“Knock yourself out, it’s empty.” He stepped aside, holding the door open for us to go in.
She jogged into one of the stalls. He was holding the door for me, and I looked up at him again. “How are you? How’s Elle?” I really wanted to know how they were doing, but my head was screaming, “How’s your brother doing?”
“I’m good, and she’s doing well. She asks about you all the time. She brings up this girls’ day at the mall thing a lot.”
Oh my God. I forgot all about that. “Oh no, I’m so sorry, Jimmie! I promised her before Marcus and I—”
Cutting me off, Jimmie said, “Don’t worry about it, Mia.” I looked down ashamed. “Uh, I’ve been trying to get a hold of you. You’re a difficult woman to get a hold of these days.”
I brought my eyes back to his. “Well, I changed my number.”
I had to do it. Shamefully I have to admit that I never memorized Marcus’ number. He programmed it himself on my phone, and since then I just searched his name when we contacted each other. Though after our break-up, I didn’t trust myself. I was afraid that I would send him late-night texts or “accidently” call him and hang up. It made the healing process more difficult, so I got a new phone and a new number in the hopes that it would keep me from thinking of him. It didn’t work, of course.
He nodded. “Mia, can I talk to you in private?”
Biting my lip, I hesitated. My buzz was beginning to wear off. That wasn’t good. I nodded. “Sure, let me just use the bathroom, and then we can talk.”
“Okay, I’ll wait for you here.”
I trotted into one of the stalls, passing by Megan as she washed her hands. “Who was that hottie?” she asked.
Lifting my dress, I pulled down my thong and peed. Ah, that feels good. “Some guy I know.”
“Was he the one that broke your heart?”
“No, his brother was.” I mumbled as I pulled my underwear back on and flushed the toilet. Opening the door, I found her leaning against the counter, arms and legs crossed. I made my way beside her and washed my hands.
Turning her head, she looked at me. “Are you going to be okay with him alone?”
I didn’t realize she’d overheard our conversation. Then again he kept the door open, and our voices weren’t extremely low either. Shrugging, I walked towards the hand dryer. “Yeah, he’s safe. No worries.”
After my hands dried, a man walked in and gave us the am-I-in-the-right-place look. We giggled as we walked out the door. Jimmie was leaning against the wall when we exited. Megan hung her hand around my shoulder and leaned in to whisper. “Oh my God, he is truly gorgeous. Maybe you should put a good word in for me.”
“Megan, he’s like ten years older than you.” Although Jimmie didn’t look it, he was. He was thirty-three, and she was my age.
“So, I love older men; they’re more experienced.” She winked. I couldn’t do anything but laugh at her. “Okay, well I’ll meet you back in the VIP room, but if you take too long I’ll be looking for you with a police escort and all.”
Laughing, I lightly slapped her arm. “I’ll be fine; go have fun.” She glanced at Jimmie when she passed him, noticeably eyeing him up and down. He laughed and shook his head at her boldness. She was too much. Still laughing, he looked over at me and slightly smiled.
“You look good, Mia.”
“Thanks Jimmie, you don’t look so bad yourself.” I said, nudging his arm with my elbow.
We walked down the hall of the second level of the club, passing by several VIP rooms. I followed him till we reached the very end. He entered a room, and I followed behind. To my surprise, I had never been in there before. It was different than the others. Double in size, on one end there was a sectional and flat screen TV set up, and on the other end there was a long dining table large enough to fit over ten people. There was also a small kitchenette along the wall, complete with a stove, dishwasher, fridge, and a very small counter space.
Jimmie took a seat by the edge of the sectional. I walked over by the glass wall overlooking the dance floor. Crossing my arms, I watched the crowded club as couples danced and a group of women in one corner celebrated a bachelorette party with the bride-to-be wearing a veil and taking shot after shot. In the other corner, a man and woman were practically having sex with their clothes on by a private table. It dawned on me as I watched my surroundings I had never seen Jimmie here before, nor had I heard him talk about coming here.
“I never thought of you as the clubbing type,” I said, turning to finally face him.
He raised a brow. “I don’t do clubbing.”
“Then why are you here?”
Tilting his head, he stared at me for a moment. It was a look of surprise that I didn’t know. “We come here either before or after a job … to discuss plans.”
Ah. Wait, so that meant Marcus came to the club a lot then. Huh, I guess there was always something new to find out. Nodding, I made my way over to the sectional and sat opposite from him. “So what did you want to talk about?” Hopefully I sounded casual.
“Well, for starters, I wanted to say how sorry I was to hear about the … miscarriage. I know that must’ve been hard.” I nodded. Jimmie and Jeremy were the only two that knew about the pregnancy before the miscarriage.
“Also, I wanted to say, uh … Marcus told me he kind of slipped some information to you … about Lou and our father.”
Standing up preparing myself to leave, I looked down at him. “Don’t worry, Jimmie; I won’t say anything if that’s what you thought.” I knew it. He was trying to cover his ass.
“No, no. Please sit.” Glaring at him, I warily sat back down. “I wanted to explain it to you, in a way without giving too much information.”
“How come you can do that and Marcus can’t?”
Rubbing his hand through his buzz-cut hair, he exhaled deeply. “Well, because Marcus doesn’t know how to say something without giving too much away. And around you, he’s weak Look he didn’t ask me to speak with you, if that’s what you think. I offered to talk to you for him, but he refused … and I’m slowly growing desperate. He’s out of control now, drinking constantly, careless on jobs … I don’t know how to handle him anymore.”
“Oh?” I thought of that night when Marcus came home completely drunk. He was so different. It was as if someone else had taken over him. He must be miserable, and for him to be careless on a job means he doesn’t care if his own life is taken. My heart fluttered at the thought.