Of course, the place Roxy takes me to is a bar. The bar was called The Legacy and when I walked in...I wanted to walk back out.
"Roxy, these people scare me." I whispered from behind her. Roxy looked back and said, "G, relax. They're people just like you."
She took me over to the bar and the bartender leaned over the counter and smiled, "What can I get you, Angel?" His light brown eyes were completely focused on Roxy and that's when I figured out that they knew each other.
Roxy giggled and replied, "I want a beer, Nick. And my friend, here, is sad...can you give her something to cheer her up?" The bartender, Nick, winked at me and said, "I'll be right back."
We sat down on the stools and waited for Nick to come back with our drinks. "Roxy, I can't drink alcohol. I'm underage!"
Roxy rolled her eyes and stated, "They don't care if you're underaged! In fact, the only customers they get are underaged."
Nick came back and sat a light-pink, iced drink in front of me. When he sat the beer down in front of Roxy, I saw their hands touch and watched Roxy's face light up.
"So...what's up, G?" Roxy popped open her beer and took a swig. I shrugged my shoulders. "I just have a lot going on right now...like, you have no idea how hard my life is."
Roxy sat her beer down and said, "Grace, no offense, but I guarantee I can relate to you. Do you wanna hear why I came here?"
I nodded and took of sip of the drink in front of me. It was something strawberry: my favorite.
"I used to live in a little town near San Francisco. My mom left my dad when I was very young...and it broke my dad's heart. He started drinking...alot and soon became an alcoholic. It got so bad that sometimes he wouldn't know who I was. One day, I came home from school and heard alot of chattering in the living room. My dad had a bunch of his buddies over and they were very drunk. 'Hey Roxanne! Come in here!' My dad's words were very slurred and when I walked into the living room, it smelled like an entire bar had been spilled in there."
I asked him if he need anything and he told me to come closer. I walked over to him and he took my hand. He said, 'Roxanne, my friends are bored. Can you entertain us?' He ran his hand down my skirt and even tried to lift it up, but I shoved him away and ran out of the room...I heard him hollering my name, but I was ignoring him. I grabbed his car keys from the table and ran out the door."
"Oh my God, Roxy! I am so sorry." I covered my mouth with my hand to try to hide my shock.
She waved her hand in the air and said, "Don't be. I haven't seen that man in 3 years and don't plan to...anyway, I had to find a job. I looked everywhere. You would think being in one of the biggest states in the country, a 15 yr old could find a job...but that wasn't my case. Everywhere I looked, they would tell me 'I didn't meet the requirements.' I had traveled all the way to San Diego and was about to give up. I was barely eating, didn't have a home, and had lost all hope...but then I met someone."
Roxy had finished her first beer and waited for Nick to bring another one. Then, she continued. "All his friends called him Blade. From the moment I saw him, I fell in love with him. He welcomed me into his group and looked after me...and soon enough he was in love with me. He knew how hard I was having it and, one day, he put 400 dollars in my pocket. I tried to give it back to him, but he refused. That night, Blade's group and I were standing under a bridge to have shelter from the rain. We were all bored and this one girl, a newbie named Teal, said 'Hey! Why don't we play chicken?' It was a really stupid idea, since it was raining, but we did it anyway.
Blade ran across the highway first and made it, safely, to the other side. I was next and quickly crossed the first two lanes, stopped in the middle of the road and then crossed the other two. Blade congratulated me with a kiss and then we turned to watch the others do it. Everyone made it to safety and lastly, it was Teal's turn. Instead of running, she thought she would be cool and walk across the highway. We told her to hurry, but she wouldn't listen. A semi-truck didn't see her, because of the rain and hit her with full impact."
I gasped. Roxy's eyes were filling with tears and I gently laid my hand on top of hers. She proceeded, "The truck killed her instantly. It was Teal's idea to play chicken, but Blade got arrested. He was the only adult in our group and got the maximum sentence...he was sent to a prison with a life sentence and no chance of paroll. Teal was only fourteen years old. After Blade's court day, I took the money he gave me and left the group. I decided to start looking for a job again and finally someone gave me a chance.
San Diego had just opened a new clinic and they were looking for custodians. I applied and heard from them within the same week. I was hired and started the next day."
Roxy finished off her second beer and then looked over at me. "Grace, I worked...and still work at the San Diego Cancer Center."
"What?! I go there all the time...I've never seen you." I took another sip of my drink and Roxy replied, "I have seen you. You go there to see Matthew Baxter."
I nodded. "How did you know?"
"You're all he ever talks about! You are lucky to have him as a boyfriend." I was sipping on my fruity drink and Roxy's respond made me choke.
I blurted out, "We are not dating! He's my brother."
"Oh! ...My bad. I just thought from the way he talks, you were his girlfriend." Roxy laughed at my reaction and, soon, I was laughing with her.
I replied, "But, no, we have never dated. I just found out today that we're related...that's one of the reasons I'm so stressed."
Roxy nodded and said, "Grace...I have to know. Are you pregnant?"
I figured Justin had been going around school, telling everybody my terrible secret. I just didn't think it would come out so fast.
"Yeah...I'm pregnant with Justin Morgan's kid." Finally confessing I was pregnant, felt good. Roxy expression stayed the same and I was afraid she was upset.
However, she started acting giddy. "I'm so happy for you, chica! I mean I wish it was, you know, different circumstances...but I am so happy for you!"
I laughed and replied, "Thank you...I wish it was too."
Roxy was playing with the rim of her beer bottle when I asked, "Roxy, how do you get to talk to Matt if you're just a custodian?"
"That's the funny part, G. One day, an old lady with brain cancer was hollering from her room for some imaginary person named 'Wilson'. Nobody could control her and they were becoming very stressful. After another five minutes, I decided to walk in there and talk to her. She was completely calm with me and the administration was so impressed, they gave me a free internship for nursing!"
I finished off my fruity drink and, for the first time that night, had a buzz. "Wow! That's legit."
She shrugged her shoulders and agreed, "Yeah. It's better than where I was at originally."
We stayed at the bar until closing, but didn't drink anymore. We just sat there and talked about our lives and our past. Nick was buffing tables when we finally decided to leave. "What do we owe you, Nick?" Roxy asked while fishing out her wallet.
"Nothing. The drinks were on the house." He smiled and then continued working. Roxy tried to object. "Nonsense. I need to pay for my beers."
Nick put the towel down on the table and then stuffed his hands in his pockets. "Roxy, you've been coming here for awhile, now...and you've always been alone. The one time you bring a friend, you tell me she's upset. I'm not going to charge you when you have an upset friend."
I giggled and tapped Roxy on the shoulder. "Let's let it slide this time."
She nodded and as we were walking out the door, patted Nick on his arm. "Thank you," she said.
We heard Nick murmur, "My pleasure," and smiled at each other.
Roxy didn't get me back home until around 11pm. "Is your mom going to be pissed," She asked worriedly.
I shrugged my shoulders and stated, "She was mad when I left...so I wouldn't be surprised."
Roxy, then, did something completely unexpected. She grabbed my shoulders and hugged me tightly. "Thank you for having drinks with me tonight, girly!"
I pulled away and exclaimed, "No. Thank you for getting me out of hell tonight!" She smiled and said, "You're welcome, G. Will you be at school tomorrow?"
"No. I have a doctors appointment tomorrow...I find out what the baby is." I gave a small smile, even though, I dreaded seeing Justin again.
Roxy clapped her hands and squealed, "I'm so excited! They'll be a little Gracie running around!" I laughed and opened my car door.
"I'll let you know what it is tomorrow," I yelled from the porch. She honked her horn and backed out.
For once, I had a great night...and it was all thanks to Roxy Richards.
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