Chapter image by .asperity @ TDA
“Now look, my shift is from nine to five so here—” she handed me a whiskey flask.
“Athena, you know I don’t drink! Especially after the time I got drunk on sparkling cider at my cousin’s Bar Mitzvah, anyway it’s probably better I drink something with a lot of sugar and not alcohol.” I shove the flask back to her.
“No,” she shoves the flask towards me, “this is coffee. In the whiskey flask, it looks better then what you would have brought, which is probably that snowman thermos. Just go to employee’s rec room and fill up when you run out.”
“Won’t someone notice if I’m gone?” I asked as I pocketed the flask.
“By the time you’re done with this whoever is left over will be drunk,” Athena answered me.
“So I just stand here?” Maybe I can go home to get a book.
“Yes,” Yeay! Book time! “And no, you cannot go home and get a book.” Damn. “Oh, here’s Chris—he obviously just finished, let me introduce you to him.”
“Hey Athena the crowds pretty big and smashed tonight,” said Chris then
he noticed me. “Well hello there,” he said offering me his hand. “The names Chris, Chris Smithe”. Well if that wasn’t an obvious James Bond impression I don’t know what is.
“She knows I told her” said Athena, rolling her eyes.
“I’m Pen,” I said, shaking his hand.
“What are you doing here?” He asked.
“She’s taking over for me tonight. Now stop hitting on her!” said Athena. “Don’t you have a girlfriend?”
actually.” He turned back to me. “Now if you need any help—”
“She has my number,” Athena finished. “Now Pen, just do what I told you to and everything should be fine.”
“Did you tell her what to do if someone offers her a drink or a ride back home?” Oh look at Chris, attempting to be helpful.
“Oh yeah, I forgot about creepy weird guy.”
This is going to be a long night.
I was on my fourth flask of coffee, it was twelve o’clock, the CD player was playing something annoyingly mindless about going to a club and falling in love with some girl—who apparently has amazing eyes—thanks to the DJ (who I’m pretty sure has his own love life he’d rather be putting together), and the crowd was really trashed (and steadily moving to tanked).
I can see why Athena comes back to the flat acting like she’s blind. The lighting in this place is horrible.
This is so boring. I could be at home right now reading Lord of the Rings or watching a Dr. Who marathon, or an episode of Charmed, or even playing D&D.
Plus Wood hasn’t even shown up, I go through all the trouble to make my lie look believable and he doesn’t have the courtesy to show up. Geez what a jerk.
I leaned back in my seat, trying to look like I was relaxed. Well, I forgot that there was no back to the chair and subsequently fell over, hitting my head against the radio—which for some reason did no damage to radio, but I’m pretty sure it did quite a bit of damage to my brain. I bet I have a lump the size of an ostrich egg on the back of my head when I wake up tomorrow morni—this afternoon.
Oh yes I’m Miss Smooth. That’s me: Miss Smoothie.
Oh crap is that blood? Shit. I think I’m bleeding.
Wait—no. That’s just beer. I must have slammed into it when I fell. Ok, here’s the bottle. It’s not broken, so I’m glad to say there aren’t pieces of glass sticking out of my scalp.
Mental image of glass sticking out of my head? Not the best picture. I need to stop reading so many horror books.
Ok what do I do now? I need to get the beer out of my hair before it dries and gets tangled into the curly mess that claims to be naturally attached to my head. Plus, my hair is blond the beer will make it half-brown. Crap what do I do? Do I just leave the turn table?
Wait there’s a security guard over there I’ll just signal him over here. “Hi,” I said when he came over.“I have a slight problem—”
“Are you drunk?” he asked me “’cause you really stink.” Guess who isn’t my favorite person in the world right now.
“No. Actually, I got some beer on my hair when I fell over.”
“Ah that’s what that thump was. Where’s Athena?”
‘She’s sick so I’m taking over for tonight. Now I need some help. The beer is all over my hair and I need to get it off before it dries and now it’s dripping down my arm and I look like a hot mess. What do I do?’
“She’s sick” I said instead.
“You’re new,” he said shaking his head. “Just go to the employee’s bathroom and wash your hair there. The kids are so trashed they won’t steal anything.”
I found the employees bathroom no problem, but when I walked in, I found a couple snogging the hell out of themselves against the wall of the bathroom.
“HEY, GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!” That separated them.
Oh my wizard god. There are sweat stains on the brick wall. Ugh I’m never going to get that mental image out of my head.
“Hey beautiful, want a kiss?” asked the bloke. Yes, the very one which had just separated himself from the girl and was now stumbling around the bathroom.
“My friends were right about you. You’ll make out with anything that moves.” The girl threw her purse at him, missed completely, and stumbled out (not before she hit the wall face first though). Lovely.
“No, wait, Brittney! She doesn’t mean anything to me” said the boy stumbling after her.
“My name’s Kate!”
Well isn’t that just lovely?
Yes, people, this is why I drink. Because I want to lose my purse, and snog random strangers in dirty bathrooms that reek of alcohol who won’t even remember my name in morning. And then when I actually get to the morning, have a gigantic hangover.
When they finally left I began the tedious process of trying to clean my hair.
Things I would rather be doing then this: Just about anything.
I was trying to twist myself around so I could siphon the beer out of the back of my hair when the door opened. I was so startled that some muggle was going to catch me that I did some kind of flip (purely incidentally, I’m not that flexible) and hit my head against the sink which felt like pure rock.
Great you can add blood and a giant bruise to my beer stained hair. I just love
So there I was, struggling to sit up while the door was opening, and then as whoever it was came in, I hit the top of my head against the bottom of the sink.
I swear this can’t get more embarrassing. Or painful.
“You alright?” a hesitant voice—that surprisingly didn’t sound drunk—asked. I stood up and glared at the person. It would have been better if he was drunk.
Gosh Karma, you really love torturing me, don’t you? In fact, I’m pretty sure I was invented only so that you could have someone to laugh at. It’s like your twisted, sick, demonic sense of humor.
“Hello Alexander,” I said giving him my death glare. “What the hell
are you doing here?”
“Oh Pen, what the hell are you
doing here?” I bet he’s mocking me
“I could ask you the same thing.” I said standing up. In fact, I did.
Alexander is Athena’s boyfriend, I like him in theory but not so much in practice. Like now.
He’s really tall and skinny, his hair adds on about two inches, unlike Percy’s however it’s not curly nor is it greasy (score one for Alex) it just wild, he also has sideburns and actually doesn’t look so bad in them (not that I’m ever
going to say that to his face).
He’s also in his last year of law at one of the biggest collages around and he’s immature, annoying, and child-like (but in an annoying way), but Athena and him are made for each other and unfortunately I have to suffer because of it.
And I do mean suffer.
“I was here for Athena,” Alexander explained, he looked a little concerned. “Is she sick? Is that why she’s letting you take over for her?”
“No, she’s not sick,” I answered not willing to tell him anymore, the last person I want relationship advice from is Alex-cool-side-burns-ander.
So you’re doing a pretty good job screwing things up, said Alex glancing at my hair.
I’m doing fine at not
screwing things up thank you very much, I said glaring at him.
“Except for the fact that you bizarrely resemble a raccoon and a skunk.” Alexander leaned against the wall with a smirk. Thanks. That really helps my already sky-high self confidence.
I looked in the mirror and Alex was right. There was a strip of brown (from the lovely beer) down my hair giving me some weird skunk-like look, and the bruise on my forehead didn’t look like it was going away anytime soon.
If I had been home I would have been able to take a nice shower and use all of Athena’s fun scented soaps and then when she asked where they were I would feign innocence. Unfortunately I happen to stuck with a wiseass squib, who derives pleasure from watching me suffer.
Although I will admit that if the tables were turned I would be laughing and taking pictures.
“So,” said Alexander looking like he was trying to contain his laughter. “You did this for what reason? Lose a bet?”
“No,” I said sarcastically. “I’m doing this because I lied to some incredibly hot guy and told him I worked here so I could look cool. Then he had to go off and say he was going to be here so I borrowed Athena’s job for the night.”
“What did you bet on?” he asked, completely oblivious.
“Forget it Alex.”
“That’s Alexander.” He hates being called Alex which is why I always take extra care to call him that.
“And I still don’t care.” I twisted around so I could get the beer out of the back of my hair. “Now do me a favor and get me some concealer.”
“It won’t work,” said Alex looking at my forehead. “It’s too big. Plus, I don’t want to.”
“Why is Athena dating you?” I muttered (quite loudly) to myself. Alex ignored me.
“Well,” said Alex. “I’m going. You seem to be doing fine on your own.” I gave him a go-to-hell looks. “I’m tired! And I have summer classes tomorrow.” Oh look, he’s trying to defend himself. “So I’ll just tell Athena you’re doing fine and you can continue screwing up in peace.”
“Thanks Alex for that warm conformation of your trust in me, “I said.
I thought I heard him mutter something like ‘confirmation of trusting you to screw things up’, but you can never be sure with Alex.
And that’s Alexander to you! He added as he left.
I was about to call out ‘bye Alex’ when I heard a little girl scream, and then Alex stumbled back into the employee bathroom.
“There are two people getting it on outside this bathroom!” He shrieked. “That is so
And that ladies and gentlemen is Alexander Goldstein.
I came out sporting a giant bruise right in the middle of my forehead, of course I don’t have bangs so I was stuck looking like some creature out of a horror movie, this night could probably get worse but I hope it won’t because I have a massive headache.
“You have a problem,” said the security guard as soon as I got to the supposed ‘turn-tables’ (this is really just a table with a CD player, I have better equipment at my house). “Apparently some drunken kid fell over onto the table and busted the player.”
I thought it was the security guard’s job to make sure that didn’t happen. What happened? Was he too busy eating doughnuts to stop and save the equipment? And believe me I know he had doughnuts, I can see the pink sprinkles all over his uniform.
I resent that he didn’t do his job, I also resent the fact that he didn’t share his doughnuts.
“So…er, do we have like a backup thing?” Regan (well that’s what the doughnut eating ‘security’ guard’s nametag says anyway) gives me a look, hey I’m new at this.
“I’m not surrendering my radio,” he said immediately. “It’s the only thing I have against this crap kids call music.”
This is coming from the guy who’s been blaring ‘Slim Shady’ from his radio for the past two hours.
Will the real Slim Shady please stand up? Please stand up? Please stand up?
I’m going to have a problem getting that horrible song out of my head.
“That’s fine,” I said somewhat relieved that he wasn’t volunteering his radio. “But do we have a back-up?”
“We have a back-up radio somewhere,” said Regan, he glanced around. “Can’t remember where it is though.”
Thanks Regan, first you don’t share your doughnuts and I know there was pudding ones because I can see the evidence on your collar and now you don’t even know where the stinking radio is.
It is official, Regan the ‘security guard’ sucks. Royally.
I did find the radio, turns out it was under the table (how Regan missed that I have no clue), I just turned it on to the first station that wasn’t news/angry christen people and played that.
Then it turned out to be country music, so I had to change that.
One more hour.
Will the real-stop it!
I came home very tried and probably very stupid looking, to add to all that my hair felt very sticky from the beer, all I wanted was a shower.
Of course life in the form of my dog Piper had other ideas for me, as soon as I came through the door she jumped on me, whining and shaking her leash back and forth with her teeth.
I sat down and tried to ignore Piper’s looks, ignoring Piper’s looks however is impossible, her sympathetic puppy look could bring nations down to their knees.
But I was really tried so that helped.
“I heard you sucked at my job,” said Athena calmly, I jumped not realizing she had been there. She was sitting at the table in her pajamas eating mushy cereal with a bunch of papers covered in doodles in front of her.
I reached for one of them and got my hand slapped. “Don’t touch,” Athena warned.
“Could have freaking told me that before
I reached for papers,” I said, as I nursed my sore hand.
Athena gave me a toughen-up look.
“That’s for setting your boyfriend on me,” I said. “Tell him he was a real help.”
“Alexander actually told me you were doing fine,” said Athena.
“Really?” I asked, now confused. “Then who ratted on my screwieness?”
“Regan,” Athena answered calmly.
I HATE damn security guard.
Athena then looked at my face and scrunched up her
face, now she looked like a pug dog. “ Pen, what the hell
did you do to your face? You look like you went to a horror convention, no…you look like the
“I hit my head,” I said calmly, her yelling was hurting my head.
“Against what, a brick wall? Repeatedly?” Asked Athena.
I don’t look that bad, I said while rubbing my eyes with the palms of my hands, ugh I never want a night job, being a librarian might not be ‘cool
’ but it’s a hell lot easier.
“So did you see him?” Asked Athena nonchalantly. At first I didn’t know who she was talking to then I remembered.
N-no, I stammered. He never showed up.
Athena shrugged her shoulders. You win some, you lose some, and at least you didn’t tell him you were a stunt person. I shrugged in response. “I’m not that stupid.”
Athena looked dubious and passed me two aspirin, thank god for Athena.
Piper began tugging on the hem of my jeans, when I looked down she showed me the leash and wagged her tail.
For the life of me I can’t resist those puppy eyes.