I was at a party with a few guys I knew from The Bar, a place I spent way too many nights at. The four of us had found ourselves there on a dull and empty night. Danny, Ralph, and Andy were headed to a party nearby. They insisted I join them.
It was in an apartment a couple blocks away. When we got there we stood in the doorway for a minute admiring the apartment. It was a fairly large place, although it’s design made it seem much larger; it had an open floor plan, high ceilings, and a light color scheme. It also had a pretty impressive skylight and lots of large windows. It was elegantly and sparsely furnished and decorated. Andy was standing next to me, I poked him. “Who’s party is this again?”
“Ask Danny, he’s the one with the invite. Rest of us just followed.”
“Of course.” Danny had already started heading across the room through a small crowd gathered in the center of the apartment. Spotting his target, a large kitchen island filled with liquor bottles, I quickly followed. The kitchen was brightly lit with stainless steel appliances, it gleamed across the large expanse. Several small groups stood scattered in corners, a large black couch sat in along a wall filled with windows. Surrounding the window were lush green palm trees, vines and spider plants grew along the a large wrought iron curtain rod.
“So who’s party is this anyway.” I asked Danny as I set up a cup with ice.
Danny took a shot of Jack Daniels, then poured another. “Some guy I know. Wants me to do some work for his company. You know I got skills, so he’s trying to work his magic on me. Invited me to this party, told me to bring friends.”
“Yeah sure. Can I get that now?” He was still holding the bottle of Jack. He quickly drank his second shot, poured himself another, then handed the bottle over. “So this guy wants you to work for him, huh.” Danny worked part-time in a small computer repair shop and occasionally picked up side jobs. As far as I knew he wasn’t exactly in high demand, I laughed to myself as I poured my drink.
The crowd seemed pretty average, lots of 20 somethings in various stages of drunkenness. There were a few outliers, a couple of guys in expensive looking suits with typical arm candy girls in black dresses. A few older graying couples. One group of guys huddled by a window smoking a blunt, including one or two that looked suspiciously young. A handful of people seemed vaguely familiar. I thought maybe I’d seen them around the neighborhood, most likely at The Bar.
“Hey Danny. What’s the guys name?”
“Do I know him?”
“What, how would I know?”
“Well you’d know better than me. I never remember people.”
He looked at me confused before answering. “Maybe you should stop drinking.” He lifted his empty cup and smiled. “As far as I know you don’t know him. Hey look Jeanette’s here.”
Before I could move she grabbed me, hugged me, kissed me on the cheek then bounced over the Danny. “What the hell are you doin’ here.” I said.
“Enjoying the party.” She said over her shoulder as she bounced to Andy then Ralph.
“Oh great just anybody’s getting in here, time to go guys.” Ralph joked as he backed away from Jeanette’s hug. “Find me the host of this here shindig, he should know his party’s being crashed.”
“Oh please, I happen to be very good friends with the host.” She pretended to walk away in a huff. “And there he goes right now.” I watched as she weaved her way to a man talking to a group of women on the sofa. She wrapped her arms around his waist from behind as she settled in beside him.
I turned back to the guys still huddled around the counter with all the booze. “So guys had enough free booze yet.”
“What, we just got here. And come on, your bestie Jeannette is here.” Ralph said, then laughed.
I rolled my eyes. “She’s never going to fuck you.”
“Oh damn.” Andy and Danny yelled at the same time.
“You’re fucked up.” Ralph said then walked away.
“I hope he’s not leaving already.”
“Nah just going to sulk in a corner.” I watched as he found an open spot by a window and looked out.
“Okay, well this is Dante. The girl I was telling you about.” Jeanatte said to the guy she’d left us to grope. “Dante, here’s Miguel. I was just telling how you two have to meet. I so think you two would be perfect together.” She leaned close to me and lowered her voice, “But you gotta let me have a go first.” She giggled then went to the counter to serve herself a drink.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you Dante.”
“I’ll bet. So you’re Miguel, huh. Interesting place you’ve got here.”
“Yeah, impressive, right.”
“Maybe for fools easily impressed.”
“But a lady of your discerning taste surely knows better.” He said in a sarcastic tone.
“Exactly. It’s pretty nice, but it’s designed to appear bigger than it really is. Usually that doesn’t extend to the other rooms. Actually, it’s only a one bedroom isn’t it and I’m guessing that isn’t very impressive to anybody. ”
Jeanette bounced over as I finished my sentence. “Already trying to get him to the bedroom. See I told you, you’re perfect. But really me first, just the one time then you can have him.”
“Ladies, no need to fight, you can both have me now.” He smiled as he reached his arm over her shoulder. He reached out toward me with his other hand.
I took a quick step back. “That’s okay. No touching unless I say so.”
“Oh yeah, I forgot about that.” Miguel’s face questioned her. “Dante here don’t like to be touched. Well that is except a few people and I bet once they get a touch…” She grinned widely, raising her eyebrows and pushed Miguel towards me. He caught himself before he fell into me. As soon as he caught himself and took a step back she was already wrapping herself around him again.
“Wow bitch, do you really have to be so desperate.”
She glared at me, walked away and grabbed Andy by the arm. As she pulled him away I heard her mutter, “Why she always gotta be such a bitch.”
Miguel laughed. “What’s so funny.”
“You. No not you really, Jeanette. But yea, you. What you said.”
“Just the truth.”
“You don’t always tell the truth.” He said in a deeper voice as he leaned towards me.
“No but I like to have fun with it when I can.”
“You know Dante, you seem like my kind of girl.”
“I’m not your anything.” I walked away and headed towards Ralph. He was still standing by the window and looked miserable. I’d offer to buy him a drink at the bar if he left with me. That usually mended fences easily enough.
As I walked away I heard him say quietly, “We’ll see.”