It was Friday night in Olson, Kansas, and
Riders bar was packed.
The customers were stacking up and I was
struggling to keep pace, I hadn't built up speed on the job yet. I
kept a smile plastered firmly on my face, and did my best to
“Stop smiling at everyone like a goddam
idiot and get a move on, girl, we're fuckin' busy,” Mickey
“I could do with some help to be honest,” I
He tutted. Mickey tutted a lot.
“ Kells,” he called
to across to Kelly, who was meeting and greeting at the door, and
her head swiveled toward him, “need you on the bar,
She gave him her usual simper of a smile and
writhed her way through the crowd to the bar. I was quite sure they
were more than just friends. The way they spoke and looked at each
other was a dead giveaway.
Mickey was glowering at me, as if being new,
slow and inexperienced was a terrible sin, but I smiled brightly at
him. I felt that was the best option at that moment, because I
really wanted to slap his face.
To add insult to injury he goosed my ass as
he passed behind me. The guy really was a disgusting chauvinistic asshole.
I stood there angry but silent, trying not
to react to his rough grope, and sadly realizing I was getting far
too used to accepting it.
“Smiling makes the world go round, happy
staff equals happy customers,” I pointed out, trying to hide my
anger, while smiling at the cute guy opposite me, passing him his
“You can keep them happy after closing time, earn yourself some big tips, like the other
Not only was Mickey a lecherous bastard, he
was a pimp as well. And unfortunately the long haired biker
grease-ball was my boss.
I scowled at him, ignoring his filthy
remark. He'd been dropping strong hints I should turn tricks, since
the second I'd arrived.
Yeah... like that was gonna happen. Over my
But Mickey Green's prostitution racket
aside, the pay was good. I was prepared to put up with the shit
going on around me to get the cash. Besides, I was only here for
ten weekends while I was on vacation from Kansas State University
for the summer.
I'd just finished my second year at K-State,
studying Law. This year had been such hard going. I wasn't sure if
I was cut out to be a lawyer, if I was honest with myself. But I'd
see how it panned out. Give it my very best shot. I wasn't a
I wanted to be successful, to have a
respectable well paid career, and becoming a lawyer was an
intellectual and glamorous way to earn money.
I wouldn't need to depend on a man for
anything. That was so important to me after all that had happened
to my mom.
Her situation had taught me a big lesson in
life. She wasn't particularly academically minded and she'd not
been encouraged much by my Gran, or her teachers at school. She openly admitted she hadn't tried too hard at
her studies. She'd been far too interested in other things.
Basically hanging out with boys. As a result of her lack of
qualifications, she'd never had a good job, relying on waitressing
or bar work. That was where she met her mistakes.
Carl, my dad had been her first mistake.
She'd been just eighteen when she met him, and nineteen when she
gave birth to me. At twenty, a few weeks after they'd finally got
their own place, he just upped and left town without a word. My
sister Philipa's dad, Artie, was a complete womanizer and after two
years screwing Mom around he moved on to a rich widow. Her last
love David, stayed for four years before he left us high and dry,
having drained the little cash we had with his drinking habit.
She'd been far too dependent on men to
support her and they'd walked all over her and let her down.
She was broken hearted, broken in spirit,
crushed and ruined. It upset me so much when I thought of it. At
thirty eight she was still very beautiful but so lonely and
mistrustful. She never went out with men anymore. She said she
didn't have the emotional energy to cope with any
Jack Coughlin, Donald A. Davis