I sat there staring at the ladies in front of me. I studied their intensity and tried not to study other more shapely aspects, as this was not the time. They stood there locked in poses until Ava finally drops the bat. I let the breath out that I had held in and a shiver runs up my spine. It is not every day that I almost die; it just feels like it recently. Emily puts the chair back down and resumes her seat. She then looks at me expectantly. That is when long forgotten Jimmy speaks again, “I think it is time for the real story.”
“That’s the thing Jimmy; every story has at least two sides. Who’s to say which the ‘real’ one is?” I do the air quotes on the word real and immediately feel like an ass.
Ava growls and Emily places a calming hand on her arm. Emily looks at me for a while, "Tell us your story Ray, the one that you believe to be true."
I look at her eyes and consciously keep my gaze there. Emily has gotten under my skin and I am fighting lots of wonderful daydreams about her. Some involve running towards each other on the beach but most fall into a more scintillating category. Sometimes I hate an overactive brain and sometimes I just try to keep it firmly in the background. The problem I was facing because of these daydreams was that I started to trust her, kind of. I mean she is definitely a manipulative dangerous person but she makes me feel comfortable. So I was about to open up to her, meanwhile the tiny guiding voice in my head (the one I tend to ignore) is screaming for me to stop.
“Have you ever looked at someone and saw that all they do is survive? That there hope for something better had been squashed?” I am looking into her eyes and as far as I am concerned it is only her and I having this discussion. My tale is for her alone. I see her nod at my question and I continue. “I was mesmerized by that once. I was in Vegas, for a bachelor party, and we were walking the strip. The friends I was with were a lot more intoxicated then I was and I found myself sitting down while they stood and argued about lofty and yet stupid things. You know the type of argument that seems so profound while your inebriation is kicking in but if it was ever filmed and showed to you the next day would make you feel stupid. I sat there a few feet away from them, just waiting for them to start walking again. In fact I was half hoping their stupid and slightly offensive conversation would get them knifed so that I could continue the adventure. Instead my friends blathering had the adventure firmly on pause. I began to look around me, noticing for the first time where we sat. I was looking into a souvenir shop for Las Vegas itself and of course the wonderful Grand Canyon Experience it was attached to. That was when I noticed the girl leaning up against a wall of the experience. She looked ready to be anywhere but there. She was a beautiful black girl with her hair too short, like maybe she tended to wear a wig. Her makeup was done but the clothes did not seem to match the look her makeup strove for.”
“Just say she was a whore, Ray,” interrupted Jimmy. His interruption breaks the spell Emily’s eyes had over me and I remember where I am and who I have standing around listening to my tale. “I mean for God’s sake were you engaged to this woman? Had she bore your only child?”
I look at him for a second. “Jimmy…… this is my story. Can you shut your mouth or do you know how this story continues?”
He waves me off and walks out muttering.
“Anyway, this girl was pretty but had a hard edge to her. I could not take my eyes off of her. It wasn’t lust, like Jimmy implied. No, it was interest. I wanted to know how she got there. What took a pretty girl and turned her so far around that she became an escort in Vegas waiting for her next trick? I am not sure how long I watched her but it was at least long enough to see her light up and smoke two cigarettes. I was lost in my head when I heard a grizzled voice from behind say “Like the view?” I dropped the drink I had in my hand, as it was a glass from one of the casinos it shattered and the noise got my friends’ attention. I turned around and saw a massive chest. The guy I was facing was a large, stocky guy. His hands were huge and were covered in rings. The jewelry on his hands was the only pimp like thing about this guy. He really looked like a bouncer at a strip club that would throw out a handsy customer after socking him a few times on the way out. He was built like an enforcer and I immediately realized that I had been daydreaming about the girl’s life for far too long. I was unsure of what to do so I mumbled something. I can’t remember what exactly but I can’t imagine it was very manly. I am sure I sounded like a small child who stole a cookie and was busted with crumbs on his face. The giant muscle grabbed me by the back of the neck and picked me up. I was on my tippy toes mewling like a stuck cow when my friends decided to take action. Other guys materialized between us as they prattled on about kicking butts and/or calling the cops. “Let’s you and I take a walk! Tell your friends, shit is cool!” “Shit is cool!” I exclaimed in a squeaky high pitched shrill. That didn’t really calm them but the other guys in the middle of us made it hard for them to do anything about it, as my new friend and I went for a walk.”
I paused debating my next statement and noticed Ava smirking at me. I honestly believed she would have liked to see me scared and in a little bit of pain. Meanwhile Emily continued to look at me with hose imploring beguiling eyes. I waited for what seemed like an eternity but was probably 3 and a half seconds. “Can I have some water? I am really thirsty.” Ava looked at Emily and then turned and went to get the water. I decided to go for the next statement with some props. “Make it a large cup of water! Oh, and a small cup of sand as well.” Emily’s eye brow shot up at this and Ava had stopped in front of the door waiting for something. Maybe she was deciding whether to kill me or not. Before her decision was made Emily said “Please”, and Ava left. “It is always good to remember your manners Ray.” I looked at her and almost spoke but chose to wait for my props.