Thursday, November 9, 2017
Bartender! Another insult, please! Part 3
Beckett Reed and Samiyo Datoru
Written by Snarks
Beginning March 2014
"I told you I'd be waiting for you at 10." I replied.
"So, you've set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public. That's lovely." he cooed as though admiring a new diamond ring. "Now I really must be going." he said as he walked around me. Lord could he move, I thought admiringly.
"Samiyo!" I called at his retreating back. "You have your whole life to be a smart ass... So why don't you take a day off? "
He stopped dead, standing like a high-end store mannequin.
He was encased in what looked like leather pants, practically spray painted on his body, leather biker boots, a cream satin shirt, all covered at this time, by a leather biker's jacket, complete with chains and enough metal to make an orthodontist nervous. He turned then, from the waist, his torso, his shoulders, his neck and then his head. The way he placed his hands on his hips caused the hem of his jacket to flare out slightly, giving me the impression of a cobra with it's hood fully extended.
We stood there for a few moments just looking at each other until finally he smiled and laughed, turning the rest of his body toward me. He cocked his head and looked at me, much as he had looked at the drunkard in the bar; as though I were some interesting specimen. I kept my gaze on him but didn't approach or give up, which is what I believed he wanted in the first place.
"You're quite something in there. You have a very interesting rapport with your customers." I said with a meaningful grin. "My mother would have called you a little devil." Just before she took a wooden spoon to you, I silently finished the sentence.
"Yes, I do admit to being an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial." He quipped. He crossed his arms, leaning back slightly as though to get a better look at me.
"Well, Demon Child, since you've carried out your nefarious duties so well, I'd like to take you out for coffee. I want to get to know you better."
"Well, as I said before, I'm busy now." he said conversationally as turned that sinewy, dancer's body back around to continue his journey to wherever he'd been going.
"Put away your attitude, little boy, and let's go for that coffee." I replied.
"Did you know that caffeine is a highly addictive drug?" he asked, turning back toward me. "Did you know that it accelerates aging and damages your blood vessels and immune system? Coffee also contains chemicals, including carcinogens," he continued conversationally.
I smiled and approached him casually. "Well, we certainly don't want that." I interrupted, sure that he would continue his commentary if I didn't stop him. "We'll make it decaf, or herbal tea then, shall we? Either way, I want to know more about you."
"Whatever for?" He asked, his disbelief that anyone would want to get to know him in any way, clear in his tone. His preternaturally beautiful eyes widened in honest puzzlement.
"Do you have a car, Samiyo?"
"No, I prefer to walk." he responded with slight hesitance.
"I'm parked right there." I pointed to my Lexus, "We'll go to Pelican's. We'll sit and talk, and then I'll take you home."
He hesitated again and I reassured him, “It's still early, we'll sit and have a drink, perhaps a quiet dinner, and I'll bring you home safe and sound. It will also serve to help you avoid your pugilistic pal from earlier."
I saw the amber gold eyes scan the area with only a hint of nervousness. His expression, however, was one of acceptance more than fear. That acceptance nearly unnerved me.
"Don't worry, he's gone for now, but who knows who else you might have offended with your attitude problem." I said gently.
He grinned, that alluring gap toothed smile I'd fallen in love with and replied, "I don't have an attitude problem, hon, I’d say it's more of a perception problem on their side."
By that time we had reached my car and I had unlocked and opened the door for him. He slid in gracefully, looking up at me from beneath those dark lashes with a mixture of trust and uncertainty that sent another jolt of electricity through me. I was sure that there was more to this boy than stunning looks and a sharp tongue, and I was going to be the one to find out what it was.
It began to rain as we headed toward the restaurant and I turned on the wipers. I glanced at Samiyo and was struck again by his beauty, and the sad expression on his face that he didn't seem to be aware of as he looked out into the darkness. The shadows from the rain on the windshield fell on his face, and gave the appearance of tears running down his cheeks. He gave a nearly imperceptible shiver and I turned the heat on.
I didn't want to break the silence, and I kept an eye on him from my peripheral vision. He seemed comfortable in the semi darkness, enough at least to relax and reveal more of himself than he showed while behind the bar.
The attitude was resting, if not gone. The smart mouth was still, showing off it’s luscious curves even more. Car and street lights caught and accentuated the leonine eyes and high cheekbones. I wondered if I could get him to pose for me because I would paint picture after picture of him which I was sure would sell for thousands apiece... that was if I could bear to sell any of them.
We reached Pelican's and he let himself out of the car before I could open the door for him. He seemed ill at ease, and then suddenly the Samiyo from the bar was back. Shoulders straight, head erect on his long neck, lashes shadowing eyes which suddenly appeared dark.
"It's just the two of us, Samiyo, we'll find a table or booth as far away from other people as possible, all right?"
He took a deep breath and I could see his posture relax slightly. He replied with an easy smile, unlike the wide grin he usually bestowed on people.
We walked in and I asked the hostess for a quiet table somewhere. She looked around and lead us to a far corner on the opposite side of the family area where a few late travelers dined with their tired, cranky children.
He and I both winced and tried to hold our breaths as we walked along behind the hostess who had apparently recently taken a bath in the strongest perfume she owned. We looked at each other and smiled, suppressing our laughter. He was a lovely man, but it was more obvious when his smiles weren't forced.
She handed us our menus and assured us that our wait person would be with us shortly before leaving in another wave of overwhelming scent. As soon as she was out of sight Sam fanned himself with the menu, his eyes were watering slightly.
"Oh Lordie! What did she do, marinate in it? Uhhh! I can taste it!" He complained in what for him was a quiet voice.
The waiter arrived just then, order pad in hand, pen poised, unctuous smile in place as he asked if we would like some drinks while we looked at the menu.
"Coffee. Black. Quickly." Samiyo said, wiping his eyes with the napkin and continuing to fan himself with the menu. I gave him surprised look, then smiled back up at the waiter and ordered the same.
"Black coffee?" I asked with a knowing expression.
"Nothing gets rid of the taste of sludge better than black coffee. Oh, Lord when is he going to bring it over? Excuse me, will you? I'll be right back." He said, aquiline nose wrinkled, as he headed toward the men's room.
The coffee arrived moments before Sam did. He looked much more at ease and less green around the gills. "Sorry," He said to me, ignoring the waiter, "Strong odors make me ill. I had to wash the residue off. I swear I felt as though it were washing off of her and settling on me."
He turned toward the waiter then and said "I don't know how you can breathe around her, let alone work with that all-night long."
The waiter's smile faltered but he kept his thoughts to himself. "I'll let you look at your menus a little longer and I'll be back to take your odor... I mean, your order." He blushed before turning and walking away quickly.
Samiyo watched the waiter's retreat and giggled. "Make sure to check your food before you eat it."
I gave him an inquiring look.
"When I was a waiter and people would piss me off, I'd spit in their food. So just be careful." he grinned.
"Do you go out of your way to destroy everything and everyone around you or is it just a natural gift?" I asked, genuinely interested. The more I saw of him, the more he spoke, the more intrigued I was.
"At least I have a positive attitude about my destructive habits." He grinned as he opened his menu. "Have you looked at the menu yet?" he asked, not bothering to hide the fact that he was blatantly changing the subject.
I glanced at the menu, decided to order the same thing I always ordered when I came to Pelican's and put it aside while I sipped my coffee. I could see Samiyo letting the coffee stay on his tongue for several seconds before swallowing. I could see the actual moment when he felt his palate was cleansed because he gave a relieved smile and put the cup down to pay more attention to his menu.
"Do you know what you want?" I inquired after a few minutes.
"What I'd like is a club sandwich, but every time I order one, no matter where I am, there is always a hair in either the sandwich or the fries." He said, wrinkling his nose again as he imagined the hair.
"How about if I order the same thing for you that I order for myself. This way they won't know which plate to spit in, and I'll make sure they go light on the hair."
It was the first time I'd ever heard him laugh, and I so desperately wanted to hear it again. A low, throaty, unbelievably sexy chuckle. "You're a brave man, Charlie Brown." He said.
I held out my hand across the table, “Beckett Reed, also known as Beck," I introduced myself with a smile.
"Samiyo Datoru, also known as The Snarky Bartender." He smiled back as he shook the extended hand. "I must admit, my charm and wit don't usually appeal to people outside of the bar, and sometimes not inside either, so I'm a little surprised that you were so insistent that we come out for coffee."
"I find you fascinating, and I'd like to get to know the reality of the man named Samiyo." I replied, leaning on my elbows and looking down into the amber eyes.
"Easier said than done, hon,” He smiled, somewhat sadly, showing the gap between his front teeth, "Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental."
"Try me, Samiyo Datoru. The worst that happens is that you succeed in pushing me away, the best... well... we can discuss the best later."
"All right then, Charlie Brown..."
"Beckett. Or Beck. Understand?" I said firmly.
My tone seemed to take him off guard and he was silent for a few moments.
"All right... Beckett." He responded somewhat formally.
I could almost hear him saying 'Up yours.' and I had to suppress a grin. Just then the waiter came and took our order and left quickly but not without a sidelong glance at my dinner partner.
"Tell me what you want to know? I have to tell you honestly, there isn't much."
"Tell me about your family. How you grew up. Where does the name Samiyo Datoru come from?
"My mother is from Nigeria, my father was from Norway. The name Samiyo, my mother said has no real meaning as far as she knew. Good old father took the money and ran as it were, and left mama with me, which is why I have a Nigerian surname."
"My family.... well let's put it this way. My family tree is a cactus because just about everyone on it is a prick. The Nigerian half hates me because I'm white, and the white half won't even acknowledge me, so homey sit-down dinners are things I watch during Christmas television specials." He said in a very matter of fact tone which disturbed me all the more.
"I was born on September 9, 1992. I know this because my birth certificate is actually a letter of apology from the condom manufacturer." He quipped. "Their idea of restitution were two coupons for fifty cents off her next purchase of their brand of condom."
I appreciated that he was as willing to aim his sharp wit toward himself as much as everyone else but I didn't like hearing him put himself down. And if his family were really as bad as he made out, it had to have been a very lonely childhood.
"Where did you go to school?" I tried to redirect the conversation.
"Wherever we were." He shrugged. "We moved around a lot, a new job here, rent too high there, you know how it is." He said expressionlessly. "We never stayed around long enough in one place to set down anything like home roots until I started working at the bar last year. I rented a two-bedroom apartment and we've been here since then."
"You live with your mother?" I asked. Somehow, as he spoke, I caught glimpses of the young, uncertain Samiyo, the lonely child, and the sharpness of his tongue began to make sense.
He hesitated for a moment, looking and listening perhaps for some note of ridicule or condemnation in my face or tone, but found none. Satisfied he continued, "She's not well. She's had a long, difficult life and it's my turn to take care of her as best I can."
"I'd like to meet her someday."
Samiyo grunted a laugh. "Picture me shorter, plumper and with longer hair, and that's mama... up to and including the smart mouth. Ah, my mama," he continued affectionately, leonine eyes unfocused on the distance, "Everything I know I learned at her knee. She's a special woman, that." He said with a fond smile.
"If she's up to it, I'd be pleased if you and she would come to my place for dinner next week."
Samiyo hesitated. "I don't think so, Beckett. My mother's social skills aren't as refined as mine are," he joked. "However, I am as mean with a frying pan as I am with my mouth, and if you think you can handle us, it would be my honor to provide a Datoru dinner for you."
"Thank you, Samiyo, I'd be honored." I replied, pleased by his complete 180 since he'd left the bar.
Our meals came and we concentrated on those for a few minutes. He carefully cut his steak into bite sized pieces, and then, as though continuing an ongoing conversation he asked, "How do you feel about cabbage and goat meat?"