Submission: Promises


Thursday, June 17, 2010


11:45 p.m.

He sat twirling his thumbs behind the bar of one of London’s finest clubs in Piccadilly Circus. Not quite proud of his job and where he had come from, Charles still felt an unwavering amount of emotion towards carrying out that in which his present situation enabled him to do, without thinking of the past or carrying on too much about the future. Many of his mates were still in school back in Liverpool, and while he had managed to get a degree from one of England’s finest institutions for theatre and performing arts, the only act that he found himself performing was asking the random passerby if he could make them a drink or snogging the first pretty face that came to the bar. His accent was heavy, and not English mind, but quintessentially American and from afar it seemed as though someone had stumbled into a bar in the Midwest, a hole in the wall meth-pit with incredibly loud and poppy music and loads of people who were all past the point of drunk around 9:00 p.m.

It was England, after all. And Charles knew more than anyone what the drinking time was. To hell with the drinking age, which to a small and certain extent was a part of his job duties, the drinking time was somewhere between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. when the rest of England was getting off of work. But, for those hard-workers who rushed through their daily capitalistic chores, Piccadilly and Leicester began to get a crowd around 4 p.m., of the normal tourists but also with some native Londoners who were looking forward to a Thursday night out and starting quite early.

“What can I get you darlin?” he asked the brunette at the bar, who was attempting a slutty dance on her girlfriends standing next to her. The drinks already in her system were too intoxicating to make her appear as much of the seductress she wished to be in front of this hippie-Adonis. His dark brown curly chest hair protruded from his carefully, and strategically, unbuttoned black top, and he ran his beautiful pale fingers through his Tresemme’d hair as he asked her what she would like to drink. He was aware of his sexual power, even more so than this brunette at the bar, who was trying way too damn hard to capture his attention.

His attention was already captured, with the smear of the bright red lipstick on her perfectly pouty lips. He would kiss them later. That was for sure.

“A gin and tonic please,” the brunette responded. Her teeth were a bit too large for her mouth and for some reason her accent wasn’t nearly as posh as she wished either. She was probably from North England, he thought as he smiled a long deep smile, piercing her eyes and turning around to grab the cheap gin. He would overcharge her for the drink, and keep the change. He was the type to charge a woman for taking his number, or for allowing him to accept theirs.

He handed her the drink, asked her for near nine pounds for the cocktail, and upon being questioned, winked and told her she was getting a deal. Everyone was getting a deal—a chance to talk to the hairy Adonis behind the bar, 22, and not a second too young to please the passerby.

Her eyes lit up as if she was given something more than a token of his faux affection, handed him ten quid, and stared at his butt as he put the money in the cash register. The brunette looked uncomfortable for a second, and Charles could hear her whispering to her friends about how she wished she could leave him more than 1 quid of a tip. Who tips in England anyway, really?

“Leave him your number,” the brunette’s friend said smiling, and talking so close to her friend that Charles was thrilled at the small but likely chance that they would kiss in front of him. He always thought his life lacked excitement. Proper excitement. But, moments like this and his life was livened back to a sense of fulfillment. Even if the girls were fifty shades from 18 and appearing to age already. He would take whatever he could get; two at a time if he was lucky.

The brunette handed him a small piece of paper with her name on it. Christina, she called herself.

“Thanks darlin’. I’ll be sure to use this,” he replied. Use it as in call her when he was bored or trying to get over his most recent ex, which to be honest, was any day from that day. He was a ticking time bomb and didn’t even know it.

The brunette whispered something in his ear, pulling his collar from across the bar in the most unsexy way possible—something she no likely had seen off of an episode of Friend’s reruns.

He laughed, allowing his lips to graze her cheeks as he did so. When she left the bar, he pulled out the number before tending to the next customer, and smiled at it for a few seconds. He then balled it up, and threw it in the rubbish. He wouldn’t have sex with any girl that told him all the things she would do with his penis after he made her one drink. At least wait until the second drink for fuck’s sake.

He turned to the next customer at the bar.

“What can I get you darlin’,” he said, glaring his dark brown eyes into the next unsuspecting guest.


By Kristyn Potter// New York City

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