“I’m sorry, Jim.” Annie said, in that monotone ‘I don’t really mean it, but I know I should say it’ kind of way.
“Oh, well thank you.” Jim replied, voice quavering into his cell phone and one hand on the wheel of his semi-truck filled with countless pallets of coolers. He had been a few days ahead of schedule on his delivery, and thought it would be a good idea to stop in and surprise Annie, seeing as he was cutting through that part of the state anyway. It turned out to be a big mistake. “Thank you for having the courtesy to call and let me know how sorry you are, after ignoring me for the past two days!”
“Jim, let’s not-“
“Let’s not what, Annie?” Jim could almost feel Annie’s hand pressed against her forehead, and could swear he heard a faint sigh as she pulled the phone away from her ear, bored already with this conversation and debating whether or not to hang up. Jim decided he had to speak louder. “You’re the one who called me. Did you really think that I’d be over it by now, or that I’d forgive you so quickly? That there wouldn’t be any repercussions and you could just say you’re sorry and be done with the whole thing?”
“You know what?” Annie interrupted, “Jim! I’m not sorry. No, I’m glad I did it and I’m glad you walked in right at the climax. To tell you the truth, it made it that much better. I haven’t been able to replicate such a shaky quake like that since you left, and believe me; I tried.”
Jim clenched the phone with all his might. He wasn’t a weak man by any means, but a phone is a hard thing to crush. Still, now that the thought was in his mind he felt obliged to. “You fucking slut!” Jim shouted as he bashed the phone against the dashboard. First the screen cracked, but it didn’t stop there. Jim held the phone as he would an egg, beating it against the corner of the dashboard until the only thing holding the top to the bottom was a couple of loose wires. He then threw it out the window.
A five-minute phone call was all it took to throw Jim off course. He saw that he had missed his turn and got off at the next exit to turn around, but as luck would have it, that particular exit didn’t offer a u-turn. “Mother fucker.” Jim muttered as he went down the one-way street, all 16 wheels bouncing and rumbling through the cracks in the worn down road. No signs anywhere either. For a moment Jim thought about reversing back onto the highway, and then decided it was too risky.
As he trudged on for what felt like hours, Jim finally saw something other than flat, dry desert plains off in the distance. It looked like a beach house, which was odd considering he was supposed to be in New Mexico. Just past the beach house was a body of water far too large to be a lake. Goddamnit, I went too far south, Jim thought, is there no fuckin’ border patrol out here? Did I just travel on some road reserved for illegal immigrants?
As he got closer, he saw the sorry excuse of a sign on the front of the beach house. It had to have been painted by someone who was colorblind, because the orange words and the yellow background did not compliment each other. The sign looked stapled to the top of the beach house, as if the owner just found a large hunk of wood and used that as his house’s letterhead. The color clash made it difficult to read from far away, but as Jim got closer he saw that the sign said:
ROSARITA BEACH CAFÉ
“Rosarita Beach?” Jim mouthed to himself, looking around for any other signs. He decided he was thirsty enough and it was time for a little relaxation. After all, if anyone deserved a break and a drink, it was a man in Jim’s position.
The Café looked more like a saloon, straight out of an old western, complete with swinging doors and dust that just floated in the air. Jim wondered if this was some kind of movie set, and walked up to the porch, hearing a creak with each step. Each one seemed to slow him down, yet he still pushed on toward those dusty double doors. Inside there was no music. Only the occasional sound of a mug hitting the table, presumably empty.
Jim grabbed both parts of the door before realizing how idiotic he’d look stepping through like some tourist pretending to be Clint Eastwood. He moved to the right and pushed his way through. No more creaks from that point on as Jim walked inside to see that it was still early for the locals. Over in the corner were two men leaning against each other, both with their feet up on the seats in front of them. They were fast asleep, and at the bar sat a woman in a white dress, surprisingly clean for how many particles Jim could see in the Sun’s rays. She was swirling a near empty beer mug in her hand, mesmerized by the whirlpool it was creating. Her long, blonde, stringy hair reminded Jim of that horror he had walked in on with Annie. That same exact hair type was all he saw of the mystery woman buried in between Annie’s legs as she moaned and squeezed. Jim could hear her before he even pulled up to the house. And when he clenched his fists and kicked the bedroom door open, ready to throw that son of a bitch right out the second story window, his anger turned to sickness and heartache. Susie was the blonde’s name. Jim knew that only because that was the name that Annie screamed just as he kicked the door open. It wasn’t even someone he knew, and that hurt him even more.
Suddenly, Jim felt like throwing up. He rubbed his stomach, which was in the early stages of what Jim liked to call the “Trucker belly”. No matter how hard you tried, or what your body type was, something about sitting in a truck for 15-20 hours a day made your stomach expand, but it wasn’t just fat that hung there. It was muscle-y and it hovered, and even Jim was not immune to this bizarre disorder. “Where’s the bathroom?” Jim asked. There was no one behind the bar, and he hoped to God that this stringy blonde-haired woman wasn’t the bartender.
“Out back.” a clear, gentleman-like voice replied from the kitchen. Out stepped a scrawny, shorthaired man with a monocle that matched the look of the café. He couldn’t have been more than five foot five. His outfit looked like someone who was about to attend a black tie event, and all he was missing was the suit jacket. At this point Jim was a little surprised he wasn’t washing a beer mug with a white cloth. The short man adjusted his monocle and gave Jim a once over; “It’s for customers only, though. Gotta buy somethin’.”
Jim smiled, “Well, if that’s all I gotta do.” He reached into his wallet and pulled out a five, walking to the opposite end of the the Susie lookalike, “How ‘bout a Dos Equis?” The monocle man reached below the bar and made a motion like he was washing something, but when his hand came up, it was a full mug of what Jim wanted.
“Here ya go.” He handed Jim the beer and stuck his hand out in protest as Jim attempted to hand him the money, “Pay when you leave. It’s easier that way.” Jim chuckled to himself as he put the money in his pocket. He drank the foamy head before getting up and making his way out the back. Once outside, Jim realized that the café was much closer to the beach than he thought. He could feel the overseas wind as it brushed past him, being kind enough to close the door. All that was between the back door and the water was two outhouses, one for ladies and one for gents. They were made out of what looked to be the same wood that the café was built with.
“Boy, what a place.” Jim laughed to himself as he walked across the sand and into the Gents outhouse. Inside was no sink, no hand sanitizer hanging on the wall, not even a toilet bowl, only a hole in the center. Good thing I don’t have to shit, Jim thought as he unzipped his pants and pissed his first of many pisses into that hole. It was dry in there. He could hear the sound of his urine hitting the sand, and wondered why they had even bothered to build this outhouse if there wasn’t even an attempt at any kind of plumbing. Regardless, he wasn’t gonna be the one to be cleaning it up, so it didn’t matter.
A few shakes later, Jim found himself back in the bar with Susie and the sleeping amigos lying in the corner. The bartender seemed to be in an intimate discussion with Susie, who was still swirling her beer around. Jim finished his drink fairly quickly and dropped the mug on the table, attempting to imitate the sound he heard outside. The bartender looked up at him, “You wan’ another?” He asked, almost sarcastically.
“Maybe something a little stronger.” Jim said, “how does a shot of Whiskey sound? Seems appropriate ‘round these parts.” That first beer had been suspiciously strong to Jim, although that could have also been because he hadn’t eaten in a few days. Speaking of, “What kinda food you got here?” The bartender dropped a double shot of Whiskey in front of Jim.
“We got whatever you want. Food’s a bit on the pricey side though.”
“That’s fine.” Jim said, sucking back his shot. Being a truck driver did have its benefits. “This is a café right? I’m in the mood for some desert. You got any Pumpkin Pie? Maybe with some caramel and whipped cream on top? I’ll be washin’ it down with another Dos Equis too, if ya don’t mind.” The bartender smiled and nodded.
“Comin’ right up, Jim.” He said as he went back into the kitchen. Jim knew that he didn’t tell the bartender his name, but he didn’t much care how the man knew. Jim was a realist. He didn’t believe in supernatural occurrences, despite how creepy this place seemed to be. If he had, though, he would have turned tail and run as soon as he saw Susie sitting in the bar, and maybe he should have.
THIS IS THE FIRST CHAPTER IN AN UNFINISHED NOVEL. IF YOU’RE INTERESTED IN THE STORY AND WANT MORE, PLEASE LET ME KNOW. THE MORE PEOPLE WHO VOCALIZE WANTING THIS STORY, THE HIGHER THIS STORY BECOMES ON MY PRIORITY TO FINISH.