Jamie nodded to the bouncer, visible through the glass just inside the VIP area. “See him over there? That’s a good friend of mine.
“Jamie, what the fuck.” Savana dropped her light and flowy pretense.
“Are you threatening me?” The man stood, successfully this time, pushing Jamie off his lap.
“All right. Party’s over. Sir, I’m so sorry,” Savana said.
“I’m going to go to your manager.” He walked toward the door
“No. Please.” Savana rushed him. “Let’s just talk for a second. Jamie, get out."
“You heard me. Get an Uber and go home."
“You can’t kick me out of the club.”
“Like hell, I can’t. You want a place to sleep tonight?”
They stood nose to nose. Jamie could see the gold flecks that had fallen off Savana’s eyelids onto her cheekbones. Not once in their entire friendship, had shit gotten this real. This was Savana, her tightest, her confidant, her other half. Savana, who reeked of alcohol, who texted with Al, who could have just as easily been the one with an ankle monitor and an impossible debt to pay. Savana, who once had her back, was telling her to go.
Jamie turned, leaving the pair, and pushed her way through the crowd to the locker room. She spun the combination on their lock and searched through Savana’s work bag, throwing thongs and body sprays behind her. When she found the keys to Savana’s car, she thought of Al’s list on the legal pad.
Fuck you, Al.
Jamie grabbed her purse and her work bag from the locker and didn’t bother to clean up Savana’s things or lock up behind her. Instead of pushing her way back through the crowd, she slipped behind the bar. If the managers saw her they’d fire her on the spot, but at this point, did it matter? Al’s list said no drinking. The court said no drinking. The monitor on her ankle said no drinking. Everyone was just so keen on telling her what to do. The bartenders squawked in her wake about dancers walking around behind the bar. As she neared the well, she lifted a bottle of whiskey—bad whiskey. Well whiskey. It didn’t matter. She stuck it in her purse and headed for the door.
It had been several weeks since she had driven a car. Since the DWI, she had relied on Al, on the bus, on Savana. As the car purred to life, Jamie sank into the seat and felt it rumble beneath her. Freedom. The tires cried and spun as she peeled out of the parking lot.
Jamie sped down the highway. The speedometer climbed. Her phone buzzed in her purse. It had to be either Savana or the club manager on shift. She no longer had delusions of Al contacting her, unless maybe he changed his mind about those attorney’s fees. Jamie laughed—