Flumes Vol. 5: Issue 1, Summer 2020 - Page 72

“Yup.”

“Yes.”

In her mind, Jamie lunged at the man, ripped the bottle from his hands, knocked the chair backward, and drenched him in beer.

In reality, she smiled. “I hope you enjoy that beer.”

Girl after girl walked into VIP with various people—people Jamie had approached. Savana giggled and chatted and counted her cash. Jamie watched her. She made it look so easy, moving through this crowd. But, just as easily, it could have been Savana with this thing wrapped around her leg like an anchor. Would she make such fast money, then?

The night Jamie received her DWI, the pair of them had just gotten off of work. They hustled every table as a team and decided to take themselves for some late-night Denny’s Restaurant to celebrate their earnings.

“We should probably take an Uber?” Savana said. They laughed. After arguing in the Legs parking lot about who was going to drive, Jamie took the keys. Al was right. It had been her choice. Not Savana’s.

Jamie watched her best friend, the one that had given her a place to stay, the one that tied clothing around her feet and told her she looked great, walk back into the VIP room with another thirsty, blurry-eyed man.

***

That night at Savana’s apartment, Jamie opened the duffle bag. It was Al’s old gym bag, but it didn’t smell like him. He had washed it—a thoughtful act, considering he was filling it with her personal belongings, but somehow disappointing. Savana had already passed out on the bed. She laid there, Christmas lights still on, makeup and lashes still caked to her face, breathing heavy through her nose. Jamie rummaged in the duffle. He had packed sweatpants, two sweaters, her gym shoes, and several work outfits. No toothbrush. She grabbed her phone and hit Al’s name.

Missing a few things. Can I come get them tomorrow?

She watched her phone for a reply. Savana, splayed out and used to being the bed’s only occupant, continued to snore. Her body radiated heat as alcohol seeped through her pores in the summer night air, filling the room with a muted tequila smell.

If Jamie were to make her goal and pay her fines on time, she’d have to make a lot more per night over the next month. Instead of sleeping, she broke down work tactics into plans and repeated Al’s departing words in her head, over and over again.

If you miss anything, you’ll go to jail.

***

The sun peeked up over the crack in the blinds. Savana had tacked a sheet over the windows, that

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