Mike pulled up to a club in Queens. He watched the dancers through the huge windows before spotting the yellow ‘Security’ message on the front of the establishment’s doorman. He paid for the cab, flashed a fake ID at the bouncer and entered, leaving his bag and his jacket with the cloakroom staff.
He knew who he was looking for. He walked up to the bar and started looking around. He was struggling to get a drink. When the spotlights weren’t blinding him, Mike could see TV screens with pictures of girls doing things they’d regret. Waiting for a drink on his own always made Mike agitated, and he began to feel he was being watched.
Then, his moment came: he ordered a double Jameson’s and cola. As he walked away he brushed a girl’s elbow, and smiled his lop-sided smile. That was Jimmy’s daughter.
Two drinks later, Mike walked up to the girl he had seen earlier.
“Excuse me there, can I buy you a drink, love?” he said, in an excellent Irish accent.
“Oh my God, you’re Irish?! That is so cute!”
“Irish is what I am” Mike laughed, “and what are you?”
“Well I’m actually slightly Irish myself, but mostly I’m just a boring American. What’s your name?
“I’m Frank. What’s yours?” Mike loved to lie.
“You can call me Maddy.” She paused, and Mike saw her glance at her friends.
“You know Maddy, I think I know you. Possibly from Facebook?”
“Nah, I never met an Irish boy before. You’re my first one”. She smiled as she grasped Mike’s hand and pulled him to the bar.
He could tell by the way she tripped on her way to get her drinks, and the way her friends kept smiling back at her, as if to suggest that she now lie in the bed she had made. Mike was beginning to think this was a done deal, but reminded himself that he had to take it easy – he had been drinking doubles. Even so, it wasn’t until he was washing his hands in the bathroom, looking at himself in the mirror that he noticed the lipstick mark on his neck. Fun-lovin’ Frank, he thought to himself.
Standing there in the bathroom, Mike began to wonder about what the Francesco house would look like. He had gathered that Maddy was the last remaining daughter at home, and that Mommy and Daddy would be at home, so he would need to be quiet. He always was.
He walked out to the waiting taxi, supporting Maddy with his arm and shoulder. He put her into the back seat, and told the driver to wait – he had forgotten his jacket and bag. When he came back to the cab, the daughter had fallen asleep. This wasn’t a bad thing for Mike. He told the driver to turn up the heating, and enjoyed the ride. He always enjoyed seeing the lights go past, watching the traffic ebb and flow. It was a shame he worked so often, as he’d often like a chance to simply enjoy New York. Still, he said to himself, there is always the future to have fun.