by Anjali Kai
"The grim reaper is a bartender, what will your drink be?"
A lucky number for an unlucky situation. A cab pulls up in front of jazz club, a cobblestone path way leads up to the stone steps. The name “CAMINO” is on the front of the two story building in bright flashing lights. The cab driver instructs the passenger that any answers needed would be found on the first floor by a man named Dante. The young woman steps out the cab and shuts the door. The cab driver waves out the window and pulls off. The girl stands at the curb rubbing her arms. A Nirvana t-shirt doesn’t protect her from the bite of the wind. Her hair is cut very choppy below her ears, she kicks a rock with her Chucks before looking one last time down the road and heading inside. Her hazel eyes bounce around the room. The interior is something out of a million dollar penthouse. There are chandeliers, marble flooring, and a live band playing in the far corner. The upbeat tune ricochets off the walls filling the place with a swing like joy. But the place is empty to any patrons. The smell of alcohol lingers away from the bar in the near distance.
“Excuse me?” The girl asks walking towards the bar. A tall slender gentleman in a suit with short black hair is putting glasses on the shelf.
“Where is everyone?” With his back still towards her he doesn’t reply but simply gestures his arm to a seat. Obliging she sits on a stool.
“The other guest will arrive shortly” He answers.
“I’m looking for a man named Dante, would you happen to know who that is?” The man continues putting glasses away.
“I’m sorry I’m really lost and can’t remember anything. Where am I?” Just then the door opens and two more people walk in. A shorter woman with brown eyes and slicked back red hair. She has on a black fitting dress, and heavy makeup. The man next to her is in a pinstripe navy suit. His green eyes meet with the young woman's. The girl puts her head down in shame feeling out of place. The couple walks to the bar
“You serve children here?” The red haired woman scoffs out.
“Isabella and Jack please have a seat.” The bartender gestures.
“H-how do you know..”
“Please take your seats and I will explain.” Isabella and Jack sit on a stool.
“Now, there are two rules 1. You must order a drink 2. I cannot answer why you are here. I am Dante, and I will be your bartender this evening.” Dante bows and looks to the young girl who is now looking surprised.
“And you are Violet correct?” Violet nods.
“Good, now we may begin. What would you guys like?” Dante steps back from the bar so they can see the selection.
“I’ll have a rum and coke.” Jack states.
“A cosmopolitan for me” Isabella says flirty. Everyone's eyes turn to violet.
“A glass of Chardonnay, please.” Violet sits up straighter looking more poised. Dante nods his head.
“Very well.” Swiftly Dante puts all 3 drinks in front of them. Isabella is the first to finish her drink. She puts her hands on her head. Jack's memories flush through her. Jack and Isabella getting married, Their honeymoon, Isabella getting pregnant, Their child getting kidnapped from Isabella, Jack going into a depression, Jack trying to commit suicide, Isabella and Jack arguing, Jack doing overtime at work, Isabella and Jack going to dinner, Isabella and Jack arguing in the car, Jack hitting a girl crossing the road and going off the edge of the road down a ravine.
“Oh my god.” Isabella falls on the floor.
Jack downs his drink before going to help Isabella up off the floor. Violet’s memories rush through him. Violet being bullied in school, Violets parent’s telling her she was adopted, Violet being followed home by some boys, Violet being raped, Violet cutting her hair, Violet running away, Violet’s mother suffering a heart attack, Violet crossing a street and being hit by a car. Jack’s hand covers his mouth as he cries out loud
“Violet I am so sorry!” Violet looks confused and takes a sip of her drink.
"Sorry? For what?" Violet is puzzled.
"We hit you." Jack trembles out.
"What are you talking about?" Violet takes a big swig of her wine. Isabella’s memories invade Violets mind. Isabella getting married to Jack, Isabella cheating, Isabella getting pregnant by Jack, Isabella putting the baby up for adoption. Gasping violently, Violet grabs her chest.
"Jack shut up!" Isabella screams. Violet downs the rest of her drink. More of Isabella's memories flash. Isabella going out with some guy, Isabella filling out the divorce papers, Isabella and Jack arguing, Isabella screaming in a car as they hit Violet. Violet drops her glass.
“I think everyone is now aware of what’s happening.”
“We’re dead!? How can this be.” Isabella cries out.
“I feel so sorry for you Jack, to be with this ungrateful bitch!” Violet screams out.
“Excuse me?” Isabella looks like the wind has been blown out of her.
“Now Violet you have every right to be upset with us. But I’m the one that killed you and I am truly sor-.”
“Jack she cheated on you, gave your child up for adoption and is filing a divorce! You have nothing to be sorry about.” Violet hops off the stool and walks up to Jack with sorrowful eyes.
“Bella what is she talking about.” Jack can barely breath. Isabella is crawling backwards shaking her head.
“Don’t believe that little bitch! She has no clue what she’s talking about.”
“How would she know about the baby? You said the baby was taken from you Isabella, did you give my daughter up?!” It hit Violet, daughter, adoption.
“Yes Violet.” Dante begins
“Jack and Isabella are your parents. Isabella did give you up and is filing a divorce with Jack.” Dante snaps his fingers and two large bouncers appear.
“Please see that Isabella gets to her destination safely, I hope you enjoyed you drink here at Camino” Dante says with a sinister look.
“No please, wait! Give me another chance. Jack baby I-I love you! I swear.” The bouncers drag her outside.
“Violet you’re my..” Jack gets choked up.
“Yes Jack you're my .. dad” Dante puts his hands on both of their shoulders.
“Come, you two follow me upstairs.”