ZOMBIES NIGHT OUT (Z.N.O.)
We managed to find a spot for my car on the same street as the bar, which was a miracle in the Old Port on a weekend. I was extremely excited to show Nikki my favorite bar. She hadn’t been able to come with me on my earlier trips because she wasn’t twenty-one. We walked down the sidewalk towards the entrance. “Where the heck is this place, Jess? I don’t see any signs for it, and every shop around it is closed,” Nikki said softly as we dodged a drunk couple weaving across the walkway. I laughed, “You have to try to find the bar! That’s the best part about this place!”
She stared at me like I had grown a thousand heads before her eyes. “What do you mean I have to find it?” “It’s a secret bar,” I told her, “most of the fun is finding it. After that, it’s just a cozy place to hang out.” My best friend rolled her eyes and I could tell that she was thinking about how crazy, absurd, and weird I was. Right about now, she’s wondering why she is best friends with me.
“It’s times like these that make me question why I ever became friends with you.” Her sarcasm was strong. I wrapped my arm around her shoulder. “I just knew you were going to say something like that! Here we are!” I turned her toward an open doorway to an empty sandwich shop. All the lights were off and no one was there. She pushed my arm from her shoulder. “And this is where you kill me, right?” This was a common phrase that my friends said when I took them to my favorite obscure places. “Yes, this is where I kill you, Nik. Follow me!”
As I stepped through the door, I moved toward the staircase that led down to another level. At the bottom of the stairs was a mirror and another door. I walked down the steps and went to turn the door knob. “Jessie, is this really where the bar is? It seems really sketchy!” I rolled my eyes and continued on. “Come on! Shut the door behind you.” She followed behind me. Once we were beyond the door, Nikki looked more confused than ever.
All that was in the room was an ATM machine, a chair, a small table, and a cabinet. “Jessie, seriously. What the hell is this?” “Just watch,” I chuckled, as I pulled on the handle of the cabinet drawer. Instead of opening the drawer, it opened up the wall. A tall man stood in front of it and turned around as I pulled open the entrance. He carded us and we were in. I strode up to the bar and leaned against it.
Nikki stood next to me. “There is rarely a dull moment when I go on an adventure with you, Jess.” She smiled. “This place is definitely somewhere that you would be comfortable.” She looked around. There were a few people our age sitting on couches and a bunch of older folks in a large booth. Classic rock was playing over the speakers, not too loud so people could still have conversations without having to scream. The dimly lit atmosphere made it feel cozy and relaxed. I passed my friend the list of what they served and sat down.
The bartender took our orders and quickly made our drinks. We opted to move away from the bar and sat on one of the couches across from the group of college aged kids. “How did you manage to find this place?” As I leaned back and crossed my legs, I told her, “I came here on a date. The guy didn’t last long, but this place did.” She chuckled. A light appeared, and I looked toward the entrance. Two men, slightly older than me, walked in and sat down at the bar. Nikki clearly noticed them come in as well.
“Damn they look fine.” Nikki was the one in our relationship who was not afraid to make her opinion on a guy known. “I like the one in the flannel shirt,” she commented. “He appears to be your type, girl. And I don’t mind lookin’ at his friend.” I laughed and nodded at the other one, in a green v-neck shirt and blue jeans. Both of them were quite tall and muscular. They both ordered something mixed with Coke, and they had their first drink at the bar. By the time they ordered their next drink, Nikki and I were back into our conversation about classes. We did not notice that the two men had moved, until they were right next to us. “Excuse us, ladies…”