It felt 10 degrees warmer in the bar as I came out of the rest room. Several ladies passed me on my way out wearing sweaters. How on earth are they not sweating? I thought.
I headed over to the bar, taking off my pullover and running my hand through my new, black hair, pulling it to one side. My new locks were much longer than I was used to.
“I’ll take a beer,” I called to the bartender.
I grabbed my bottle, left a two dollar tip with my cardigan in hand and began walking over to the pool table with a surge of confidence. I leaned on the half wall, watching the three guys play.
“Who’s got next round?” I said as I took a sip.
The man I noticed before came directly over to me, a walk as smooth as I expected his voice to be.
“You wanna play with us?” he said to me as he turned his wrist side to side chalking his pool stick.
“Yeah, I do. I’m Lennox, by the way.”
“Matt.” He extended his hand with a smile, showing his teeth that I assumed he was either born with or paid for. They were perfectly straight, as white as could be.
He introduced me to his friends, Ryan and Zeke. They gave me a ‘hey’ and continued on with their game, paying me no attention. I didn’t mind. My eyes were focused on Matt.
He circled the pool table when it was his turn, eyeing the eight ball as if it was his only goal of the evening. Within a second, it was in the pocket.
His friends started re-racking the balls when Matt came over and asked if I was from the area. I told him I lived a couple blocks up and he continued with more small talk. Soon enough we disengaged from the game that had yet to begin and took a seat at the bar. He bought me drinks and I laughed at his jokes. But then he looked at his watch and almost choked on his beer.
“I gotta go,” he said quickly getting up from the table.
“Wait, where do you have to go?”
“Somewhere you probably don’t want to.”
“And how do you know that?” I said following him to his friends.
He turned and looked at me.
“You think you’re ready for this Lennox?”
I took one last swig from my beer and put it down on a random table before we left the bar. I threw my cardigan on as we entered the night’s air.
I followed the guys to a car two blocks away. Matt drove. I was given shotgun. Zeke and Ryan began messing around with a bag in the backseat when Matt yelled at them.
“Stop messing around! Put it in the backpack and do you have the address? I can’t seem to find it.”
The street was dark. Empty garbage cans dressed the edges of tiny driveways. Metal fences blocked off territories and I could see a ‘beware of dog’ sign that lit up on a fence from Matt’s headlights.
“It’s 2114 Chew Street,” Zeke said.
“2118...2116...that must be it,” said Matt. He turned off his headlights and brought the car to a stop, putting it in park.
He grabbed the bag from his friends and started to get out.
“Wait, I want to go.”
I hurriedly got out of the car and closed the door silently behind me.
“What are you doing?” Matt asked.
I gave him a wink.
He sighed and gave me a nervous look but he let me continue on with him.
The house had a brick facade. There were overgrown bushes to the left and right of the three steps that led to the front door. The screen was more of a metal barricade. Zoe would’ve been freaking out. But no, not Lennox. This version of me was ready for anything.
We lingered around the door for what seemed like several minutes when it finally opened. Matt went inside first, and a tall burly man put his hand to Matt’s chest.
“Who’s this?” He said looking at me.
“This is Lennox, it&r...