Ch. 4 Picture of an Evil Angel
Each step is harder than the next, but I can't muster enough courage to stop walking. And why is that? Well, Nikon walks next to me talking away about a new art gallery that opened a couple of blocks away. Although I really want to listen to him talk about it, my mind is racing so fast that I am unable to concentrate. The fact that we are going to my work place keeps me flustered, especially because my boss will probably be there.
"Is there something wrong?" Nikon asks. "You seem...distant"
"Well," I begin, preparing to tell him that I work at Lucky Strike, and that I would prefer not to go there.
"You'll have fun. I promise." He cuts in. "It's a bit overflowing with older people trying to be young but, other than that it's just a regular bowling alley." He says as we step into the steps of the escalator going up.
"It's just that," I look up and see the place right in front of us, and at the last minute decide not to say anything. "No, never mind." Nikon grabs the door and opens it gesturing me to enter first. I go in hesitantly observing the people around me. The place is packed with people but there are still two lanes open, enough room for us.
"Hi, can we have a lane and one set." Nikon tells the clerk in front of us. She looks at him and nods, but when she sees me she smiles.
"Gwen! Here for a round?" She asks.
I giggle nervously and say, "Yeah, can't get enough of this."
"Wait, you're a regular?" Nikon asks curiously and nudges me playfully as he waits for my answer.
"Oh, no! Gwen, works here. She's the boss's favorite" She interrupts and smiles evilly.
"To bother." I say glumly. "Miss employee of the month here, means, that yes, I am a worker here." I look around and see a couple of my fellow co workers, but I don't see Chris. I'm hoping that he left for the night, or that he's trapped inside a closet somewhere. "Kylie, where is Chris?"
"What's wrong?" Nikon asks as we both stand by the entrance. There is no one behind me so I don't worry about holding up the line, if there were people I hear them bitching already.
"That's going to be 25.28" Kylie announces as she rings up the register, I ignore Nikon's question and just watch him pay her. We walk over to the shoe station and we exchange our shoe size with actual shoes, and put them on. We both look rather silly seeing as these shoes look like clown shoes, but we just can't get enough of making fun of each other on them. The room is dark, so there is a good chance that Chris won't be able to spot me, and besides, he probably has better things to do than scope out employees, like make some other employee's life hell.
We then walk towards the nearest open lane and set up there. I punch in my name and then Damien's in monitor and then it pops up in the screen above us. There are a bunch of bowling pins animation and then in bold letters, Welcome Gwen and Damien!
"You want to make this fun?" I asks him as he hands me a bowling ball.
"How?" He ask curiously and take the ball from him.
"If I win...you have to take me out to dinner."
"Okay Fine." He says with a smug smile. "if I win...you have to kiss Guy and tell him that he's a really good kisser. My mouth hangs open, entirely shocked at such thing. Iwas expecting something like me taking him out to dinner.
"It's a bet. You can't back out."
"Okay, you've got yourself a bet." I tell him and grip his hand firmly in a good ol shake. I click the start button on the screen, and the black dividers rise up and reveal the ten pins lined up. "Ladies first." I tell him jokingly. I sit down in the bench as I watch him approach the foul line confidently. He positions his right foot in front of his back and swings his hand in back, stepping back, and in a swift movement he releases the ball. It seems to be going straight but towards the end, curves and hits a strike. "Oh Strike! Nice hook." He turns back to me and raises his hands in superiority.
"Thank you, thank you"
"Oh, move." I approach the foul line and he sits in the spot I vacated. I do the same movements with my foot, and from keeping the ball to my face bring it down to the back of me and swing it back and release. After I watch the ball go, the screen above me starts playing the music video, Rock 'n' Roll Queen.
"You're not the only one who knows hot to play a hook." I tell him as I pass him by. We are tied now, because we both scored strikes, so the stakes are getting high. He goes in again with the same motion but this time, the balls go into the alley. "Ooh, gutter ball."
I approach it this time much more optimistic than before and prepare to release. When I step back to release the ball, I realize too late that Nikon is laying on the floor right behind me and as I let go of the ball I trip over him. My ball goes into the gutter.
"Oh it's on!" I tell him as he lays on the floor laughing. That's a classic move people pull to get you to score low, they lay behind you and wait for you to step back so you fall after releasing the ball, and simultaneously scoring low. He approaches the line and I wait for him to release the ball. Just as he is about to I jump on his back and he let's go of the ball wrong.
"What the hell!"
"Now you have one more gutter ball more than I do!" I get off of him and he smirks.
"I'll get you, watch"
"We'll see about that." I retrieve my ball, fully aware that he's going to try and pull something, and carefully stand by the line. I swing my ball back and feel his presence in back of me. "Ha! I didn't release the ball-" Chris stands before me with his hands crossed over his chest and I stare at him wide eyed. The ball falls from my hands with a loud thud, and slowly rolls to the bench. A couple of people stare because the thud was pretty loud. "Chris! Hey!"
"What exactly do you think you are doing?" he asks with an even voice. What scares me the most sometimes, is the way someone sounds on the brink of anger. They talk in a reasonable voice but you know they are pissed in the inside. It's pretty scary to be honest.
"Well you asked."I retorted. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Nikon approaching, probably wondering why I was talking to Chris.
"What are you doing here?"
"I'm here with my friend Damien." I answered. "How did you know I was here?"I asked Chris.
"Kylie." Bitch. She always hated me because i got the better hours, most people didn't like the night shift, but Kylie was always the one pretending to be nice to me. "Well it definitely looks like you're studying. What's the subject? His dick?"
"What the fuck? No!" Out of the corner of my eye I see Nikon approaching, probably wondering why I got side tracked.
"Is there a problem here" Nikon asked. Aww he cared! Chris then turned to look at who was talking and I was instantly shocked.
"Damien? What are you doing here?" Chris asked him. Wait. They know each other?
"I'm here with Gwen."
"Hey!" I warned. I observed the two of them and it seemed like they were friends. They were laughing at smiling, and Ijust felt like I was in the twilight zone.
"Want to join us?" Nikon asks Chris. Is politeness was not what I needed right now. This was my day out with him, and Chris was getting in the way. if he were to join us he would just mess up the whole think Nikon and I had going on.
"No." I answered for him and they both turned to look at me as if they had barely noticed I was still standing there. Chris looked at me weirdly, it seemed like he had a plan up his sleeve which was not good.
"Why sure." he replied as he looked at me. Nikon walked over to the monitor to add his name, leaving us alone.
"What are you doing"
"Bowling" he replied mockingly.
"What are you going to do"
"Chris! You are up to something, I know it!"
"What can I be possible be up to?." he asked innocently. He was still in his all black uniform that made him look like an evil angel.
"What can you be possibly be up to!?" I yelped. "Everything!"
"Chill, Gwen. Damien is a friend of mine, I'm not here for you."
"I never said you were."
"Right." he said and walked over to get a ball. We reunited with Nikon and sat in the bench as we watched him tap something in the monitor.
"Chris shouldn't you be doing something else right now? I asked him with the most polite voice I could muster.
"No. Like what?"
"Oh, I dunno. Your job."
"Shouldn't you?" he asked back.
"Okay it's ready, we can continue playing." Nikon said happily. "We have some bets going on, you want to join?" He asked Chris.
"If I win, Gwen cleans the bathroom for two weeks."
"You already make me do that."
"True." He admitted and placed his index finger to his chin, in a thoughtful motion. "You dress up as Mr. Pin for a week"
"No way! That's humiliating." Mr. Pin costume was something dreaded here at Lucky Strike, well at least for the employees. Only people who worked at night ran the risk of wearing the costume and so far I hadn't worn it, that costume probably smells like sweat and feet, so I was really lucky.
"Be a sport" Nikon said with a chuckle. Now that he said it, he was probably thinking that I was acting like a brat, which is not something I was liking.
"Fine," I said with a sigh. "I'll do it." We shook hands and he turned to Nikon.
"You, have to give me a pair of Lakers tickets."
"Okay deal. But Gwen is pretty good, so she might win."
"I'll bet, that's all she does when she is working." I let that one go. "Gwen, can you go get us some french fries?"
"I'll fire you."
"You can't threaten me like that."
"Why not?" he asked me.
"So in the U.S Constitution it says that I can't do that?"
"I'll sue you then"
"You want to play that way? Fine. Let's raise it up, two weeks in the costume." Nikon who sat next to me just began laughing. This was not funny, I didn't want to wear that stupid costume.
"Don't do that. I'll go." I got up and went for his stupid french fries. This night was not turning out the way that I had first imagines. I was thinking that we would go to get coffee and he would take me to my house, right outside the apartment he would kiss me and say he had a great night, followed by him saying he wanted to see me again. I didn't expect for Chris to trot around here and join the party, especially when we were beginning to get comfortable with each other. I ordered and paid for the fries and went back to our lane. The whole night we bowled and we were all really good, but Chris the cockiest motherfucker ever. But I have to admit his moves were impressive. Afterward when it was over Chris and Nikon stayed together apparently up for another round. The stakes? Free bowling from Chris to Nikon, and another pair of Lakers tickets from Nikon to Chris.
Well Chris won. I didn't get my kiss. I didn't get another date. Instead I got Mr. Pin for a week.