Upsetting
Thursday, November 14, 2002
 
Two women and a guy who looks nothing like me are at the table, pouring the bottles into red cups. I nod and move into them. One of the women stays as the other two fan out, giving me space to do my work.

Vodka, gin, rum, tequila. Thin, pretty bottles. Resolute.
I hold the bottom of my jacket with my left hand as I lean over and grab a green bottle of merlot. I straighten back up and put some of the wine into one of the red cups. I fill it more than half way, but not quite ¾.
There is another bottle I don’t recognize. It could be whiskey, or maybe scotch. Hoping it’s whiskey, I grab it and pour about three fingers into a red cup for myself.
I feel a hand on my shoulder and realize I was concentrating a little too hard on measuring the amount of liquid into the cup. I nod left and see the woman who remained at the table moving her mouth.

Your girlfriend is beautiful, she says. But you have to leave. Both of you.

I place the red cup to my lips. Thankfully, whiskey.

Pardon me? We just got here.

I’m trying to help you, she says. They are coming for you. Both of you. They will be here very soon. I heard them talking on the phone. You need to go.

Coming for me? For us? She isn’t even my girlfriend, I say.
It doesn’t matter. You need to go, she said with an added dose of something just short of urgency. Trust me, you don’t want to be here when they get here.

But?

No, she says. Get your friend and go. Now.
Okay. Thanks for the tip.
You’re welcome.
 
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