“What’s your poison?” The ruggedly handsome bartender asked her. His dark hair, brown eyes and tan skin hinted that he was possibly spanish or italian. How long have I been sitting here zoning out?
“A Jack and Coke, please.,” she exclaimed breathlessly.
She needed to stop living a fantasy and wake up to her reality. She just had to take her mind of that devilishly handsome man! She rested her head on her hand and looked down at the wooden counter. She took a sip of her drink, her thoughts far away, a glazed look in her eyes. Suddenly someone shook her out of her reverie and she looked up, seeing double and having trouble focusing.
“Excuse me, lovely, but are you going to pay for that or what?” prodded the flirtatious bartender.
“Oh sorry. I must have been daydreaming. How much?” she rushed out, embarrassed.
“Four even,” he said. She handed him the money and apologized again, then proceeded to chug her drink. The bartender thanked her graciously and studied her for long a moment, as if sizing her up.
“Looks like you could use this,” he said as he poured her another. “Don’t worry, it’s on the house. My names Jay,” he said as he stuck out his hand.
“Thank you for the drink. Nice to meet you. I’m Leila,” she said with a grin, shaking his hand firmly. He flashed her a smile so brief, that she thought she had imagined it. As he went back to helping his other customers, he left her there to wonder whether or not she really looked that desperate. Maybe he was just being nice… It was very likely, it was part of his job to get people to want to come back. That was probably why he had been so flirty towards her, a stranger.
She put the ice-cold glass up against her cheek. The condensation from it felt so good after working up such a sweat dancing, that she groaned in relief. She closed her eyes and let the coolness of the glass roam over her cheeks, neck and forehead. This was her fifth drink. Saying she was merely drunk would be a vast understatement. She slumped a little more in her chair and lay her head upon the bar, closing her eyes. She promised herself it would only be for a few minutes...
The hair on the back of her neck stood up, alerting her to a change in the atmosphere. This wasn’t the first time that she’s had some sort of sixth sense that she couldn’t explain. In fact, the majority of her hunches lately had been correct had been growing in frequency. She sat up quickly and surveyed the crowded dance floor. No one was looking at her, but she still had a feeling that someone was watching her. She turned very slowly and looked around at the bar. No one caught her eye, no one looked suspicious. Then a guy moved to the side and she saw that behind him was a dark haired man leaning against the bar. She gazed at him a moment, finding it hard to see him in the dimly lit room. She drank in his body, his hair, the shape of his jaw.
Then very slowly he turned to her, with his hand still resting on the bar. Her breath caught. Could it be? Was it him? This is crazy! There was a roaring sound in her ears, like the sound of the ocean, drowning out all other noises. Her heartbeat started to quicken as she felt a panic rising in her chest, making it hard to breathe. He started to walk towards her with an interested smile on his face. She stood up and tried to walk towards him, but her feet felt rooted to the ground. It felt like time was moving in slow motion as he made his way towards her. When he finally did reach her, all she could do was just stare at him dumbly with her mouth hanging open.
She tried to speak, but all that came out was a gurgling sound. He simply smiled and touched her cheek lovingly, sending shivers down up and down her spine. Was this another daydream? Was she losing it? Jay, the bartender tried to get her attention by calling her name and she looked back briefly, but she ignored him. He nodded towards the man she was with, which confused her. As she gazed upon his features, her knees started to buckle. It was so wonderful to actually see his face that she almost cried. He wrapped his strong arms around her, holding her up as her vision started to blur. He tried to speak to her, but all she could hear was the music, blaring loudly.
“What?” she asked him, dazed. He spoke again and it looked like he mouthed the words ‘I want you,’ but she couldn’t be sure. She shook her head and put her hands up, letting him know that she couldn’t hear him. She wasn’t feeling well, so when he pointed at the door and then to her, suggesting they go outside, she was leery of his advances, but wanted to get some air. She couldn’t explain why she was haunted by this stranger in her dreams, but her pull to find him was always on her mind, as if she were under some kind of spell. She nodded her head in agreement, knowing that they were in a public place and feeling somewhat safe in that knowledge. He grabbed her hand so they wouldn’t lose each other and guided her outside.
“Leila! Stop!” she turned her head slowly towards the exotic looking bartender, blinking slowly in her delusion, but was too weak to fight the man taking her outside. What is going on?
When they got outside, she let go of his hand and looked up at the sky. It was so beautiful that it made the night feel unreal. He came up behind her and held her by the waist, making her body tingle in response to his touch, resting his head on the top of her head. She felt uneasy, on edge and she couldn’t seem to pry his hands off of her. Her movements were slow, but deliberate in removing the vice like grip he had on her waist. He turned her to him and she closed her eyes, trying to fight off waves of nausea, placing her hands upon his chest in an effort to push him away. He held onto her despite her attempts at being free. He kissed her pushing his lips against hers a little too roughly for her taste as she cried out, trailing hard kisses to her neck.
He released her and whispered in her ear, “Baby you’re making me so hot. Do you want to go back to my place? Or do you want to just do it in the car out here in the parking lot?”
She pulled back, shocked that he would say such a thing after first meeting her. She was in for even more of a shock when she saw his face in the moonlight. He was blond haired, freckled and his eyes glittered a weird shade of dark green in the moonlight. He was dressed in a white jersey and blue jeans. His dirty white tennis shoes were laced loosely and were about to come untied. He had a deep longing look on his face and was panting heavily. He looked at her lustily, drinking her in from head to toe. She felt as if he had X-Ray eyes and could see right through her. It made her feel so dirty.
“What’s wrong, baby?” he said with questioning eyes. “Don’t you want me too?”
For a minute she just looked at him, with a dumbstruck look on her face. Am I being punked or something?
“Are we going to do it or what, sexy?” he asked her again. “My car’s just this way. It’s a convertible, but I can put the top up if you’d like,” he said wagging his eyebrows at her suggestively.
“Uh...I’m sorry, but where’s the guy I came out here with?” she asked him, expecting it to be part of some kind of cruel joke that was being played at her expense.
“What guy?” he said looking around. “You came out here with me, baby, but we can go get another guy if you’d like. I don’t mind as long as we get to do it soon. You’re killing me here.”
“I’ve got to go. I’m so sorry, it’s all been a horrible misunderstanding. I-I thought you were somebody else!” she said, panicking a little.
“I can be anyone you want me to be, sweet ass. God you’re fine!” he said whistling in appreciation. She started to shake her head and push him away once more, just wanting to go home. He continued his hold on her, asking what was going on.
“Stop! Take your hands off of her or i’ll call the police!” Jay was running towards them, calling out to the man who was holding onto her, a baseball bat in hand.
The blond haired boy released her, finally, with his hands in the air and started to run, his eyes wide with fright. Jay shouted at him in anger, but he didn’t follow. She collapsed just before the bartender reached her, falling hard onto her knees, skinning them. Tears streamed down her face in shame and fear. She was shaking as he tried to comfort her by putting his hand on her shoulder, but it only made her shriek in surprise, her body jumping at the unwanted touch.
“I’m sorry, ma’am. Are you alright? I can call the police…”
She hiccuped, trying to breathe deep and gather her wits before she spoke.
“No. No need. Thank you for saving me...I don’t know...I don’t know what could have happened if you...if you hadn’t been there.”
“Did you know the fellow? If you don’t mind my asking.”
Leila held her head in her hands, feeling like she was spinning in circles. Had she drank too much? Or….
“I didn’t….I think he might have drugged me or something or maybe I’m drunk. I’m unsure…”
Even with her eyes closed, she felt the vertigo trying to knock her over as she tried to stand, failing miserably as her knees buckled once more. This time Jay caught her and held her up, his arms gentler than the stranger that had held her but a few minutes ago.
“What the hell is wrong with me? I can’t believe how stupid I am!” she cried out, sniffling pitifully.
Jay looked confused by her words, but said he would call her a cab to take her home safely. True to his word, a cab arrived after 10 minutes to take her back to her apartment. She texted Elaine to let her know that she had gone home and that she was okay, so she wouldn’t worry. When she got home she threw her journal in the trash, giving up on the hope of finding the dream guy. Something even more terrible could have befallen her and she wished that she had taken the bartender up on his offer to call the police. With the way she was feeling, she could barely crawl into bed, let alone think about going down to the police station to file a report. All she wanted to do was forget it. She finally fell into a fitful sleep, sprawled on her bed, as dawn rose above the horizon, marking the beginning of another day.