Shattered Dreams & Sleeping Pills Chapter 11

Nobody's Ever Cared Before

By WindWolf

Tifa ran down the dust road towards The Black Hole. She was supposed to open the bar twenty minutes ago. Praying that Black wouldn't find out, she ran past the regular who was sitting on the steps.

"Hey Teef, you're late," he said as rushed past him.

"I know, I lost track of the time," she said, fumbling for the keys to the bar.

"Black ain't gonna like that."

"Black ain't gonna find out if you don't tell him."

"What'll ya give me?"

Tifa rolled her eyes. "First drink is on the house."

"You got yerself a deal girl!"

Tifa got the doors open and walked into the bar. The man stood up and dusted his pants off before following her in.

It was dirty, which was nothing new. The bar always seemed to be dirty, probably because nobody ever bothered to clean it up. All the stools and boxes were gathered around the largest of the tables. While empty beer bottles and shot glasses adorned its surface. Tifa picked up some of the glasses and brought them with her behind the counter. The man went straight to his favorite barstool, turning around on it as he watched Tifa get the place ready.

"So when am I gonna get my drink?"

"When we're open for business."

"I thought you were open once you came in."

"I have to get the place ready first. Why are you here so early anyway?" Tifa asked as she moved the boxes and stools over to the other tables.

"Had a fight with the missus."

"Uh-huh. What now?"

"She's complaining I drink too much! Can you believe that?"

"Where she gets that idea I'll never know," Tifa said, the sarcasm in her voice evident. "Let me get this straight; she complains that you drink too much, so you come over here even earlier to drink?"

"A man's gotta have his drink," he stated adamantly.

"Oh I agree completely, your plan of action for getting back on her good side doesn't seem like it's gonna work though."

"Yer only agreeing wit' me cuz you'd be outta business otherwise."

"You're right there." Grabbing the rest of the shot glasses, Tifa walked around the bar, turned the TV on, and then faced her customer. "So what can I get you?" she asked, putting both hands down on the counter and leaning slightly forward.

"Anything hard."

Turning around, Tifa poured the man his drink then sat down on her stool behind the bar. Taking his booze in one gulp the man set his shot glass down on the bar heavily.

"Another one," he demanded.

Tifa raised an eyebrow, and poured the man another drink. The doors opened and two more men walked in. They sat down at one of the tables and signaled for Tifa to go over.

She walked around the bar and towards the two men. Recognizing them as regulars, she smiled and shook her head. Everybody seemed to be coming in earlier than usual today.

The taller of the two men was one of Black's buddies from the gym. He wore his usual exercise outfit, blue sweats and a yellow T-shirt. His hair was black on the bottom half, then bleached lightly at the top. His chin seemed to disappear into his thick neck. Tifa wouldn't have been surprised if he was on steroids. His huge, bulging muscles seemed to scream drugs. It was really quite disgusting to look at. His skin was bronzed, as if he'd been tanning a lot. Tifa wondered what he used, most of the people in the slums were pale because they didn't get any sun. You could make a lot of money selling bronzer or some form of Vitamin D down in the slums.

The other one was much shorter compared to his friend. He wore a denim jacket, done up so you couldn't see the shirt underneath, and faded jeans. He was chubby, leaning on the fat side. His fingers were short and thick and he scratched his face an awful lot with them. He was doing so now, giving Tifa an ugly grin as she walked over.

"And what can I get you two?" she asked, leaning against the table.

"Two beers," the shorter man said, holding up a couple gnarled fingers.

"Hey, is your kitchen open yet?" the other asked.

"No, the cook isn't here," she answered, walking back towards the bar to get the men their drinks.

"That sucks."

"Hey, that's what you get for coming early!" she walked back over and set the two beers down on the table. "Promise me you won't get too drunk tonight, I don't want any trouble this time."

"Oh yeah, I remember a couple nights ago when that bald guy there shot at those people! He hit the little girl right? How is she?" the man asked, tapping his misshapen fingers on the table.

"Uh, she's okay. The doctor said it would heal. Why?"

"Just wondering. I ain't allowed to be concerned about others now?"

"No, it's just, never mind."

She turned and went back behind the counter. More customers came in, along with the cook, whose food prompted some to leave. The night went on without a hitch, leaving Tifa to think about what the man had said. She shook her head, It's just that nobody's ever cared before...


Well, this took awhile, didn't it? Like, all of summer vacation? The problem was that I just couldn't get my ideas straight. But I finally did, and it really only took me a day or so once I got it to work. I'm gonna try to start Chapter 12 really soon, maybe even this weekend once I get my homework done. I really, really really REALLY hate school. As always, I would be extremely grateful for any and all feedback.


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