Flumes Vol. 5: Issue 1, Summer 2020 - Page 75

"We're not going to bite. Just stick around. You might actually like some of the things you hear." He looked so pleased with himself. This man with trembling hands and weathered skin enjoyed this just a little too much. Yeah, she was already here. Yeah, she'd have to put in an hour somewhere else if she left. But like hell, if she was going to sit in this room and rely on this guy. She grabbed the paper out of his hands and headed for the door.

“Thanks for your time.”

“Jamie, wait. Hold up a second. If you need anything. Anything related to this, I mean.” He handed her a card with his name and number written on the front. “You’re always welcome here. Okay?”

***

“What a fucking cult!” Jamie had just gotten back to the apartment. Savana sat up on the bed. “I get that I needed to stay the whole time. I get that. I’m cool with that. But this dude that runs it, Sav? He had this smug-ass smile, talking down at me. No. I don’t need some scarecrow-looking dude pulling a power trip.”

She had just dropped her purse to the floor when she saw a box. It was just a cardboard box. Savana had set it by the foot of the bed, maybe to hide it, but a few things stuck out the top—shirts, her hairdryer. Her toothbrush.

“Al was here?” Jamie asked.

“Just left,” Savana said.

“Oh.” So, he had gotten her text. And instead of texting back, he spoke with Savana.

“You okay?” she asked.

“Yup. I’m good. Just stressed.” First, it was work last night. Then the crazy AA meeting. And now, Al. Al, again.

“It’s okay if you’re not okay, you know,” Savana said.

“How’s your hangover? Feel up for working tonight?” Jamie walked to the end of the bed, furthest from the box.

“Yeah, I’m good. How’d you do last night?” Savana asked.

“Fine. I mean, I’m still working out the kinks. Sober dancing. Tonight will be better.”

“Yeah. Yeah, girl, get your sea legs back. We can even tag team tonight. Wanna?”

Savana’s giant, bloodshot eyes sagged a little. She probably planned to take the night off. But Jamie couldn’t afford that. Something had to go right.

“Let’s do it.”

***

The ankle wraps looked better—intentional, even. Before they left, Jamie rummaged through

65