WARNING: This chapter contains butt shots! 🙂
The day Sam was due for release, Esme was camped outside the prison doors waiting for her. She did not know how she would be received by her old friend considering she had snubbed her for the past few months, but she was hopeful. She had no one else to turn to.
“Hey over here,” she called out as she saw her old cell mate emerge through the wired prison fence.
Sam did a double take looking at Esme like she had seen a ghost. Then just like a ship emerging through fog, a smile spread across her face. “You came,” Sam shrieked running over to Esme and throwing her arms around her.
“I thought you’d forgotten all about me,” she said finally pulling back. “Where’ve you been?”
“Yeah I’m sorry about that,” Esme replied sheepishly. “I’ve been going through some stuff and well I’m sorry. But I’m here now!”
“You sure are,” Sam sung grabbing hold of Esme’s hand. “Now where to,” she continued leading her away from the prison bars.
“I was hoping you’d tell me,” Esme chuckled pleased to finally be in the company of her old friend again.
The girls found the nearest bar they could and settled down with a beer each. Sam swigged the bottle in almost one go letting out a satisfied gasp afterwards. “Dang I have missed this stuff,” she said wiping the dribble from her chin. “So now tell me, what’s been going on all these months since you’ve been out?”
“Where do I start,” Esme giggled. But it was a false laugh and both girls knew it. She looked down at her drink that back up at her friends concerned face. “It’s just not the same Sam! Before I went to jail my life was so easy and carefree. And now…. Now everything’s changed. Friends are different, my parents are different. Even the food doesn’t taste the same anymore.”
Sam leant forward and rubbed Esme’s hand. “You know what Esme, it’s not them that have changed its you. Prison does that to a person. It changes you.”
“How do you deal with it? How do you get through it?”
“You just do honey. One day at a time. Eventually things will get easier but I tell you something – you are never really the same again.”
Esme felt the tickle of tears in her eyes and felt them trickle down her cheek. She had not wanted to cry but in a way it felt right.
“But hey you have me now right,” Sam said much more upbeat. “And I’ll look out for you kiddo.”
“Thanks,” Esme whispered back wiping the tears away with the back of her hand.
“First things first, I haven’t had any male contact in over two years!” She looked up and around the room. “Hey boys, over here,” she hollered waving her hand in the air like a deranged woman.
Two men who were hanging by the bar looked round and pointed to their chests like, “you talking to me.”
“Yeah you,” Sam yelled. “Now get your cute butts over here.” The men did not have to wonder twice. They strolled over like two cats who’d got the cream. Esme couldn’t help but giggle at her friend’s obviousness.
“Mum. Dad. I would like you meet Sam.” It was later that evening and Esme and Sam had spent a wonderful few hours in the company of the men they had called over earlier. Esme had laughed so much her stomach muscles actually ached.
Carter and Anna were busy watching their favourite soap opera on the telly but once they saw Esme had gotten home they jumped up to greet her and her friend. “Hey there,” Carter said. “Lovely to meet you Sam.”
“Nice to meet you too Mr and Mrs Starr.”
“Oh please call us Carter and Anna,” Carter chuckled. He had not been called Mr Starr in years!
“Mum and dad is it ok if Sam stays here for a while,” Esme asked.
“Of course she can honey, it’s your home too,” Anna replied.
“Great I’ll show you to your room,” Esme cried pulling Sam by her hand up the stairs, giggling like a little girl. “You can have my sister Farah’s old room.”
“Dang girl,” Sam gasped. “Your sister was one prissy girl. I’ve never seen so much pink in my life!”
“Yeah sorry about that,” Esme laughed. “My sister was and I guess still is a bit of a goody-two-shoes.”
“Don’t you worry, I’m just pleased to have a roof over my head. Thank you so much for this by the way, I promise I will sort myself out soon.”
“What are friends for,” Esme replied. And she believed it, she wanted Sam around just as much as Sam needed a place to stay. “Anyway I will let you get settled in.”
Esme skipped back down the stairs and flopped into one of the lounge chairs. She let out a huge sigh but couldn’t hide the smile on her face. “It’s nice to finally see you looking so happy,” Carter commented.
“Yeah I guess,” Esme replied looking out of the window. She really did not want to have this conversation with her parents. They would never understand. “So how do you and Sam know each other,” Anna asked breaking the awkward silence.
Here we go, Esme thought. “Err we were cell-mates in prison.”
Anna’s eyes suddenly opened wider than Esme had ever seen them go before. She looked at her husband and then back at Esme. “Oh errr… that’s nice dear,” she said obviously trying to compose herself.
“Will you just excuse me a second.” She rose gently from her seat beaming a smile at her daughter and then ran as fast as she could out of the room.
Carter and Esme looked at each other and burst out laughing. “Mum’s gone to hide her silverware hasn’t she?”
“You know what your mums like,” Carter chuckled back.
Esme did not really mind, she knew she could trust Sam.
The next morning Esme had risen early after a fantastic night sleep. She got dressed and joined her dad at the breakfast table tucking into her mother’s delicious French toast. Eventually Sam emerged from her room and made her way into the kitchen. “Morning surrogate family,” she waved.
“Morning,” Esme replied.
“Good heavens,” Carter said as he turned to greet his house guest. He had not seen a young girl that scantily clad in a long time. He turned back to his breakfast and fixed his eyes on what he was doing. Don’t look, don’t look, he reminded himself over and over again aware that Anna could see him.
“Pull up a seat,” Esme instructed and Sam did, pilling her plate high with the French toast and pouring herself a large mug of black coffee.
“So where are you guys off to so early,” she asked, mouth full of toast.
“I’m working at my dad’s bar today,” Esme replied. “Dad’s given me a job until I can find something of my own. Well a job where they don’t mind ex-cons anyway.”
“I see,” Sam replied not looking up from her plate.
“Righteeho, we had better be going,” Carter said pushing his chair back and standing up. “Esme I’ll meet you at the car. Sam, it was nice to meet you again.” He still could not look her in the eye.
The moment Carter was out of earshot, Sam finally spoke again. “Esme why are you slaving away at your dads dive bar when you can come and work with me?”
“Sam we have talked about this. I don’t do that stuff anymore.”
“Suit yourself but if you wanna break you’re back working for peanuts then that’s up to you. Me – I’m gonna go and make some real money.”
She licked her lips and then stood up pushing her chair away. “Let me know if you change your mind.” She sauntered off back to her room and Esme watched her go. She reminded herself to have a word with Sam later about covering her butt up when round her parents. No wonder her dad had gone all weird when Sam had come down.
Esme was a rubbish bartender. FACT! Carter had tried his best to teach his daughter the art of mixing but it just did not come naturally to her like it did her father. She would pour out each drink measurement with such care and precision but still she managed to get it wrong.
Then there was the actual task of mixing. She would shake drink all over the customers soaking them and then dropping their drink on the floor and having to start all over again.
“Am I actually ever going to get a decent drink around here anytime soon,” a customer screamed at her after she had dropped his second drink.
Esme hated being shouted at, she was not thick skinned enough.
In the end she convinced her dad to take her off the bar and put her on the floor. This way all she would have to do was collect glasses, wipe down tables and deliver the bar food. What could go wrong?
“This is not what I ordered,” a spindly old woman snapped when Esme served her Nachos.
“Yes mam this is what you ordered. I took your order myself.”
The woman rose from her seat and squared up to Esme. “Are you arguing with me you impertinent girl? I said I did not order them. Now take them back and get me what I did order, or is that too hard for your small blond brain to handle?”
Esme had had enough, she had no right to speak to her like that. “If you don’t want them then you can dam well take them back to the kitchen and explain to the chef that you changed your mind!”
Hearing the shouting, Carter came rushing over from behind the bar. “What the devil is going on here? Esme?”
“You’re waitress is incompetent,” the woman snapped.
“I am NOT incompetent,” Esme screamed back at Carter. This was no way her fault.
“Esme go to the kitchen, I’ll deal with this.”
“But it’s not my fault. This woman’s being a pernickety bitch.”
“ESME,” Carter gasped.
“She is dad!”
“Esme you cannot talk to customers like that – the customer is always right. If you are going to take over this business from me you need to learn that!”
“Maybe I don’t wanna take over this stupid business from you,” Esme screamed back at her dad. “I quit.”
As she marched off, she heard her dad apologising to the woman behind her. If having to be a kiss ass is what you have to do to go straight then going straight was not for her. She got the subway home and marched into Sam’s room. Despite it already being 2pm, she was still in her sleepwear and lazing on the bed.
“What are you doing home so early,” Sam asked not moving from her spot.
“The job,” Esme stated. “The job that you think we are going to make tons of money on… Count me in!”
“I knew you’d come round,” Sam replied grinning like a Cheshire cat.