“Millie, I’m fine. Tonight I haven't drunk anything, so why would you say that?”
“I heard about last night. I heard you left with Lionel.”
My stomach turned. “I’m good, Millie.”
“Yeah, she’s good.” I heard a familiar voice behind me.
I turned around to see who it was. It was Phillip! I damn near peed my pants. “When did he get out?” I wondered.
“Long time no see.” He was smiling, but his eyes told another story.
“H-h-hi, h-how are you doing?” I stammered. I never thought I’d see him again.
“I’m doing fine. No thanks to you.” He grinned that evil grin again.
“Well, I’ve got to get going.” I turned toward the dressing room.
He grabbed my arm. “I never thought I’d see you in a place like this. When Jenny told me you were down here dropping it like it’s hot I didn’t believe her. Now I owe her one hundred dollars. We haven’t seen each other in a long time; can I get a dance or somethin’?”
“So that’s how he found me.” I mumbled. “I was on my way to change, maybe next time.” I told him, trying to move away.
“So you telling me no?” His eyes darkened.
“Unfortunately, yes. I am just about to get off and I’m tired. Like I said, maybe next time.” I planned to have him banned from the Gold Mine after that night.
“Trick, you owe me! I spent time in prison because of yo’ snitchin’ ass. Now give me a dance.” His grip tightened.
I tried to pry my arm from his clenched fist. “I said, no. Let my arm go!” I yelled as I snatched away from him.
He slapped me so hard I could taste blood. My lip was swelling. Before he could hit me again Frank tackled him. A couple of other bouncers wrestled him down, and they hauled him out. He yelled threats at me all the way to the door.
“What happened?” China ran up to me. She passed me a napkin for my lip.
“He was an old boyfriend from college. He got into some trouble, and I was forced to testify against him or face charges. Remember those girls we saw at the mall? One of them is his best friend’s sister. She must have told him that I worked here.”
“Those bourgeois broads? I wouldn’t think they’d associate with him.”
Before I could answer I heard shots ring out. Then I saw Phillip run back into the club, this time with a gun. He aimed at me, and before he could shoot, someone shouted, “he got a gun!” People started screaming and running. I ducked and began to crawl on the floor. I got kicked a couple of times, but I was still alive. I spotted the broom closet so I opened the door and slid in there. Once I was inside I peeked out through the crack in the door. It was total mayhem; tables were knocked over, glasses were broken, and people were getting trampled. I didn’t see Phillip anywhere. He must have lost sight of me in the crowd. I heard police sirens. After what seemed like hours Bert walked in with a couple of officers. One of the officers said, “it's all clear. Everybody, you’re safe to come out now.”
I stepped out of the closet. People came from all over. From behind the bar, under tables, the dressing room, the bathroom, and VIP. When Bert spotted me he made a beeline my way, with the officers in tow. “Millie told me you knew that guy.”
“You knew the gunman? You need to come with us.” One of the officers commanded.
“Did anyone get hurt?” I asked, worried about Frank and the other bouncers that escorted him out.
“No one was killed or seriously injured, but we had one girl with a flesh wound.”
“Did you catch him?” I asked following them out of the club.
“No, he got away,” the short stocky officer answered. He had a low haircut and a thick mustache. “Do you have any idea where he could be?” He seemed like he was in charge.
“No I don’t.” I told him what happened in the club, and the history of our relationship. When I was done, he let me go. He advised me to get a personal protection order. I walked back into the club to get dressed.
On my way out Bert stopped me and simply said, “you’re fired.”
I was too tired to argue so I turned around to go back to the dressing room to get my personal effects from my locker.