“Hey. You want some?”
He pushed the coke in her face, pretty damn adamant. She pulled away quickly.
“No… thanks. Not my thing, really.”
There were seven of them filling this tiny blacked-out room in all, every other person surely on their way. He smiled, kind of genuine nonetheless .
“Okay, but trust me, it takes the edge off.”
She shook her head, no way. She might have to watch these people – people her own age and younger – take themselves apart, but that didn’t mean that she’d to include herself. Not this time anyhow. A cigarette would do, her forever coping mechanism. A silent enough fella by the corner was rolling what appeared to be just a joint, probably the safest bet amongst the whole lot of them she had to figure. She went there, for a conversation.
“Hey, what’s your part in all of this then?”
She had to hope her question wasn’t too much for him, sometimes her expression did need a better portrayal. He looked up at her as she took her place near him, kneeling down a bit.
“Wow, you are gorgeous! I mean they spoke about you, a lot actually, but I never imagined THIS.”
He continued to roll, ridiculously intent on getting it right. She shrugged.
“Ha, well… thanks, I guess.”
She lit a cigarette and sat down in a relative ball, watching him work. He asked her her name, seemed hard smoke could make you forget however much he’d heard of her. When she told him he nodded his head.
“Nice. I like that name. Maria with an accent… Spain, right?”
She said she was indeed from there. When he started to inhale the air began to turn heavy. His eyes really felt it. Soon he was pushing his body closer to hers.
“Know what Mariiiiia, you and I should mingle, this room takes it out if you. Best to mingle, mmm hmmm.”
She agreed. Anywhere but here. She had to wonder where Selena might be, if she was doing okay. The smoker, who called himself Arie, wrapped a free arm around her and they went downstairs.
“You have many clients? I bet you do!”
He wasn’t too leechy so she decided to persevere.
“A few, not what some girls might have though.”
He smirked.
“You could do, I mean if you really wanted to. Hundreds.”
Hundreds!? Was he crazy? She didn’t know what to say to that. Keep walking was her safest bet.
“C’mon, any man would be lucky, and what’s more pay a small mortgage for you between the sheets.”
If she hadn’t have gotten so used to the trash talk by now she might have walked but this was her life.
“Nice. Do you see girls as simply that, something to stuff between the sheets then?”
He looked a little startled, still smoking and choking away at will. They made it to a kitchen where there were just two people – male and female – chatting and drinking shots of Sambuca. Her old enemy, was Sambuca.
“Listen Maria, you have to know that I’m only saying these things because it’s true, and what’s more it’s what we do, right?”
Right, she found herself agreeing, again. She was feeling stuffy and opted upon taking a shot to unwind a little. Arie took her hand and brought her to the alcohol.
“Hi guys, you mind if Maria here shares?”
The rather large man smiled at her.
“No, course not, what’s ours is yours and all that.”
Maria thanked him. The house was fairly high-octane by now and conversation was loud. She took a shot of Sambuca and shivered.
“UGH, hate it!”
Arie laughed.
“You’re a hoot, we should dance, only after another couple of shots, of course.”
She said why not, if she was forced to be here then she may as well do what she was told and get onboard. The other two people went shot for shot and she started to relax a little, chatting about this and that. Really she couldn’t know if the girl there was like her or not and wouldn’t spoil the party. Maria could see that Arie definitely had eyes for her; who walks you downstairs for no real reason like that? This was par for the course but she could never trust someone in her line of work. He was incredibly stoned by now and had had about five shots himself. It showed in his demeanour. She leaned over the hob to him.
“You sure weed and Sambuca is a good mix, Arie?”
He roared out laughing.
He poorly high-fived the other guy who was getting precious with his companion by now, trying to whisper in her ear. On looking at the girl Maria soon saw that she was like her. Fed up but intent on getting it over and done with. The girl closed her eyes and gave the man a big kiss. He grabbed her face quite harshly.
“You are going to rock my world tonight baby. I just know it.”
Arie squeezed his eyes tightly together.
“Ain’t that what they’re here for?”
The man gave him a wobbled thumbs up.
“Amen to that brother.”

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