Flumes Vol. 5: Issue 1, Summer 2020 - Page 70

“You could have killed someone, Jamie.”She knew that. He didn’t need to tell her. Al reached across her lap and opened her car door. She knocked the anklet against the door as it shut. Savana reached out and pulled Jamie into her arms as the car sped away behind them.

***

Savana carried the duffle bag and said something as she led the way up the stairs to her apartment. Jamie could feel the pages of the legal pad growing clammy in her hand. As the apartment door opened, a wave of incense and laundry smells brought Jamie back to reality.

Savana’s queen mattress laid on the floor in the corner of the studio. Al and Jamie gave it to her about a year ago when he bought a new bed. Savana still hadn’t gotten a frame for this one. Dishes, filled with half-finished meals covered most of the surfaces. Cereal. Macaroni. Withered, formerly green vegetables—an attempt at a healthy lifestyle. Savana flicked a switch. Christmas lights glowed above them. She and Savana had spent many hours, lying on this floor after work, talking and laughing under their glow. They just looked pale and pathetic in the daylight.

“So. How bad is it?” Savana asked.

“Well. Got some fancy new jewelry.” Jamie lifted her pant leg. Her unzipped boot still trailed behind. She hadn’t really looked at this anklet. The judge called it a blood alcohol monitoring system. It didn’t feel quite real before, but now, without Al beside her, she noticed how heavy it was. How it stuck out to the side about an inch and a half from her ankle. How the blinking green light kept a monotonous beat—sober, sober, sober.

“Babe. I’m sorry—”

Jamie turned away. She couldn’t take pity right now. She wasn’t sure what was worse, Al’s lack of care or Savana’s habit of caring too much.

“Hey, it’s not too bad. I mean, we’ll have to get creative at work.”

“Yeah. Work.”

“You want to go tonight?” Savana asked. “It’s cool if you want to take a night. We could chill. Re-paint your nails? Does that thing monitor weed?

Jamie had been too scared to ask. “I need to go to work tonight. They gave me fines.”

***

They pulled up to the club in Savana's car. The club was called Legs but the top of the "E" on the marquee flickered. The red carpet leading from the club front door to the parking lot had turned brown, except for the edges. Jamie stopped herself from scanning the parking lot, calculating customer income based on their cars. She had to stay positive. Negativity always became self-fulfilling prophecies in a club. She thought of summer. The beach. The breeze in the sun and a glass of. Nothing. Nothing, like Al. She and Al

60