Today was a good day. Lillie sent me a message last night, agreeing to offer her help. I was fucking ecstatic! I knew she wouldn’t abandoned me in my time of need. She was kind and caring, something I wasn’t used to, but I was surprised nevertheless.
I was in a good mood today repairing cars at the garage. I was changing bolts under a hood of a car. My hands covered in black grease as I fidgeted with the screws. Being an auto mechanic wasn’t all that it cut out to be, but it paid the bills and got me started. I wiped the sweat from my forehead as I continued to work.
The garage smelled of oil and gasoline. A few odd cars and light trucks propped on jack stands, and cars standing idly, all ready to be repaired. It was an old garage called JD Autoworks, second-hand cars mostly came through. Most customers ended up a few hundred dollars poorer than when they walked in. A Puerto Rican guy named Jose, owned the place. I was grateful to him giving me this job, he was impressed with my car mechanic abilities. I smiled, despite my criminal offences, the guy had given me a chance.
Latin music played softly in the background through an old radio on a trunk of one of the cars. The sun finally made its appearance heating up the old garage. I rolled down half of my overalls and tied it by my waist, wearing a white tank top underneath that was drenched in sweat already.
I hadn’t noticed the man walking in the garage.
“Well well well… look who it is? Bleeder my man!” a man’s voice chirped out.
I looked over my right shoulder, and saw a guy, wearing a black leather jacket and jeans. He took off the black shades revealing his eyes. I recognized him instantly, both my hands balled into fists, as anger flickered through me.
What the fuck was Kyle doing here, in Ashfield of all places!
The last time I saw this fucker was seven years ago. Where we both got arrested. Where my baby brother died in front of me.
I glowered at him, a scowl on my face. He placed his glasses inside his jacket pocket and bowed his head to the ground, in a submissive gesture.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” I said with a dangerous tone.
Kyle looked up. “I know the last time we saw each other it wasn’t on good circumstances” he said seriously. “I got out of prison eight months ago. I got some business in Michigan, heard you paroled here bro, and decided to check up on you.”
Business? Knowing this guy it probably involved a degree of law-breaking. As if I needed checking up from this asshole, the last thing I wanted to hear was Kyle’s comings and goings. Sounds to me he was just up to no good… again.
“You know your way out.” I said evenly.
I grabbed a wrench, turned around and continued to work on the car.
“I’m sorry about your brother man, Gabriel was a -” but he was stopped short.
Before he could say anything more, I lunged towards him and grabbed him by his shirt collar, shoving him hard against the concrete wall behind him.
“Don’t you ever say my brother’s name again.” I seethed, the words coming out between clenched teeth. “I couldn’t even go to my own brother's funeral,” My eyes were wild with rage as I bored into Kyle’s concerned ones. My body was harboring a deep fury that was dormant, waiting to be unleashed.
He probably noticed fire in them. He raised his arms quickly in surrender.
“Okay okay, I’m sorry.” he said looking down.
I released him roughly and walked back to my car.
“We’ve been through too much shit together for it to end this way man.” he said miserably.
Kyle’s words made me feel sick. But as much as I hated the guy right now and wanted to blame him for all the shit in my life, I couldn’t. I was as much to blame for the mess, if not more.
I looked at him and exhaled a long sigh. “I’m not about that life anymore Kyle.”
“I know, I know… I totally get it man,” he said. “Wanna go for a drink, looks like you could use one?”
It was almost knock off time and I agreed to go. It’s been a while since I drank at a bar with company, even if that company was Kyle.
I watched the golden bubbles of my beer rising in the tall glass, Kyle ordered Jack Daniels on the rocks. The beer was cold and refreshing, running smooth down my throat, after a hot long day at the garage, it was exactly what I needed.
We sat at the bar, called Trendy Tavern. The place was big enough for a good crowd, with booths and tables around the place, it looked like an Irish pub, furnished with wood and pool tables, lined up on the left side. It was a Friday afternoon, and the bar was busy with people mostly drinking, music played from a juke-box in the distance, someone had selected.
Kyle kept on glancing at me smiling, like a best friend seeing his friend after a long time. We were childhood friends, who had similar upbringings. He knew my life in and out since he’s been through countless foster homes too.
We passed the time, talking about our years spent in prison, and how things are now, now that we out. I stayed clear about the topic of Lillie, she was someone special to me that Kyle didn’t have to know about.
After my third beer, Kyle checked his phone.
“I got a surprise for you bro,” he said eagerly, spilling his whisky slightly.
He looked over my shoulder, and a gave a nod, gesturing for me to look behind me. I turned around in my bar stool and almost chocked on my beer.
I never thought I would see her again, the thought didn’t even cross my mind. And yet there she was, her long sleek black hair flowing behind her back, big gold hoop earrings dangling, her body fitted in a tight ass jeans, with high black stiletto heels. Her lips red, matched her red tube top, exposing way too much cleavage. Her looks looked lethal if you looked at her too long.
WHAT THE FUCK WAS ROXANNE DOING HERE!
I gulped my beer down. What shit show was this. I turned to look at Kyle, he was grinning at me like an idiot.
The fucker, what did he do?
Roxanne sauntered over to me, hips swaying from side to side, matching her steps. She had a lazy smile on her face, with a glint in her dark eyes, looking over at me.
Her red painted fingernails scraped my arm lightly.
“Hey lover.” she swooned.
I needed to get out of this bar... fast.