"You are so fucking hot. Why aren't you over there?" The drunk guy points a finger of his behind his back to a pole where a very pretty girl is dancing on it.
There are no old baggy men staring at her but instead rich men who actually have money that they could buy many islands. I like this bar. It illuminates with fun and money. This bar has an age limit. Twenty-five years old to forty years. The boss who I am terrified of is a man who no one should ever mess with.
Everyone knew. Any person who walks in this bar knew to never ever break the rules of this bar slash club. They knew who was the owner. I personally hate the owner.
"Zen. It's time for you to go. You have to pick up your sister." I hear Misha behind me and my eyes widen, darting over to my watch on the wrist.
"Oh shoot!" I am three hours late! God. How did I not see the time? I take the apron off of me and run behind where only staff can enter. Oh. Shoot! I am so late! I take my heels off and wear slippers. Grabbing my bag, I slung it over my shoulders and run out of the back room.
I ignore the fancy expensive car that pulls up in the back. It must be the boss's special guest.
The sun is going down. How can I not know!? Why didn't my alarm work!? I run as fast as I can, apologizing to anyone who I bump into. I hope they are safe.
"Take care, Matt!" I yell at the old man who is sitting against the wall with cardboard in his hand. He sends me a big grin and wave. I continue to run with heavy breaths.
I stop in front of the gate to see her standing with a sleepy expression. My sweetest. I walk up to her with heavy breathing and a smile. Her gaze averts up to me and she pouts seeing me.
"You are three hours late!" She huffs out loud, stomping her foot.
"I know. I know. I am so sorry, sweetest. I totally forgot to look at the time." I grab her elbows and bring her in but turns her head away from me.
"Oh, Madelyn. Don't be mad. I know I am late. A lot. Sorry. How about this? For dinner, I'll let you have anything you want!" I excitingly shake her elbow. My gaze falling on to her ripped shirt making me frown.
"Really!?" The once pouty is now grinning widely. I grab her hand and we walk towards the place she wants to eat.
"I want a subway! No. No. Chinese. Wait. No. Ice cream. No. Subway! Yeah. Subway! I want a tuna sandwich!" She jumps in joy, swinging our arms together. I love that smile on her. I never want that smile to go away.
The difficulties we went through from losing dad to living on the street to losing mom and now. I don't ever want that smile off of her. Never. In my power, I'll do anything for that smile. We walk into the store and order one sandwich. My tummy groans wanting to eat but I look in my purse and grimace.
"Are you not anything to eat, Zen?" I avert my eyes to her and shake my head with a smile.
"No, sweetest. I am not hungry. I ate at my job. You order yourself a sandwich and at home, I think I have food for Mert." Her innocent eyes blink in confusion and she shrugs, not seeing my lie.
She orders and I pay. My heart aches to realize that I have only a dollar left. We walk home. Millions of thoughts now spreading inside of me.
The month is ending. I need to pay the rent. The bills. Maddy needs new clothes. So does Mert. I also need to get pampers for him. Shoot. How? I only have one dollar on me and in my savings, I have like five hundred. I can't use the savings.
The inside of my cheek stings from pulling on it too much. Should I ask Misha for some money? No. I already did. Maybe I can ask the boss to give me an advance. I have to pay many bills.
I grab Maddy's hand as we come close to our apartment. The whole building is filled with drug addicts and criminals. It was the cheapest one I could afford.
"Good evening, Mr. Raymond." I send a smile to our neighbor who is always sitting outside smoking. He is an old man who is killing himself by smoking but is very kind. He helped me a lot when I am working overnight.
"Good evening, lovelies. How was school, Maddy?"
"It was boring as usual. I couldn't wait to get out." They both chuckle and we walk up the stairs. The smell of old carpet and weed hitting us.
"Take a shower and then I'll help you with your homework." I take the keys out of my pocket and start to unlock.
"Hi, Maddy." My eyes dart over to my right to see our other neighbor.
"Hi, Seo. I thought you had football practice today." I ignore his gaze as Maddy answers him. He lives with his mother who works all the time and a nurse. He also goes to the same school as Maddy but is a senior while she is a freshman.
"I did. Mom's home so we went out. We are going to have a mother-son day today." He is the same age as me. I unlock the door and finally look over at him. His eyes are piercing bright brown, skin white as a ghost and hair. They are bright black. He has dragon-shaped eyes and plump lips.
"How's your dad?" I avert my eyes away from him as he runs his hand through his hair when Maddy asks him.
"He is still in Korea. Hopefully, he might come back next year." I step inside the house and grab Maddy's wrist. I don't like the way he looks at me. It's too kind. Too much pure and innocence.
"Well, I'll see you tomorrow at school. Bye, Seo." Maddy waves and walks ahead of me.
"Bye Maddy. And Maddy's quiet older sister." With that heard, I close the door behind me.
"Hi! Baby!" I run up to grab Mert who is laying down on the floor. Grabbing and kissing him, I wave to his baby sitter as she leaves the house. I have to pay for her too.
"Zen! Mail for you!" I one last time kiss Mert and walk up the kitchen counter to grab the mail. Bill. More bill. I furrow my eyebrows seeing one that I don't recognize. Opening it, I freeze seeing what it was.
Five thousand dollars for Maddy's school tuition. Oh, God. Where will I get that money?
"What did you get?" I immediately shove it under the other mail.
"Just bills. Go take a shower." She gives me a weird look but nods and leaves. I take a deep breath. What should I do? Should I get another job?
I look at the time. My next shift starts in two hours. Alright. I have to feed Mert. I go to the fridge and wince seeing how empty it is. I grab the milk and heat it up. Taking the bread and heated milk, I go and feed Mert.
"Alright! Here's my homework. I'll let you know when I need help." Maddy groans as she sits on the carpet with us. I can't afford to buy a couch.
"After this, I have to go to work. Make sure to not let anyone in and look through the peek hole. I'll be back when you are sleeping." She nods. I spend the next two hours helping and cleaning the place up.
I kiss Madelyn and Mert on the forehead and leave the apartment. The surrounding of mine is now dark. I descend down the stairs ignoring many many men coming with women on their shoulders.
I walk fast to the job. The faster I get there the more money I make. There is a huge line to enter. Great. It's going to be packed which means I have to stay longer. Ugh. I have to wake up early to drop Maddy off school and Mert wakes up way too early too.
I unlock the back door and walk inside, the loud music being heard by my ears. I change my shirt and wear the shirt I am required to wear. It is a bit big for me but I like it. It has my name tag on it with the logo of the bar on the back. I put my hair into a messy bun and apply a lip gloss not bothering to look at myself in the mirror. With me being ready, I go behind the bar.
"Hey, Misha." His blonde long hair sways back as he turns to face me and his eyes lit up. Misha has been working at this club for all his life. His father owns it. He is the nicest man I can ever meet on this planet but his father, Martinez is the cruelest.
"Hey, Zen. Wanna work behind the bar or out taking orders?" He shakes the drink he is making without looking at me. I muster my gaze on the crowd. Many men and women are sitting on fancy chairs and couches with drinks in their hands. As usual, the dancers were dancing. Some are on the dance floor getting lost with the beat. It is packed.
"Boss has a VIP guest. Someone really important today. He is sitting over there with Trixie." I raise my eyebrow hearing her name. She is the most expensive one and charges a lot for a small dance though she is so pretty and kind.
"Loaded I must guess. I can work behind it. It's too crowded for me." I think he heard me since he doesn't say anything when I go to a customer who pulls up at the counter.
"Hi! Names Maddy. What can I get for you?" It's a lady who is wearing a crop top that is revealing a lot.
"Martini. Strong." Her gaze is not even on me. She is staring somewhere else. I don't bother but start to make her drink. After making and serving, I get more customers.
"Let me get your number, Zen." This man who is wearing too much cologne and expensive accessory speaks with an alcoholic voice. I shake my head and ignore him.
"You are so fucking hot. Your ass is so fine. I want it." His comments weren't new to me. Many customers come and say inappropriate stuff that I learned to ignore. It is a part of the job to be ignoring customers' words and behaviors.
"How much? For one hour?"
"Hey, buddy!" Misha calls out and now stands next to me. This always happens. I take a deep breath.
"I'll get the orders. You can work behind now." I speak making him nod his head and take care of the man who can't stop staring at me. What a creep. I grab the small book and pen to go to the tables that have the rose up. To tell us that you are ready to order, there is a rose on laying on the table. If you put it in the vase, it means you are ready. I go to each table and asks for orders.
My ankles started to hurt as I stood and walked around. It is midnight now. Many customers left and some are still here.
"Zen!" I hear my name making me turn around to see Misha waving for me to come. Usually, we would have an earpiece to communicate but today I forgot. I go up to him and let out a heavy breath. I am tired.
"Dad said go give this to the VIP guest. He told me to do it but I am busy with cleaning and taking orders." I nod my head and grab the drink. Woah. This drink is the strongest and it smells intoxicating. This guest of his must be an old man who has been drinking all his life to have taste buds that are accustomed to this kind of drink.
I walk by all the special guests who pay extra and finally face the VIP lounge. I pull back the sheer curtain and enter the lounge.
"Hi, your drinkah!" I didn't see the shoes in front of me. I didn't expect anything to be in front of me but I find myself tripping over a pair of heels. The drink out of my hand flies and I land straight on to the floor, wincing loudly as my knees scrape the floor. I hear a loud intake of breath and I snap my eyes up.
Dark onyx piercing gaze stares back at me.
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