An Unexpected Conclusion to an Expected Event
"Where the hell was that waitress?" Leonard thought. He stared into his empty glass, awaiting another whiskey drenched escape from what was awaiting him at home. He had to tell Heather that he had lost another account today. ANOTHER. It was his third loss this month, and the damned thing isn't even half over yet!
Leonard tips his glass back,drinking the whiskey flavored water of the melted ice cubes. He sets his glass back down on the scratched table, staring into the glass. "My wife's going to leave me." He thought over and over, the words had become his mantra since earlier that day at the office. Every so often his hand wanders to the heavy lump in his jacket pocket. The lump that contained a single bullet and carried the promise of enough insurance money to ensure Heather would be taken care of.
The waitress finally appeared with another whiskey on the rocks. He puts a handful of bills on her tray "keep them coming." Leonard took an eager sip, missing the burn the whiskey was supposed to make as it made its way down his throat, but the ice had overpowered the already watered down whiskey. That’s what he gets for choosing such a lousy excuse for a speakeasy. The joint had been prominent years ago when it was first established, but since then, flashier joints have risen around town, and had reduced it to a haven for the lonely and pathetic. The once impressive interior had now become nicotine stained shadows of their former selves and most of the equipment barely worked, even now the old jukebox was attempting to belt out Sinatra's “Just One of those Things” through its one good speaker.
Out of the corner of his eye he sees movement, and sits back, hoping the waitress was already bringing him another"drink". Instead he was greeted by a goddess in red. Her body had a serpentine sway as she approached his table, he every step accentuated by a sway of her hips. Her black hair falling around her creamy shoulders, accenting her red cocktail dress. She slides into the seat across from Leonard and extends her hand to him across the small table. "You looked like you could use some company." Leonard slowly reaches across and takes her hand in his, feeling like a nervous high school boy allover again. He is barely able to croak out his own name as he introduced himself.
Instead of offering her name,Leonard’s unexpected guest looks down at his nearly empty glass, “Looks to me like you need a refill sugar.” She purrs before signaling to the waitress. Leonard is shocked to see that the waitress responds immediately to his new found friend. “My friend Leonard here needs a refill, top shelf, something not watered down this time. And a dry martini, extra olives for myself.” The waitress casts a guilty glance at Leonard’s glass, still mostly filled with melting ice cubes before scurrying away to retrieve their drinks.
Leonard smirks “I've been here for damned near three hours now and couldn't get her attention to save my life; you must be a regular here.”
Her lips part in a toothy smile that figuratively knocks Leonard on his ass. “Actually doll, I've never been before in my life.” Her laugh sends a shiver of excitement up his spine, Heather is forgotten, his job is forgotten, the heavy lump in his jacket is forgotten, at the moment the only thing that exists in Leonard’s world is himself and his mystery woman.
“Guess you just have that way about you.” He says as the waitress returns with their drinks.
“Guess I do.” She retorts, winking a gorgeous green eye athim as she takes the olive adorned toothpick from her martini and slowly,sensually pulls one of the olives off with her teeth, never once breaking eye contract with her companion.
Leonard takes a sip from his drink,savoring the welcome burn of the whiskey that was sadly missing from his previous drinks. Her face scrunches in a grimace as she sets the drink off to the side of the table, “God, there’s nothing worse than a terrible martini.” She laughs. “Did they at least get your drink right?”
Leonard holds up his glass in a mock toast, “Hard to mess up a whiskey on the rocks. Thanks for calling them out on watering down the drinks.” He laughs his first actual laugh in weeks.
She looks down into her glass “Seems to me that this sorry excuse of a martini is my punishment for my comment though. Mind if I try yours?” She asks coyly. Leonard reaches across the table to hand her his glass, savoring the warm touch of her fingers as she takes the highball glass from him and takes a large gulp of the whiskey. She closes her eyes and tips her head back, as light smile touching the corners of her mouth as she savors the taste. Leonard’s eyes never leave her face,committing every line and curve of her face to memory. They make eye contact as she slides his glass back to him, Leonard never noticing her hand as she quickly drops a small white pill into his drink.
“Got to love a gal that can handle her whiskey.” He says as he takes another pull from his drink.
She smirks as he drinks. “I’m going to complain to the bartender about this horrible martini. Would you like another?” She says as she stands. Leonard quickly downs the rest of his drink and offers the glass to her. She leans down to seemingly take the offered glass, but instead leans in close to Leonard, pressing her soft lips to his in a passionate kiss that rivals any kiss his wife had ever given him. She finally breaks the kiss, and whispers in his ear, “Heather says goodbye.” before turning and making her way to the bar.
Leonard’s heart is racing from not only the kiss, but from what she said. What in hell did that mean? He looks down at his hand and sees that it’s shaking, his heart pounding harder, his pulse pounding in his ears. The edges ofhis vision begins to blacken, and Leonard tries to stand, but immediately collapses back into the rickety wooden chair, which in turn breaks and spills the once living Leonard to the dusty floor.
Valentina sets their glasses onto the bar, the bartender pointing his thumb towards Leonard’s prone form on the floor. “The hell’s wrong with yer pal over there lady?”
She flashes him a devilish smile, “Some people just can’t handle their whiskey.” She says before disappearing out the door.