Back at this damn pier. Shawn, Kevin, and I walk on the boardwalk together; lights surround the different storefronts and people are still very active on the pier. Shawn is the one that leads us on the boardwalk, knowing where this bar is. I couldn’t pretend and act like I wasn’t nervous. I nearly poked my eyes trying to put in my contacts in them. Kevin was shocked to see that for the first time in a really long time, my hair was brushed back and I was putting on contact lenses. I guess I had to play the role of “someone who was ready to mingle”. I definitely wasn’t.
We finally reach the bar on the boardwalk. It’s definitely a tourist attraction, considering how many people were already at the bar. All three of us stand in front of it. Shawn, who is the most excited, turns back around and looks at Kevin and me.
“Isn’t this a cool place?” Shawn asks us. I can’t lie, it was a really nice place. Maybe tonight will be a good night.
“Let’s have some fun!” I said. Kevin looks at me and sighs when I walk into the bar with Shawn. He follows behind us.
We look around and see a lot of different women in the bar. Mainly are with other women, on the dancefloor with drinks in their hands. Before I know it, Shawn pulls me towards the bar to begin drinking for the night.
“Ya, aren’t we gonna wait for Kevin?” I asked Shawn. I looked over at Kevin, who is slowly walking towards us, not amused at the environment. Typical for Kevin, even if he wasn’t in a relationship.
Before I got an answer, Shawn orders a round of shots for us. He looks at me as he waits for me to get my shot off of the bar top. He holds it up before cheering us on for the night.
“To us having the time of our lives in America!” Shawn toasted with his shot. We both clinked our drinks before chugging them down. It was definitely a harsh shot. I believe it was Tequila?
The night progresses and Shawn and I have moved to the dance floor. The shots definitely helped me loosen up for the night. The music is loud, and women begin to walk towards us to dance. Shawn grabs the hand of one woman and begins to dance with her. A woman walks up to me; she’s short and petite with brown hair. Her hair is braided to the side. She was cute; really cute to be exact.
“I’m Selena,” the woman confidently said. She began to dance with me, and I felt the drinks and situation rush straight to my head. I don’t know if it just was hot in the bar due to the summer heat, but my face was sweaty and immediately red. “What’s your name?” She looked up at me.
“Jamie,” I shyly answered. She looks at me and smiles, then giggles. She’s definitely drunk.
“That’s a cute name! Are you from around here? I don’t think I ever saw you here!” She asked. I’m not in the right mind to understand her completely; it was like my English was quickly disappearing from my knowledge.
“Eung,” I didn’t even realize I answered back in Korean, but she was so lost in the crowd and music that she didn’t even realize that it wasn’t English. She giggles and grabs my hand to drag me towards the middle of the dance floor. She begins to press her body against me, and suddenly the bar is spinning. I don’t see Shawn on the dance floor anymore, and I don’t see Kevin at the bar stand anymore.
“Grace, you need to rest. Come on–” I began to help Grace to sit on the sofa, but she yanks her arm away from me and continues to cry.
“No! I- I need to let this out or else it’s just gonna eat me alive!” She cried out.
“You could tell me in the morning, come one you had too much to drink–“
“I’m so sorry, Jamie, I-I couldn’t keep it, I–“
I back away from the girl, in which she turns around to look at me.
“You’re okay, John?” she asked. I don’t answer her, I just walk away from the dance floor quickly, and straight out of the bar.
I walked out and took a deep breath. It was definitely cooler out on the boardwalk than it was in the bar. My head finally stops spinning. What the fuck was that about? I haven’t thought about that last night with Grace since returning back to Korea a couple of months ago. I thought I was over it when I lost contact with her. I was supposed to “let her go”. I was trying to let her go. Tonight was supposed to prove that I was letting her go. Maybe it’s just useless. Maybe Grace is just that one that got away. She was. She is.
My phone begins to ring in my pocket, which I picked it up. It was Kevin.
“Hyung, where’d you go?” Kevin asked. The music in the background was making my head pound all over again.
“I had to get some air, I’m not really feeling good…” I respond back. I can hear Shawn shouting, telling Kevin to tell me to come back. I felt bad leaving Kevin with Shawn, but I couldn’t go back in there.
“Are you going home?” Kevin asked.
“No, no… I’m just going to go for a walk. I’ll be back in a few,” I answered. Kevin said his goodbyes for the time being and hung up the phone. I look further down the boardwalk to see if there was a place open that wasn’t greasy, massive or just something that wouldn’t make me puke the alcohol in my system up. I began walking down the boardwalk, seeing everyone around me have fun on this summer night. For a trip that was meant to be a last hoorah with the guys and fun, it’s looking like this is possibly the worst trip to America I had. Even my dictionary days were better than this.
I see a small cafe open and suddenly I knew I needed some coffee to keep me together. I didn’t hesitate to walk in. It was a cafe very suitable for the boardwalk; it was tropical summer-themed, which I found cute. It was also called “Brew Ha-Ha Cafe”. Can’t go wrong with a cute little cafe to help out this tipsy foreigner.
I walked in and sat at a booth. Mna, it feels good to just sit down in a quiet place. There weren’t that many people in here at this time of night; I’m not surprised though. I began to look through their drink menu and opted for the Iced Americano.
I don’t remember how it happened, probably because I thought it was the alcohol getting the best of me. I thought I was hearing things. Aigoo, please just leave me alone. I placed the menu on the table and looked up.
She looked back at me, mortified. Perhaps I did as well.
“Grace?” I softly said to her.