Andy Petrie shouted for another shot of vodka and more beers across a frantic crowded bar. His voice was competing with loud banging music and a mass of bodies in and around him, but he made himself heard.
He always did.
He was celebrating. What a few days this had been for Andy.
His dear old ‘wifey’ had landed a unique job opportunity with exceptional pay and benefits in some strange secret location or other. When she told him a couple of days ago, he couldn’t have been happier. Not for her of course, the stupid bitch, he was happy for himself.
He’d been recently banging some bird named Jodie and she was just starting to get a little too mouthy and demanding for his liking. The rabbit may be out the hat soon and he would have to go through the saga of Marie leaving him but not actually leaving him while his daughter Jeanie sat there confused whinging or crying. Fuck it was all so tiresome.
But now it would all be very different. His latest conquest and dirty secret would remain and die here in this city. He, Marie and the kid would be long gone. He threw back his shot and demanded another.
The girl at the bar puffed out her cheeks and took his shot glass.
“What’s up honey can’t hack the pace?” he enquired.
“It’s been a long day mate,” she replied.
“Well how about when you knock off tonight, I help you forget all about this long day eh?” he said as his eyebrow rose in what he assumed was a seductive manner. He’d practiced this look long and hard in the mirror.
“Oh, how unique, a bar maid being hit on by a man in a mid-life crisis. Do one pal,” she snapped as she handed him his shot.
“Fuck you. Frigid bitch,” he sniped back before downing his vodka and wandering back into the mass of bodies.
Stupid bitch, he thought to himself, who the fuck does she think she is, she was a back-up option at best anyway, probably a lesbian or something.
Andy battled his way through the dancing jiving bodies, shimmying and jigging as he did so, spilling his lager and sweating like a dog as he made his way to the private area he’d hired for the night.
Jodie was obviously in the ladies again, ‘powdering her nose’. He loved it when she was off her face and willing.
His work mate was here too, Martin, who looked equally as drunk and high as Andy, and was hunched over the table in the private area, snorting a line of coke with little to no discretion. Andy slammed two pints down on the table, more to make Martin jump than anything else.
“Fucking hell Andy, easy there, thought you were some big fuck bouncer ready to pounce,” he half snarled.
“Serve you right for displaying my shit all over the table. Why not just fucking advertise it you twat,” laughed Andy before sweeping the coke back into his little baggie. “Where are the girls?” he enquired.
“Toilets, just… “Powdering their noses” they both said together and laughed and clapped each other on mutually damp backs.
Yes, this was the life alright. Tonight, Andy would partake in some farewell filth with Jodie before whisking off to his new life and leaving her firmly and safely in the past. Andy felt a familiar twitch in his groin. As soon as she was out of the toilets, he’d get them both a taxi to the nearest hotel.
Jodie was indeed in the toilets and powdering her nose but with makeup only. She had decided against taking anymore coke. She needed to be in control tonight while giving Andy the illusion he was the man running things just like the other few nights they’d had together.
Her friend Sophie had joined her, more as a safety net than as a true double date buddy. Jodie had already planned to get shot of Andy tonight and before they could get up to anything. He had started to make her skin crawl, the money and pampering he was handy for would be gone now that he was leaving.
Jodie had found out last week that Andy had a daughter. Jodie wasn’t overly upset at this fact, she took Andy for what he was, a desperate ageing boy trapped in a man’s body with too much to prove and a wallet and sex drive that couldn’t say no.
What she resented was his lack of honesty. She liked taking men for a ride if they deserved one, or just for the chase and buzz of it, but preferably not ones with daughters. Her own father had behaved the same way and it led to a childhood of misery. All Jodie wanted was no strings fun and frills, but no kids involved. She’d asked Andy specifically if he had a kid and he’d said no. This was something no doubt her own father used to say. She grimaced to herself in the mirror.
“Listen Sophie, Andy is starting to get on my nerves in a big way. I need to get shot of him. Let’s get one more drink down us then head home, unless you want to hang out with that Martin some more?”
Sophie laughed, “Nooo that’s ok, to be honest I keep forgetting which is Andy and which is Martin.”
Jodie agreed “I know, I wonder if the one brain cell between them is a time share deal.”
“Well you got your uses out of Andy to be fair” stated Sophie, “but all good things must come to an end.”
“Damn right Sophie, these heels, necklace and pedicures don’t pay for themselves” she giggled while giving a twirl. “Best thing is, he has this bravado of being ‘the man’ but in fact he’s a sad lonely pig who pleads when we’re alone. Best he gets is a hand job, the rest he makes up in his poor deluded mind. He’s always so smashed that he doesn’t have a clue what we have or haven’t done by the time the morning comes. Anyway, I’m done with him.”
“It’s his poor wife I feel sorry for,” said Sophie.
“Or his daughter, I mean come on, his wife must know what a complete prick he is but chooses to ignore it. His daughter on the other hand, well, she doesn’t stand a chance with a father like that,” added Jodie.
Andy and Martin sat in the private area lost in the music, heads bobbing like chickens. Andy was busy reflecting on his conversation with Marie earlier that day. She had been dreaming about their new imminent life, what a lovely home it would be for Jeanie, a fresh start for them and that he had to promise not to fuck this up.
He’d put on his best loyal husband act, spouted some bullshit about never again would he let her down. The cheeky bitch had told him that she had also managed to negotiate a job for him there too. Her negotiate a job for me? Fuck that, it was likely they wanted him, and she was part of the package. She was good at her job he knew but he was a big noise too. They probably knew all about him way before she had applied for a role and she got it on the strength of him. Whatever, he’d let the dried-up old prune think what she wanted. He knew the score.
Andy looked up from his beer to see Jodie and Sophie head over to the table. She was fine that Sophie. If Jodie wasn’t here, he’d probably have had a crack at her. Maybe with enough coke a threesome wouldn’t be out of the question. They could ditch Martin. He was well on the way to becoming obliterated anyway.
Jodie shuffled up to him and sat on his knee. She draped her slender arm around his neck and traced her other hand over his crotch. Andy smiled and moved clumsily and all too eagerly to stick his tongue down her throat. She smiled and pulled away just out of reach. “Easy tiger” she cooed. “Why don’t you sort us a hotel for tonight and we can do whatever we like there.”
“You got it babe” Andy slurred. “I’ll just step outside to make a call, don’t go anywhere” he leered before making a grab at her thigh.
Martin turned to Sophie after observing Andy and Jodie’s little moment. He nudged Sophie. “Fancy getting a room sexy?” he blundered before his eyes rolled back and his head hit the table.
“One down,” Jodie muttered.
“Ha ha, fucking Martin, never could handle his drink!!” blurted Andy triumphantly.
Andy started to make his way for the exit. He turned before doing so and lobbed his coke bag and wallet on the table. “Look after those girls, there’s a gold card in there so I do mean look after them. I’ll be a few minutes and then we can move on, may as well leave Martin here.” He looked Sophie up and down before adding “They say three is a crowd Sophie, but I think we can make an exception to the rule tonight what do you say?”
“I say you are on Mr,” laughed Sophie.
Andy couldn’t hide his excitement and high fived himself before making his way through the crowds to the exit, leaving Jodie and Sophie with his stash.
As soon as he was out of sight, they smiled across at each other, emptied all that was useful from his wallet, grabbed the coke and got out of there via the exit door. Before they left, Jodie had written a little note and stuck it onto Martin’s clammy forehead. Martin didn’t stir.
Upon his return and upon reality setting in after seeing an empty place where his wallet was and upon no sign of the girls returning, Andy kicked Martin awake and told him ‘it was his fucking fault the girls had left and we’ve been fucking robbed you twat.’
Martin looked at him through bleary eyes, stuck his middle finger up and slumped back on the table. Andy spotted the slip of paper stuck to Martins forehead and angrily lifted his heavy melon head off the table and snatched the slip of paper off its smooth sweaty resting place.
It read: Andy, we’ve taken your money and coke along with your wife’s business card. Never speak to me again, you do, I’ll call your wife. It’s been a pleasure rinsing you and try being a father you prick… love and kisses, Jodie.
“Bitches!” yelled Andy, as Martin leapt from his slumber in shock amidst Andy’s screams and glass smashing. Bouncers soon arrived throwing both men out while Andy whined about being fleeced.
Andy sat on the curb outside, with Martin gracelessly collapsed to the side of him. How the fuck would he get home now and what the fuck to do with Martin? He was about to get up and leave Martin in the street before a familiar car pulled up in front of him. The window lowered and Marie glared out the driver’s side, she looked around and then seemed a little more contented.
“Nice leaving party love?” she enquired
“Yeah yeah, apart from Martin here,” replied Andy dazed and trying to recover himself while checking and fidgeting for any recriminating evidence.
“Well, I’m just glad you were able to go out and not have some whore hanging off your arm for once.”
“Hey darling” Andy drawled. “We talked about this earlier, no more I promised you. Tonight, was just a night to say goodbye to Martin here, no funny stuff I swear. What are you doing here anyway?”
“I was picking up the last of my things from the office, was driving by and saw you sat there looking worse for wear. You best get him a taxi dear I don’t want that mess in my car, assuming you’d like a lift home?”
“Yes, yes please sweetness”, replied Andy as he got up shakily then started to drag Martin in through the passenger side of the car.
“Oh darling, he best not be sick back there, get him a taxi,” said Marie, annoyed he was in such a state but inwardly relieved that Andy had behaved himself and been true to his word.
“No no, lets drop him off eh? For old time sake, last time I’ll see the drunken fool. Besides I got him in this state,” replied Andy, trying to keep his calm.
“I thought you said the night was on him?”
“It was it was, but he got fucking robbed the idiot, left his wallet out on the table while we were at the bar.”
“Oh no, that’s happened to you so many times when you’ve gone out around here, I don’t know why you insist on coming to these places honestly,” Marie replied.
“Not anymore darling, new life now, no shit holes like this where good hard-working people get robbed,” Andy replied as he casually stole Martin’s wallet and slipped it into his own pocket. Martin’s would do for now and he would be sure to remember to cancel his stolen cards.
Marie nodded her agreement and they drove out of the city for the last time while Andy reflected on how equally cursed and blessed this night had been, before slipping off and joining Martin in a drunken coma on the back seat of the car.
Marie smiled to herself as she drove. Perhaps this really was a new start after all, she thought. Andy had gone out and though horribly drunk, which she hated, he had behaved and been true to his word. Her mind turned to Jeanie and images of the three of them enjoying life together on Proactive Square, the happy successful little family she had always dreamed of.
Perhaps her man wasn’t so bad after all.