go see her?’ He suggests.
‘I suppose I could. I do know where she lives. After class, I will go there.’
‘That a girl. She can’t ignore your physical presence! Good luck! Keep me posted.’
‘Thanks Jack. You always seem to help me find the right course of action. You’re the best!’
I can’t wait until after my last class. Why am I so eager to see her again? I don’t know. Thinking of her makes me all full of butterflies inside when. I don’t think I can wait until after my last class today. Good thing it’s Friday. I will skip my last class. I’m sure I won’t miss much. It’s the first week, and I went to it on Monday and Wednesday. I’m skipping today. Who needs biology anyways?
I arrive at Sam’s hotel around 2 PM. I walk straight to her office and peer through her door. She is concentrating on her phone call. She’s so deep in thought that she doesn’t see me waiting. When she puts down the phone I enter her office without knocking.
Samantha didn’t look up before responding in her thick Romanian accent, “You better have a good reason for entering without knocking.”
“Oh, I think I do.” I say with an angry tone. I know she doesn’t know it’s me, but she still shouldn’t respond like that out of default.
“Ileana. What brings you here?” Sam smiles when she sees me.
“You’ve ignored me for a week. I think I have a right to know why.” I sound angrier than I want to. Maybe it’s good I sound angry. She can definitely tell my frustration then.
“Is that what you think? That I’ve been ignoring you. I have just been busy with work. Shouldn’t you be in class now?” Samantha changes the subject.
“Well yes, but I couldn’t wait any longer. You haven’t said anything since that day.” I blush, “Have you thought what no contact would do to my thoughts on this? My thoughts are everywhere and mostly not good. So I skipped school because we need to talk.”
“I see. How about you head back to class and join me for dinner?” Samantha suggests.
“Sure.” I turn and exit her office closing the door hard behind me.
Gods, what is with her! How can she just boss me around like that. Who does she think she is? I’m not going back to class. I’m going somewhere...anywhere other than school like she said.
I exit the casino and walk down the block. I see what I assume to be a bar. This looks like a nice place. I enter a building that has a bunch of neon signs in the windows with the biggest one hanging over the door that says ‘Hank’s Bar.’
As I enter, I realize that it is pretty much empty other than a couple guys in a booth. I guess not many people go out drinking in the afternoon. I look around and see a bunch of posters and memorabilia of Tom Hanks. They also have a few TVs playing different movies that he is in. I sit at a table facing the movie ‘You’ve Got Mail.’
What was I thinking? Why did I get so angry? She is infuriating. Why does she affect me so much? I must be insane. I’m now deliberately ignoring what she said. I wonder if I’ll get punished for it. I hope not, or maybe that’s exactly what I want. However, I want a real relationship, not just the contract but outside of that as well. I have a right to get angry and act on my own and she will have to deal with it.
Jeez, when did I get so strong headed. I’ve been passive all my life but now it’s like a fire is alive inside me. She’s asking me to be passive, like my nature, but I don’t want to listen. I want to be able to contribute and bring things up when I need to. I hope I’m not becoming crazy.
“Can I get you something to drink?” A waiter arrives at my table.
“Uh...yeah.” I say not knowing what I want.
“We have a special on drinks until 5 PM. Twenty-five percent off.”
“Okay. I’ll take something fruity with alcohol. Ha.” I say as I sigh and try to relax.
“Sounds good. I’ll help with whatever you need. I’m Jack.”
“Ileana. I think I’ll remember you Jack, that’s also my best friend’s name.”
“I’m glad to hear that. I’ll have your drink for you in a minute.”
Why does my first relationship have to be so different? Can’t I be normal? Am I normal? The more time I’m away from home, the more I change. Am I changing because it’s who I am? Or am I changing because of my different situation? I feel like a completely different person than I was a month ago.
I should probably check my account to see how much I can spend tonight. I go to the ATM and check my balance. I take $500 out. Wow, I’m $3000 richer than I thought. I open the bank app and check my summary. In the list there is a deposit from California for $2950. I suppose that is the perks of owning a new business. That’s one thing I can be thankful to Sam for. But now I feel like I owe her. Do I owe her my will? Am I supposed to be her slave because she bought the business? Am I supposed to do everything I’m told? I’m not that kind of person. I won’t feel guilted into behaving a certain way. I had no choice in it. She did it all on her own.
I walk back to the table. My drink is already waiting for me and I drink the whole thing in about 20 seconds before sitting down on the stool.
“You must be thirsty, or something is up.” Jack says.
“I suppose you’re right. I’ll take another.”
“You got it.”
Maybe I’m expecting too much. Maybe Sam isn’t what I’m looking for. Maybe she is what I need though. I’ve grown so much in the time since I’ve met her. And I think it’s good. Maybe Sam doesn’t know what I expect out of this. How could she know? I never told her. The contract is on her terms and I’m okay with that. But I need additional things. I need to tell her that.
“Here you go!” Jack says with a smile. “You know, if you want to talk, bartenders have the best ears for listening.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.” I think about it for a second. “Do you have a girlfriend?” I blurt out. Oh jeez, he probably thinks I’m hitting on him now.
“Unfortunately for you, yes I do.” He responds, smiling apologetically.
“Not unfortunate for me. Ha, sorry it was an awkward question. I also have a girlfriend...my first relationship...and that’s my problem.”
“Ah I see. I suppose girls can be a lot to handle, haha.”
“How often are you supposed to talk? Like I’d think at least every other day or something to check in.”
“Well, we talk everyday. But I suppose, depending how busy people are, maybe every couple days. However, it doesn’t take much effort to say you’re busy and will talk later.”
“Yeah. I haven’t heard from her in a week. Then when I surprise visited her, she told me to go back to class and we will have dinner later. But I didn’t do that. I came here ha. How dumb am I?”
“Want an honest answer?” Jack chuckles, “I don’t think you’re dumb. I do think you need to talk with her though. And maybe being here will let off steam to make talking easier.”
“I guess. Thank you. Keep them coming Jack.” I smile and give him my card to start a tab.
Maybe I should just take it easy and talk with her level headed. But I am kind of angry still and I want to drink. I will drink, then I’ll get a cab back to the school. I can talk with her another time. Maybe this will make her realize something is up and needs to change.
I sip on drinks and half watch the movie. I hope Sam texts me to see what’s up. Maybe she is oblivious to what happened. Maybe I should text her. No, I can’t, I’m angry with her and I will be the one to ignore her today. She can do it to me for a week, so I can do it to her for a day.
“Jack, I’ll get 2 shots of whatever you want and take one with you.”
Jack brings over 4 shots. “I got us one also.”
“On the count of three. One, two, three.” We both double fisted the shots. “Whoo...that was strong. What was it?” I ask Jack.
“Grey goose with melon flavors.”
“Thanks.” I check the time. Wow, it’s already 4. My class would have been over 15 minutes ago.
My phone rings...Sam is calling. I probably shouldn’t answer. I’m starting to feel drunk. I ignore her call.
Seconds later I get a text, ‘Where are you? Bev said you aren’t answering your door.’
How should I respond? Am I still angry? Oh I know.
‘I’m not far from you.’ That’s true, cause I’m right down the block.
‘Not far from me? You skipped class then?’
‘Yes.’ I probably shouldn’t have told her that. But it is true. I did skip.
‘Where are you?’
‘At the bar.’
Samantha calls me again. I ignore it and take another shot with Jack.
“Oh boy. My girlfriend will probably show up here soon. I don’t know what to do.” I say to him.
“Well, alcohol may or may not help you with that.”
“At this moment, I think it will. Have another shot with me?” I question.
“I am working, you know. How about you take mine also?”
“I suppose that works. I’ll also pay my tab. I’m good after these.” I say with a smile.
Jack brings the receipt to sign and my shots. I tip him $100 because why not ha.
Just as I guessed. Samantha walks into the bar and stands next to me.
“Is this where you want to eat then?” She asks.
“Nope.” I say grinning. “You should meet my new friend Jack. Jack!” I holler his name towards him.
“Yes?” He says when he approaches us.
“This is my girlfriend I talked about.” I giggle.
“Ah. I’m glad to meet you. You should probably keep an eye on Ileana. I’m guessing only half of the alcohol she’s had has been processed.” He explains.
“Shhh.” I shush Jack and smile again. Why can’t I stop smiling? Is it because I’m drunk, or because Sam is here? Maybe it’s both. Sam doesn’t look happy though. I should probably ask what’s up.
“So, she’s told you all about me, right?” Samantha asks Jack.
“She just mentioned you actually. She didn’t say much of anything.” He responds.
“That’s good. Come Ily, let’s go to dinner as planned.”
I wave at Jack and give him one last smile before I sulk behind Sam. Why did I decide to drink? That was a dumb idea. But good cause I’m feeling good.
I trip on the carpet runner in between the doors and fall into Samantha. “You must have had quite a bit.” She states.
“Well kinda. It’s you though.” I say, straightening myself back up again.
“What do you mean by that?”
What did I mean by that? It’s her fault I drank? No, it’s not. But she makes me want to drink. I get so frustrated with myself and her that I think drinking will make it easier to get through the hard stuff. I have to stop thinking so hard and just tell her.
“You make me want to drink.”
“Why is that? Am I a problem?”
“No and yes.” I say.
“Can you elaborate further?” She asks.
“Nope.” I smile.
“Okay then, Ily, what would you like to do?”
“Blow this fucking money at your casino.” I said angrily thinking about the business and extra money I had.
“You know, it will just go back to me then?” She says.
“So what. It should be yours anyway. You bought the business.” I spat out.
“Why are you angry about that? Is that why you drank tonight?”
“I’m angry about a lot of things. Yes, that is one of them.” Samantha slows down and pulls me to sit next to her on a bench outside of the casino.
“What are the other things?” She asks.
“I’m not going to tell you. I want a good night.”
“You will tell me soon.”
“Yes, Sam.” I see her smile. “I like your smile.”
“That’s good. I like yours also. What would you like to do for your fun night tonight?”
“The casino still sounds fun.”
“My casino, or a different one? There are tons to choose from.”
“Are you sure?” She questions.
“Yesss, Sam.” I slur and smile.