by Liliana Ries
Will Work For Mai Tais- Callie gets a job and a mysterious call.
|Chapter 4: Will work for Mai Tais.
Mike Nash was the darkest black man I’d ever laid my eyes on. He spoke in quick successive sentences that I strained to understand; I made a mental note to invest in a recorder so I could play back our conversations and try to pick out what it was he was saying. Mike also wore a shirt a size too small and pants that swished way too loudly. I was sitting cross legged doing my best to appear angelic in a button down oxford shirt and Express skirt I’d purchased for my cousin’s wedding. The skirt fluted out at the hem. I was misinformed that it would make me look professional and savvy. Instead I felt like a child who had rummaged through her mother’s closet. Mike Nash was none too impressed.
He pointed to a dry erase board emphasizing a name, and a number next to that name. Indicating that I should strive to be so lucky as to have a 2508 next to my name. This should have been the exact moment where I realized the difference between sanity and insanity. Instead, I nodded diligently, pretending to be interested and hoping to make 2508 my goal for the next two weeks. What did that even mean?
“You need to attend our employee orientation and fill out the forms. The orientation will be held at our new facility. That is the one you will be working out of, but it doesn’t open until August.” He said curtly and ran me through some more 'you plus so and so equals excellence' bull shit. I don’t think he blinked once during the entire interview. Gosh, it was like being interrogated by a black Chuck Norris. Was this man always on?
I could feel the twitch in my eye start up. This is my psychic instinct telling me to run for the hills. Best to ignore these things when dealing with a paycheck that would at least pay rent. I assumed that this was the best of the best, and set out on a course to crash and burn. I'd gotten a call from Perform Fitness, a gym chain where the guys are wider than they are tall. Dress code was a pair of nylon or mesh gym shorts and a ripped sleeveless old P.E. shirt, covering a hand's span across the chest down to the waist. It looked more like an apron. I was going to see a lot of side boob today.
The position I thought I was taking was a sales associate. It would hopefully get me thirty hours a week and a free gym membership since the student recreation center was off limits now that I was a college grad. I started to despise that word a little more every day. Within a week at P.F. and I would need to remind myself each hour that I was a human being and that one day I would be happy. The staff including Mr. Mike Nash, were a hodge podge group of athletic gurus. One did running, one did weight lifting, one ate on a timer. No one had ever heard of chocolate. If they had, it came in the form of a chalky protein shake consumed only after a gut busting work out.
I came home exhausted and relieved not to hear heavy metal pounding the polish off of my fingernails. On the drive home, I made another personal promise to find a better job. One hadn't jumped out in front of me yet, so I was stuck with this one till tomorrow.
I scavenged the refrigerator and nibbled on a few items before giving in and ordering Chinese. It was three blocks away to pick up and I was feeling randy. They said it would be done in "ten minute." My best guess was twenty. Shucking off my dress shoes, wrenching down that stupid skirt and pitching it in the vast cavern that is my closet, I pulled on some gray sweats and a long sleeved t-shirt. There was no denying it. I looked like shit. My family is notorious for not taking break ups well. My brother Tory talked to the newspaper telemarketer for five hours after a broken engagement. My mother felt so bad she bought a subscription to Parade magazine to compensate the time lost with potential customers.
Kevin had been right about Chase. He'd been philandering with some cute and sprightly, but smaller titted girl three nights ago. I drunk called him and said some slurred words of hurt. I don't think "You thupid asth muther ucker" comes across as strongly as "You're a whore, we're over." But the point was still the same. Chase had moved on to greener pastures, Chicago, while I was stuck clinging to the glory days of living in a college town, but not going to college. Getting over Chase though was a bit easier than I thought. I guess that's what happens when you haven't left the first tier of Maslow's hierarchy.
My phone buzzed and I had to dump out my business but black hole of a purse to find it. It was a number I didn't recognize. Let's let fate take this one.
"Callie Cronin," I answered professionally because I was trying to shed my college lush reputation. It also inspired the caller to do the same.
"Very nice, Cal." a guy's voice replied. Okay, throw me a bone fate. Who the hell is this again?
When in doubt, go along with it, "What's up?"
"Just hanging out."
I was silent. When I think, I go silent. It's how you can tell I'm thinking.
"Hello?" he asked. I must have been thinking too long.
"Sorry, I was distracted." By the fact that I have no idea who you are.
"There's an art show tonight at eight at the Jersey Hoop. My friend's got some stuff, he was depressed when he did it. So it should be pretty good." Mr. Question Mark said. I thought some more.
"Sure, sounds good." I love mysteries and who doesn't like pretty pictures. I didn't have enough money to buy good art, but I had a passion for keeping my place charming. Depressed art isn't really pretty, but they're might be some other options. We hung up with a plan to meet at the Hoop at eight. Hmm. It was like a real life version of Mystery Date. It wasn't Kevin; he was under DO NOT ANSWER in my phone. It wasn't Chase either; I burned that bridge and spit on its ashes.
My deductions stopped there, and I'd been standing at the door thinking for too long. My Chinese was getting cold. To combat the sweats, I pulled my hair up in a high and tight perky ponytail, putting to ruins the hours of ironing and hairspray I'd given it this morning for my interview. The tail brushed lightly against my shoulder blades and all was right with the world again.
Walking the three blocks to Golden Dragon was easy. No one paused to look at frump girl which is nice about a college town. Sweats and t-shirts are common place for rolling out of bed, taking a test, or picking up take-out. It was when I was coming back with my chicken broccoli and three dozen almond cookies that I ran into problems. Kevin Miller was standing at the corner, unaware that I was the person behind the load of hot food.
I took the opportunity of anonymity to kick him in the shin while he was counting cracks in the pavement.
"OUCH!" he gasped, grabbing his leg and hopping up and down on the other. Kevin doesn't balance well. Unlike Webbles, he wobbles and falls down.
"Miss me?" I asked shifting the bag to one hand so he could see that I was past the angry phase of our last encounter and had moved on to sweet revenge.
"What the fuck! Are you on your period or something?" No, PMS is a Pre-menstrual, dumbass.
"I saw you and thought I'd say hello. Hello." Come on, give me another reason to kick you while you're down. Kevin rubbed his shin hard and gave me his best angry eyes. I felt bad, I truly did. He had given me, without trouble, the contents of his wallet the other day. The least I could do would be to share some Chinese with him.
The thing about Kevin is that you can't hate him for too long. When I was five my brother Joe, one year senior, killed my pet hamster by letting him out into our yard and into the neighbor's cat. I threw his Power Ranger action figure into the garbage disposal. Once we were even, we got back to our dysfunctional lives. Kevin spies on me, I kick him in the shin, and we have dinner.
"So, can I watch you again?" Kevin asked while cracking open the one fortune cookie in the bag. I scowled at the idea of performing for him and because he took my cookie.
"Do you have a hundred bucks?" Kevin came into money through questionable sources. As far as I knew, he was a stand-up citizen with a respectable job at the Thortan Jubilee, the town newspaper. He had a couple of front page articles that got tossed in the trash with the coffee grounds the next day. In his mind, he was Clark Kent, in my mind he was a lovable loser.
"Not on me, but I was watching porn online last night," Oh boy this can't be good, "And I was trying to find girls masturbating and I saw that they got like billions of hits, you know views, and I thought, what if Callie did that."
What if Callie did what? The light bulb clicked on.
"I'm not masturbating online!" I shouted to make the point crystal clear.
"Oh come on. You were way hotter than any of the ones I saw online. They were all old or fake. And they don't do that squeeze thing either. What you do is real man, I mean girl." Kevin was starry eyed. I'm glad he thought this one out.
“I have brothers! That means that there are guys out there who watch porn who are related to me and who would recognize me.” When I was eight I discovered my dad's John and Yoko: Two Virgins Album. I closed my eyes till the naked people went away. Porn really wasn't my thing.
Kevin wasn’t deterred. It seemed like he had put his mind to this and he wasn’t taking no for an answer. He shook his head, and smiled with that boyish charm that could sell ice to an Eskimo.
“There are dozens of guys out there that could recognize you. But, now don’t take offense, you aren’t that unique. Just wear a ton of make-up and you’ll turn into a random stranger,”
“Oh boy, the American dream. Making a sex tape." I'd be following in the lines of Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton and who could forget, Tonya Harding.
"Just thought you'd be interested. I'm thinking about your future." Yeah, well he wasn't the only one. My list of acceptable futures didn't include Porn Star. I was supposed to be a hot ad executive, drive a Porsche, and eat sushi every day. I was supposed to have a loveless relationship with a plastic surgeon. I wasn't supposed to video tape myself masturbating!
"I'll think about it." And file it under retarded ideas never to do.
Jersey Hoops, named after a man, not a state, was located in the dingy part of town. The estates and businesses looked like World War II had hit it. Neon lights were never replaced and vacant buildings housed the homeless and crack heads. But its depression also made it a hipster hot spot. Starving artists emphasized the decrepit landscape through illustration and sculpture. Diners took the empty turn of the century brick storefronts as a homage to Hopper's Night Hawks. Jersey Hoops offered live concerts and art shows. I'm sure they would have been willing to do weddings, christenings and bar/bat mitzvahs, but that market was slow in these parts.
I arrived with high hopes and I was all gussied up. I had more make-up on than Kiss and I was pretty sure that this was going to be a flop. There weren't too many cars parked around the building which meant that I'd either parked in the wrong spot, or there was a valet service. I'm going with the former. My eye wasn't twitching, which was good and my nerves had brought me this far. Why not go a little farther. Locking up the Saturn, which was a joke, it had been stolen twice without having to hotwire it, I stepped onwards and upwards.
Kevin had left me to my own devises earlier to update his Facebook status to let all one hundred friends know that he would be going to bed alone but full on Chinese food. I left a note on my dry erase board that I was here, meeting up with someone who called from such and such number, and that if they found me face down in the gutter, to donate my things to Good Will.
Turns out, patrons needed to enter the venue through an unmarked back door up some non-handicap accessible stone steps. Since I was not familiar with this procedure, it took ten additional minutes knocking on doors, peeking through windows and pouting my lips before I tailed an Emo couple inside. The art was lined up against the walls, leaving the middle of the room bare for conversing. I caught sight of no one I knew. This should be pretty awkward. Situations such as these call for alcohol. Lucky for me, there was a bar located in a smaller room off to the side. While I was paying for a gin and tonic, my default I-have-no-idea-what-I'm-doing-here drink, my shoulder got tapped on.
"Callie." I turned and frowned. I have the worst poker face.
"Jeff," and that's all folks.
"Were you expecting someone else?" Jeff asked gripping his own wine and checking out my drink. To be quite honest, Jeff and I hate each other. It's unsaid, but it's there.
"I thought. . .," well I had no idea what I was thinking. I was pissed off about Chase and a mystery man was better than nothing. Except when the mystery man was Jeff.
Jeff stood still, eyeballing my confused expression and coming to his own conclusions. Unlike Chase, Jeff was monogamous when we'd been together. Our relationship was based on a general interest in some BBC television shows and sloppy drunk sex. I don't advise mixing the two. We'd broken up, as I mentioned earlier, because he thought he was better than me and I thought he was an asshole.
To avoid further contact, I brushed past him and moseyed around the art room. Trying to find something that would catch my eyes so I didn't have to look at his. The crowd was sparse but diverse. There was the Emo couple, a pierced Punky Brewster, a few wannabe professors with sweater vests and elbow padded blazers, and a handsome fellow checking out a giant photograph of a man who'd pissed his pants. I looked back at Jeff who was mingling with the tenure seeking sweater vests. Perfect, he found a friend. Now to find me one.
When approaching a potential new mate, I circle the area twice before striking . . ., up a conversation. You have to be sure, absolutely sure that they are not the following: gay, married/attached, or younger than me. Cougars are for the divorced over forty, not the twenty something single lady on the prowl. Who was I kidding; I'd go to prom with an eighteen year old to have a date.
Mr. Handsome was still facing the wrong direction as I approached. He looked appealing from the back. His butt looked pretty cute. He was fit, but not testosteronie like the mutants at Perform Fitness with sandy colored hair some would refer to as dishwater blond and I'm a sucker for dishwater. He turned to face me. He was the all American guy. The kind who was the QB in high school, probably lost his virginity under the bleachers, and had girls day dream about taking his last name. I mentally thought up clever things to say. But the connection to my mouth short circuited. I felt my body get all tingly and somewhere deep inside an ovary quivered.
"He didn't make it to the toilet on time," Dishwater said. I sucked in air, hoping it came across as an indication of life. Sometimes I don't breathe, and people think I'm a statue. Say something smart! Say, "Peeing in your pants is the coolest." From Billy Madison.
"I can make it to the toilet." Great, I just told him I was potty trained. Next I'd be telling him I made boom boom in my pants the first day of third grade.
Dishwater laughed. I needed to give him a better code name. The ice breaker wasn't my best, but it had done its job.
"I would hope so," he replied.
"It's on my resume." Under lifetime achievements.
"How's that going for you? The job hunt?" he asked changing the subject. I didn't blame him.
"I have a job wiping down sweaty gym equipment and selling protein bars." Enough said.
Dishwater smiled. I felt the blood pump through my veins and an egg drop from an ovary.
"I own The Big Bang. Half of my staff graduated this month. So if you're interested, give me a call." Dishwater handed me a business card, nothing special, just the name of the bar and his name. Nolan Kelly. Hmm. Callie Kelly. Oh no, I'm hyphenating.
Chapter 5: What happens in Thortan, Stays in Thortan
I woke up to something snoring. It took me three breaths to realize it wasn't myself. It took me one second to realize who it was.
"OH SHIT!" Jeff Fucking Morrison was sleeping in my bed. This was bad. This was very bad. I checked under the sheets. I was wearing panties and nothing else. Jeff was buck naked. His dick in slumber mode. Oh fucking crap. What the hell had we done last night?
I canvassed my memory banks to the start of everything. Nolan had left after ten to go check up on his bar, and I had sat around lonely and unused till Jeff came up and offered to drive me to the bars. I refused to go to Big Bang, so we went to McNally's instead. I had so many fucking shots of Rumplemint.
"You're going too fast, sugar, slow it down a bit," he said somewhere at the bar. I took the shot knowing it would go down smoother because I was heck-a drunk and heck-a horny now that I hadn't been touched in over three days.
"I'm gonna need a few more of these if you want me to go home with you," I said shooting an umpteenth shot. I licked my lips in anticipation for the next and liking the feel of my tongue on anything. Seriously, I could rub it up against a light pole and it would feel good.
"Fine with me, Cal." Jeff rose his arm to get the bartender's attention and that's all I remembered up until we were fooling around at my house.
The memory surfaced halfway through a shower. I'd closed and locked the door hoping beyond hope that Jeff would get up and leave. After the bar, we had sat on the couch and kissed for a good half hour before he pulled me into the bedroom. His hands were everywhere, starting at my face, drawing down to the seam of my bra, and lower to the button on my Sevens. I wanted so badly to tell my past self to wake up, stop, but it didn't listen. Where was my fucking mother hen?
"So Cal. ." he giggled because he's a fucking nut, ". . get it , SoCal. Wanna get naked?"
"Na-ked." I had giggled too because it seemed appropriate. Oh God no. This cannot have happened.
"Yeah, baby, naked." His fingers slipped between my skin and the waist of my jeans, and I trembled a bit at the feel of hands on my belly. A feather would have sent me into an orgasm at this point. Jeff had always been semi-okay in the love making department. I think with alcohol it made him into a fucking porn star. His fingers grazed the lace of my panties I had put on for mystery date, thinking that I would be making love to some Brad Pitt look-a-like, but instead fooling around with some asshole ex-boyfriend. I sighed waiting till I could travel down the rest of memory lane.
Jeff's hands grabbed my hips placing me exactly where he wanted me, under him. The vivid images of him ripping a hole in the crotch of my jeans surfaced, and I cussed up a storm recalling the incident. Damnit! I liked those jeans. Jeff's snakey son-of-a-bitch fingers had traipsed their way inside of me before I could motion to dismiss. His mouth distracted mine to hush any dispute while he had me writhing with two little fingers. If he was still asleep in my bed when I got through with this shower I was going to cut them off. I remember him wrangling me out of my clothes, except for my panties which I had good drunken sense to keep on. But then his hand moved away.
"Where's that going? Put it back!" I demanded wrapping a finger around his belt loop so he knew I meant business.
"Say please," he cooed.
"Now!" I broke a fingernail trying to unbuckle and unzip him out of his pants. Jeff grabbed my hands and held them overhead while I griped about me being naked and him being clothed. His mouth found every nick and cranny on my neck and I may have agreed to spawn his young.
Jeff has always been able to hold his liquor. All seventy thousand of my brothers and first cousins can drink an entire keg before feeling the least bit tipsy. I have a couple shots of Rumplemint and I get sloshed. Knowing this, Jeff knew he wouldn't have to work hard at getting me naked. But he also knew if he didn't go fast enough I would pass out mid-fuck.
Jeff eased himself out of the shirt separating my skin from his. The feel of his hard frame on mine gave me goose bumps. Guys are rigid, overly firm, and sometimes I feel like I'm rubbing up against a tree trunk. I get whisker burn from their five-o'clock shadows and bruises when they squeeze too tightly. My kind of sex! Now if I could just have one goddamn orgasm with a guy instead of resorting to a vibrating egg and I'd be one content cow.
Jeff was busy groping, kissing and taking his sweet time not putting the head of his instrument anywhere near me. I was going to explode and he was more involved with my neck than anything else. I had gotten so wet that I think I'd soaked through the mattress and onto the floor below. I grabbed the base of him, flicking my best fuck-me eyes his way, and Jeff forgot about my neck. His breath was ragged. Now we were on the same page. I slid the tip along my panty covered slit hoping that this would give him the picture. But instead, probably because IT guys get as much play as John C. Reilly, Jeff suddenly froze, came all over my stomach, and passed out.
Oh thank Jesus! I guffawed in the shower remembering the whole thing now. I shut off the shower and listened for signs of life. Jeff was still snoring and I was stuck in nothing but a towel. I tip-toed towards the bedroom with the intention of grabbing the necessities and heading to work, but then someone knocked at my door. For chrissake!
My blue robe was nowhere and I had water dripping from my hair onto everything. If it's those goddamn Mormon boys I'm going to bat them off with the hockey stick. It wasn't the Mormons.
"Hey-ya." It was Kevin. He blinked when he saw my attire of towel and wet hair.
"I don't have a dvd player." You poor thing. Kevin seemed to have forgotten the rest of his plea. I stepped out onto the porch and closed the door so as not to wake the sleeping, snoring, mistake in the other room.
"Can I borrow yours?" Kevin asked toeing at the welcome mat and keeping whatever he was holding behind his back.
"Borrow what?" Jeff asked popping up behind me and wrapping two unwanted arms around my waist. I shoved him away to put some space between his throat and my hands.
"Did you let him watch?" Kevin asked keeping things fresh by making it awkward.
Jeff's eyebrows raised, "Watch what?"
Oh holy Jesus.
"Watched her masturbate?" Kevin asked removing the items from behind his back. Just my luck, it was porn. Jeff's eyes got big and round. I could almost see into his dark black soul.
"I'm really going to need you two to leave now," I said shoving past Jeff who was wearing boxers and socks. I could throw his clothes out the window. It would be like a drive-thru.
"Lucy, you've got some 'splaining to do," Jeff grabbed my arm holding up the towel. It jostled out of my grip and floated to the ground. Kevin dropped the dvds and Jeff grinned. I wanted to punch him.
"Nice ass!" a bystander shouted. I fingered the entire block, my front porch included, pulled away from Jeff, and tramped into the house.
We sat on the couch, I had every item of clothing I owned covering me. Kevin thumbed through his smut collection and Jeff. . . . ., well Jeff was still here which was a problem. He was still one good tug away from being naked as a blue-jay.
"I'm going to be late for work." I announced to no one.
"You let Kevin watch you-," I held up a hand to stop Jeff from talking. It didn't work, "You let him watch you vibrate yourself. Did she come?"
"Oh yeah!" Kevin answered.
"Get over it." I shot back.
"You never come. I've never seen you come during sex. She never comes," Jeff said shaking his head towards Kevin. He was explaining my sexual frustrations with one sentence.
"I'm really going to be late for work!" I shouted.
Jeff held up his hand this time, "You hate your job. You said that over and over again last night. You said you were going to quit and you hadn't even started yet."
"I was drunk! I could have said I was going to turn into Santa Clause and you wouldn't have held me to it!" We really weren't going anywhere fast. I looked toward the window and watched a jogger pass. I really wished I was running right now.
"You've never come during sex. I wanna see you come!" Jeff griped.
"Yeah, we want to see you come!" Kevin chimed in because he had nothing else better to do. God help me, but I actually thought I needed it. I'd just let my good-for-nothing ex-boyfriend jizz all over my stomach, flashed the entire block, and let Kevin back into my house. If anything, I needed a good juicy orgasm.
"FINE!" I yelled over their chants. What could it hurt? I was getting hot sitting there in two sweaters and three pairs of sweat pants.
They followed me into the bedroom, Kevin taking his spot in the desk chair which I will never be able to sit in again because it has Kevin cooties. Jeff found a spot in the corner where he belongs. I tried to pull both sweaters over my head at the same time, and got caught on my big Irish head. I felt two helping hands guide it up and over my nose, but paused to grope my nipples which had gotten hard from the change in temperature. I kicked that someone in the shin.
"No touching," I said pulling the rest of the sweaters off and recognizing that it was Jeff who'd grabbed me. Big surprise.
"You couldn't get enough of me last night," he said returning to his corner.
"Until you came on my belly and passed out," I shut Jeff's mouth. Kevin smirked and I was getting cold. I remembered the last scenario, but didn't want to waste time with the duct tape. "And no touching yourselves either."
"Whatever," they said in unison.
I had to dig through the drawer to find Barney, giving the boys one long good look at the ass they'd never touch again. It was strange having observers. Kevin was muffling a hum and Jeff had taken baby steps forward to get a better view. Just get this over with Callie, than I can go on to living a loveless life.
I turned on Barney, who buzzed happily in response. I was nowhere near wet though. So I spread my legs a little wider to help out the peanut gallery. Kevin rolled the chair forward. I sped up Barney. The vibrations were giving me tingles all the way down my toes. My heels connected as if magnetized and pushed my hips skyward. I forgot about Kevin and Jeff for almost two minutes until I felt Jeff's fingers once again prodding me in places they weren't allowed. He'd licked his finger and was pushing it into the tight opening. But instead of the normal aggression that spills out of me when he's around, I was welcoming everything he did. My cheeks clenched tight as I felt him tickle the right spots inside because with the added effect of the vibrator, I was getting twice the pleasure. Whenever I'd stuck a finger in the nether regions I usually scraped it against soft tissue and vowed never to touch myself again. Jeff's fingers weren't gentle, but they didn't have nails.
A moan escaped my mouth and instantly I wanted to pull it back in. Jeff's eyes twinkled. There was no denying it. I was loving this. I felt my free hand being placed on top of Jeff's hard on, and I pulled it away. Sorry, Jeff. This is about me, not about you.
I climaxed with Jeff's fingers helping to ride out the waves. He bent over to kiss a nipple and I smacked him away. Kevin had stayed put in his chair this time, but he'd forgotten to muffle his humming. I was laying there practically post-coital listening to a bad version of Grease Lightening. Jeff and I shot each other a befuddled look and shrugged our shoulders.
Two hours late for work and Jeff had to drop me off at my car near the Hoop which to no amazement hadn't been broken into or vandalized because a '95 Saturn Coupe is a joke of its own. We'd been silent since we left the house. I was trying to kick all memories of the incident out of my head, he was probably lingering onto every moment.
"See you around," I said hopping out of his truck and turning to slam the door.
"You really should consider it. You could get a pretty good income with a website like that," Jeff said before I slinked away.
"I'll think about it." I slammed the door and didn't look back. Somehow, this time, I actually did think about it.