There were blurs of light, music and drinks that disoriented Tanya. It made her body spaz with energy. And with heart and head throbbing in sync with the electric tune, she had no care in the world.
She was the world – a sweaty disco-crazed diva in the middle of the dance floor.
“Hey!” someone yelled in her ear, though it was faint with the music bombarding her eardrums. The stranger eased in front of her, dancing. Leaning over quite subtly, she tried to take a whiff of his cologne. (Tanya loved the smell of men’s cologne) Though, the tinge of alcohol in her mouth made her nose numb and her tongue tasted like bile but it was the least of her problems.
“Hey,” it came out as a slur and she laughed it off. The man laughed with her and the exchange became less awkward.
No, that wasn’t it. Nothing was awkward about this. Tanya just couldn’t find the right word to describe the meeting although it was like this every other night. Some guy would think it was their lucky night and would try to pick her up and yet, a year of coming in and out of this bar, getting wasted to the point of crawling or passing out on the chaise lounge, no one had succeeded in getting in her knickers.
“Can I buy you a drink?” he shouted.
“Yes!” she said without hesitation and the man grabbed her wrist and helped her maneuver towards the bar counter and then on the bar stool. As soon as she sat down, her head slumped on the counter and she laughed again. The man had disappeared.
And then he reappeared behind the counter. Tanya propped herself up, resting her chin atop her palm that connected to her swaying elbow while her heels clicked to the bass of Icona Pop.
“I thought you were going to buy me a drink?”
“I am,” he smiled, teeth gleaming in the low light.
“Then why are you behind the counter like you’re the bartender?” Tanya asked accusingly, like the man was some sort of con-artist trying to impress her. “Mikey!” she hollered. “Hey, Mikey!”
“Yes, Miss Tanya?” A tan muscular man came into view, looking amused at the sight. Mikey has been the bartender who usually served Tanya drinks.
“Is he new?” she pointed at the man. Mikey laughed as the man suppressed a shy smile.
“Alright, serve those two ladies over there. I’ll take care of Miss Tanya,” the man said and playfully shoved Mikey towards the other direction. Eyes fluttering shut and then snapping right back open. She observed the back of the man who dragged her from the dance floor. It was damn sexy.
“What’s your name?” Tanya blurted. He didn’t face her. He was still busy with her drink. A moment later, Tanya knew he wasn’t going to answer, so she tried again. “What’s your name?” The man looked over her back and held a finger against his lips, shushing Tanya, and smiled before going back to work. Tanya blew her hair out of her face in impatience, she needed another drink. Sitting upright, or what passed to be upright, she fixed her hair and then propped her hands on her legs like a proper lady would do. Silently impressing herself, Tanya smirked. She had become a wasteland and then demure the next. Finally the man turned around and placed a hot cup of coffee in front of her. The strong bean scent managed to bypass the numbing barrier through her nose, allowing the alcohol to take a bit of its toll on her head.
“What is this?” she asked dumbly. Late in noticing that the man was resting his elbows across the counter and watched her.
“Coffee,” he said plainly. “To clear your head,”
“I don’t want my head to clear, it’s hurting already.” Tanya held her temples. “And I don’t drink coffee this strong,” at that, the man frowned.
“It’s not that strong, really.” he sounded offended.
“Yeah? Then why is it messing with my head?” she groaned, feeling her head throb harder than her usual hangover migraines.
“You’ve just had too much alcohol, just drink it. I promised you a drink, didn’t I?” he shrugged. Head clearing up, Tanya did her best impression of a girl who was sober and pouted her lips. Her lipstick was smeared on the right side of her face, hair disheveled like a bird’s nest and dress strap hanging precariously by her shoulder that threatens to throw itself off the sloping edge and even then the man said nothing, offered nothing but this single cup of coffee.
“You sure, you didn’t put any drugs in it?” she asked.
“Nope,” Shrugging, Tanya took a sip, eyes never leaving those dark ones, that again, she failed to notice earlier. The bean scent wafted into her nostrils more insistent, bringing her senses back to life and her head, despairingly, to a throbbing headache, but as she downed the last contents of the cup, admittedly, she felt better.
“Cameron,” he said. Tanya looked up, more aware of her surroundings than earlier. The deafening dance music slammed at her but she heard the man – who now had a name – clearly.