Through the smoke filled bar, Romeo made his way in between people to get a seat. The place sure had changed since he and Antonio had been there last; a new bar, comfier seats, even the waitresses had new outfits. Had it really been that long since he's been here?
"What can I get ya?" a brunette apporached him as he took a seat at the bar, her arms being supporters as she leaned forward against the bar. She had her shirt cut into a halter, the hem at the bottom just meeting the top of her jeans. Her brown hair was worn perfectly straight as it fell just past her shoulder losely. Romeo couldn't tell if she was wearing heels or not, but she stood easily at 5'10". Crystal blue eyes sparkled through the dim light as she stared at him, waiting for his answer. "Hey! Do you want something to drink?"
Romeo blinked, his mind still at a halt from staring at the bartender in front of him. "Uh...a beer?"
She laughed as she cleaned a glass, her smile making her personality seem warmer than it all ready was. "Are you sure?" she asked jokingly as she made her way to the taps. "What kind would you like?"
"Um...Budwiser?" Romeo kicked himself mentally for sounding so clueless. It used to be so easy to pick up the female bartenders when it was him and Antonio; so easy! Now he's here by himself, totally tongue tied with the vision in front of him. 'What would the other Romeo do in a situation like this?' he thought to himself.
He looked around the room, his eyes searching for any familair waitresses, but they all seemed new. Could this be real? He hasn't slept with any of these women?
The next time he looked up at the bar, all of the female bartenders had a leg up on the bar, knocking over any drinks that was in the way. His eyes stayed fixed on the girl that served him his beer as she synchronized all of her moves with the other girls. Slowly, they brought up their other leg, landing in a perfect split on the bar. All of the males in attendence cheered as the girls continued their dance, each of the moves perfectly rehersed and memorized. Some of them were wearing thin stillitoes, but the girl Romeo was fixated with had on green Converse to match the lettering on her shirt.
His eyes shifted down the bar absent mindly to see what kind of shoes the other girls had on, and his eyes stopped as he stared at a pair of familar bright pink, high top Converse. Why were those shoes burned in his memory? Has he seen this girl before? Did she ever spend the night? Was she the one that made that amazing pasta dish that forever remained on his tastebuds? Why was she so familar?
The girl with the pink shoes slid off the bar like the other girls did, landing on the guys lap in front of them. Romeo ignored the blonde that was on his lap, trying to get him to pay attention to her as he continued to concentrate on Pink Shoes. Suddenly, her face came into clear view as she whipped her brown hair which exposed her name tag.
The hand writting was perfect with stars all around the name; yellow stars, blue stars, red stars surrounded the name tag and he couldn't wait until the blonde got off of his lap.
His first intention was to push through the crowd, swipe her off of her feet and get her to bed. His second idea was to approach her calmly, take her aside and talk her out of what she was doing. Knowing her, she'd want the second option; she never was one to be in the centre of attention.
The blonde left his lap and a lipstick stain on his cheek, bringing relieve to Romeo. He left his bar stool quickly in search of Pink Shoes; he saw her exit the bar area and out through the back door. Would he be able to go through the back door? Is it staff only?
Her looks kept occuring in his mind, the hair, the shoes, the butterfly tattoo on her hip. He remembered that tattoo clearly, he was after all holding her hand when she was getting it done. She wasn't going to get it until her then boyfriend convinced her tattoo's don't hurt. Much.
Even then Antonio was a bastard, Romeo thought. His heart broke as much as hers did when Antonio deicded to call it quits with her. All the warning Romeo gave her finally made sense, it just broke his heart she needed proof to believe them.
He pushed the metal door open, the cold air hitting him hard in the face as he entered outside. Two of the girls looked at him with grins on their faces, while Pink Shoes stood there, her eyes widening in shock. "Romeo?" she asked, taking the cigerette away from her mouth; she quickly hid it behind her back. "What are you doing here? Aren't you suppose to be on the road?"
"I'm taking personal time off. What are you doing here? How long have you worked here?" Romeo's face turned red with frustration as he stared at her intensely. The other two bartenders give Romeo a wink as they left the area, aware that this wasn't a place for them.
"I've worked here for like, five months. If you weren't with that whore of yours all the time, you'd know that," she spat at him, her eyes begining to brim with tears. "I hardly talk to you anymore, and you come here expecting me...wait no, demanding me to tell you what's going on? Fuck you, Romeo! You hurt me, you hurt Jules, you hurt Nevie and you hurt Mom because of that slut you just had to date. You just had to date her, didn't you? Even though you knew her history, you knew what she would to our family...and you dated her anyways."
"Cara, come on. I can't predict the future! I didn't know she was going to cheat on me!" He blurted out. Cara brought the cigerette back to her mouth, taking a drag; a small smile appeared on her face as she saw Romeo become more mad than he all ready was.
"Hurts, doesn't?" she asked, tapping the end of her smoke to let the ashes fall. "It hurts seeing someone that you love so much just stab you in the back like that for their own happiness and pleasure." Romeo didn't say anything. She exhailed a breath, blowing a perfect smoke ring, "it hurts even more when your own family does it." Taking one last drag out of her cigerette, she flicked the butt to the ground, putting it out with her pink Converse.
Turning on her heel, she headed towards the door, pressing the palm of her hands against the cold metal. "If you even think about going back home," she began, turning around one last time to look at her older brother, "you should give Mom a call first. She's pretty pissed off at you." With as much force as she could, she pushed the door open, letting it slam against the wall behind. Cara turned around to see if Romeo was going to come in, and when she saw him starting towards the door, she slammed it closed.
He sighed as he leaned against the brick wall of the building, finally realizing how much damage Dawn Marie had done to his relationship with his family. His three younger sisters hated him, his Mom hated him, and at the moment, he hated himself.
How could his life fall apart so fast?
He pushed off the wall with his foot, kicking a pebble on the ground. It was the only thing that was keeping his mind off everything at that moment as he kicked the pebble with as much force as he could. So much hate and frustration was building up in him as he continued to walk towards his car, the pebble being only inches ahead of him at a time.
A sob was heard off in a distance, causing Romeo to stop what he was doing. He looked around trying to find the sound, and his eyes quickly fell on a hunched figure on the ground. Romeo didn't even want to bother with the person with all the thoughts that were going on in his mind, but one simple article caught his eye: green shoes.
"Hey," Romeo called out, walking closer to them. "You OK?"
A head shot up with a brown mane flying, showing it was his bartender from earlier. "Yea," she sniffled, wiping her nose with the back of her sleeve of her coat. "Just, you know...stuff." Romeo walked over to her, sticking out his hand. She looked up at him, her blue eyes drowned with tears and her nose red and puffy.
"I won't hurt you," Romeo whispered. Accepting his hand, she lifted herself up with his help, dusting off her pants. "Do you need a ride home?" he asked, his hand still holding onto hers.
"Well, my sister was suppose to come get me," she said, letting the sentence hang in the air.
"No, I'll give you a ride. Follow me."
"But my sister..." Romeo shot her a glare, making her stop instantly. His eyes were so intense, so fierece, she was afraid of saying the wrong thing. Would he strike her if she said no? What if he didn't drop her off at her house and took her to some place in the middle of nowhere...
Her body was tense as she did her seatbelt, her hand gripping onto the door handle beside her. "Where we headed?" he asked.
"Um...47 Smithville Drive," she whispered. God he made her nervous.
The ride home was silent. The soft sounds of Metallica filled the emptiness of the lack of conversation they were currently not having.
Romeo looked over at the brunette that was sitting in the passenger seat and saw how her knuckles were white from gripping onto the handle. Was he making her that nervous?
"What's your name?" he asked finally, after what seemed like hours of silence.
"Maggie," she answered. "Maggie Vensia." They exchanged a grin as the car came to a stop at the red light. "Are you going to be mysterious and make me guess your's?"
"Nah," he replied, giving her a wink. "Romeo Roselli."
"Roselli?" Maggie asked, her interest rising. "That's one of my co-workers last name. Cara. You know her?"
"My sister? Of course I know her," Romeo said.
"You're her brother?" Her eyebrows scrunched together in confusion. "Funny, she never said anything about having a brother."
Romeo's grin faded as the light turned green. How could Cara not mention him? He was her older brother! Did his other sisters do that too? Just pretend he wasn't apart of the family?
He turned to Smithville, taking a quick notice of the dark houses and the street lights. It looked like a rough neighbourhood, seeing gangs huddled under streetlights and someone laying on the ground with a puddle of blood surrounding them. How could someone like her live in a neighbourhood like this?
"You shouldn't look so uncomfortable," she whispered as she ducked in her seat. "They'll catch on quickly. I'm only living here until I can move to the city and start a real career."
"Have you lived here your whole life?" Romeo asked as he spotted a fight.
"Couple of months. I moved from LA to get away from uh...stuff." Her eyes shifted quickly from him to back out the window as she scooted back up in her seat. "I live at the end there, with the green car." Romeo didn't say anything as he continued to drive down the street, his eyes staying focused at the green car.
His heart ached for Maggie. He didn't know how someone as soft and gentle as her could have such a shady past and present. What was the 'stuff' she had to get away from?
Romeo stopped in front of her house slowly, doing his best to avoid the potholes in the road. He noticed a silver Escalade was parked in the driveway; clearly whoever drove that doesn't belong in this neighbourhood.
A gasp escaped her throat as she noticed the Escalade as well. "Fuck," she mumbled.
"Is everything OK?" Romeo asked quickly, his hand on the buckle of his seatbelt so he'd be ready to undo it if she needed him.
"Is there someone inside?"
"The Escalade. Can you see anyone in there?" Romeo sat up in his seat a bit more, his eyes scanning the best they could of the inside of the vehicle.
"I can't see anyone," he mumbled, confused.
"Fuck," she mumbled again. "Um...this might sound silly...but could you walk me to the front door? I usually go around back but um...tonight doesn't seem like a good night to do that."
"Sure," Romeo agreed quickly, undoing his seat belt.
The two left the car quietly and slowly, as if not wanting to disturb the awake area. Maggie reached for his hand cautiously as they walked on the walk way that lead to the front door; her hand was swallowed by his as he grabbed hold gently, not wanting to crush her delicate hand.
"Thanks," she whispered as she fumbled with her jeans pocket to find her keys. "Sometimes I..."
"Don't worry about it," he assured, giving her arm a quick rub. She tensed at his touch as his hand moved up and down her bicep slowly, trying to remember the feel of the material against his skin. "I'm just glad you made it home safe."
She gave him a quick smile as her key entered the lock with ease. Giving him a quick kiss on the cheek, she stood by the door, her hand not leaving the knob. "I guess I'll see you around?" she asked with her voice hardly above a whisper.
"Yea," he agreed. "I'll see you around." Her small grin turned into a full one with all of her teeth showing as she pushed the door open. Maggie gave him a wave as she entered her house on her tip-toes, not wanting to wake anyone. He waved back and watched the door shut in front of him.
When Romeo got back in his car, a mixture of emotions was settled at the bottom of his stomach. He was concerned for her, seeing her so tense by any of his actions and when she saw the Escalade in the drive way, but at the same time, he was happy he met such a girl like her tonight.
He drove down the road, doing his best to prepare himself for what was to come in the morning, because that was when he had to face his Mom for the first time since coming back.