“I had breakfast with Bridgette’s dad this morning.”
Shea quit smiling. Calvin walked around her and pushed through the dancers.
“Calvin, wait!” said Shea.
He split a couple apart and continued on. His eyes darted around the place, but it was hard to identify his wife with the rapid flash of strobe lights. Music pounded through the speakers. Sweaty bodies were everywhere – but where was Bridgette?
Calvin spotted a few of his wife’s work friends. They climbed the stairs. At the front of the pack strode Bridgette and Brody. It looked like they could be holding hands, but other patrons blocked his view.
“Dammit,” he said, standing on his toes.
Someone grabbed Calvin by the wrist.
“Shea, what does that look-”
The moment he whirled around, a fist came flying at his face. Calvin ducked down and narrowly dodged the flying knuckles. It came from a big fella wearing an extra large black shirt, gold chain around his neck.
“What the hell!” said Shea.
Big fella swung again, and socked Calvin in the stomach. Calvin fell back a few steps.
“Stop!” Said Shea.
“Ain’t about you girl,” said big fella.
Calvin lifted his gaze – bouncers were storming over and parting the dancers.
“Look me in the eye you little bitch.” Big fella cracked his knuckles.
“Who are you?” said Calvin.
Big fella grabbed a fistful of Calvin’s shirt.
“Calvin!” said Shea.
Big fella cocked his arm back and delivered another blow into Calvin’s cheek. When he reloaded for another punch, Calvin shot out his arm, grabbed his gold chain, then twisted it until Big Fella began to choke. Big Fella dropped to his knees and dug his fingers between his chain and neck, struggling to breathe.
Big Fella ripped the chain himself, and the pieces landed on the floor.
“You done it,” he said, then stood and slugged Calvin across the face
Calvin landed in a dive on the dance floor, pushing the legs out from those around him. He hurried onto his back, and found Big Fella pouncing to clobber him. Calvin brought his knee into his chest, then kicked Big Fella right in the teeth. Backlash sent big fella bending and twisting over in the opposite direction.
Bouncers tore through the crowd, pointing at Calvin.
Calvin sprung to his feet and grabbed Shea by the hand. He rushed toward the backdoor, using his front wrist to strong-arm through the dancers.
“Why did he attack you?” said Shea.
“You think I know?”
Calvin checked over his shoulder for the bouncers, and got an unexpected glance of Bridgette and Brody. Calvin stopped in his tracks.
Shea ran into him. He turned her around, then held her with his forearm wrapped around her neck.
“What are you-”
Shea followed the point of his finger. Brody leaned over Bridgette from behind the top balcony, with his hands holding the bar in front of her abdomen.
“Oh my God,” said Shea.
The bouncers were making headway through the crowd.
“Let’s go,” said Calvin. He charged toward the back door and yanked Shea along with him. He kicked it open, and the two barged into a crowd of smokers.
“Waddup?” said a smoker.
Calvin noticed the four men encircling him had baggy shirts and chain necklaces.
“Your face looks like pizza got stomped on.” said one of them.”Who you runnin’ from?”
“Nobody. Let me bum one.”
They scoffed. One of them handed him a cigarette.
Calvin lit up, then sucked the black ash into his lungs.
“What just happened?” said Shea. She coughed and looked away.
“You don’t smoke?”
She eyeballed the cigarette. “Not anymore.”
Shea plucked the cigarette from his lips, then jammed it in her own. She treated it like it were a CPR victim, and killed it in no time. Shea coughed, bent over and pressed her hand to her chest.
Calvin pat her on the back and helped her straighten up. “Hey,” he said. “You okay?”
“Am I okay? Don’t you think they’re cheating on us?”
“I don’t know.”
“We’re getting cuckolded… my life’s over.” Shea spun around and reached for the door. Calvin grabbed her by the wrist then tugged her back.
“That guy attacked me for no reason.”
“I know, I’m sorry but-”
“Don’t go in there.”
“My husband’s in there.”
“Bridgette can be sinister. She goes out without me, but something changed her mind tonight. I don’t think it’s love.”
“Bridgette brought a gun. Maybe Brody’s got it now. Does your husband know how to use one?”
“Oh my God,” she lifted her head and stared back into his eyes.
“The knife,” said Shea. She checked him up and down, then pushed her hand into his chest and walked away.
To be continued…
- Thomas M. Watt