2, I Let Go {3}

THE NIGHTCLUB IS nothing like I pictured it to be. The place is warm and heavy with people and their air. And it's dark, only illuminated by soft neon lighting and disco strobes.

A stage faces a dancefloor towards the front end of the club. A little away from the dancefloor are round booths with two semi circular plush, leather chairs wrapping around each. Shiny, lone, metal poles are planted between a few booths.

I'm at a booth towards the side with Guillermo and his friends, having a second glass of Gallo beer. The taste was rather weird when I first tried it last week but now I'm used to it.

I lean back in my seat and tap my fingers on the side of the glass cup. I'm still not sure it was a very good idea coming here. Heck yeah, it's fun, but I can't seem to dispell the nagging feeling inside of me.

I take another chug of the drink and stare at the stage. The dancefloor is packed with people dancing to the wild country music. A few skimpily clad girls dance on some poles. There's a drunk guy dancing on a pole towards the back of our booth. His equally drunk friends are laughing at him as he twirls around on the pole shouting "¡chupala!"

"Are you okay?" Guillermo asks from beside me. I can hardly hear him over the noise from the dancefloor.

I nod. "Yeah."

Arturo chuckles, nursing a mug of  Victoria beer. "Are you bored already? Let us go to the music."

"No, yeah." I wave his suggestion away. "I'm good here."

"Then let us get more drinks!" Arturo says and starts to stand up.

"Si, si," the others agree.

"Si," I say, when he looks at me. "I want Gallo again."

"Club in America not like this?" Reyes asks. "You have . . . out of place look."

"Much more, actually. I just don't go to clubs that much."

One of the pole dancers breezes by and touches Dionisio's shiny head. "Hola, handsome."

Dionisio blows her a kiss and she smiles and winks at him. When she catches me looking she winks again and busy myself swallowing the last drops from the glass, mentally rolling my eyes.

A guy walks towards our booth with his eyes trained on me. Strange, I don't know who he is but I find myself not able to look away. He looks out of place, yet very comfortable, like he had blended in a long time ago — the way he moves, leisurely, occasionally extracting his hand from his pants pocket to wave at numerous people calling to him. He looks every inch a Guatemalan, though. With his dark hair and eyes, he should be in his mid-thirties.

He finally reaches us and carefully claims the seat beside Reyes. The gang hums with recognition when they see him and they converse in the local language. All the while, his beady eyes never leave mine for once.

He must have asked about me, because, suddenly, Guillermo smiles and turns to me.

"Mr Greenwood, this is Jairo, Mr Jairo Marroquín, he is the young owner of the club. Jairo, this is Mr Greenwood, he's on vacation here from North America."

I smile and offer my hand to the guy. He takes it in a firm grip and shakes it.

"How are you, Mr Greenwood?" he asks.

"I'm great, thanks."

"How are you finding Guatemala City? I hope it isn't proving to be a bore?"

"Not at all," I say, noting that his English is good. Actually, a lot of people can speak good — though accented — English here, but most apparently find it more comfortable to speak in their native tongue or mix English, like Guillermo and his gang.

"There are so many wonderful places to see here, it's so overwhelming," I add, relaxing back into my seat.

"Ah," Mr Marroquín says, "I thought as much. Are you here alone?"

"No. I came here with my wife, Nikita, but she traveled yesterday on a business trip."

The man nods at this, a strange look passing over his dark features. "I have to go now. You know, making sure everything is running smoothly," he adds, with a small laugh.

He stands up carefully again and says his goodbyes, nodding his head to me before disappearing into the crowd again, with a younger guy at his heels.

"Strange man," I murmur.

"No, he is not strange, just cautious of tourists, I guess." Guillermo had heard me.

"Why?" I ask.

Arturo comes back with our drinks and Guillermo takes a swig of his.

"I don't know, Jairo is just like that," he says after consuming almost half of the bottle.

I pick mine up, scrutinizing it. Yes, I might be getting used to it, but it's still kind of too strong for me, and my head is woozy already from the first one I had.

"Strange," I say and gulp down the glass.

Guillermo chuckles and I hear him order for more drinks for us. I start to object but then he gives that smile of his and I close my mouth, shrugging like I don't care.

That's because I don't care, right?

I'm already deep into the next drink and getting fuddled when the flutter of dancers arrive. I don't know if they went from booth to booth like that or they just came to ours particularly.

All the guys welcome them warmly and I squint to see them properly out of my swimming vision. I was never a very good drinker, Nikki could drink me under the table anyday.

The girls are about five in number, all skimpily dressed. They buzz around the guys and tease them. I sigh and relax back into my seat, getting bored already. Nikita would frown if she saw me here.

The girls start to titter at something behind me and the guys join in too. I smile — though in confusion — and look back to see the object of their amusement. One of the skimpily clad girls clings to the pole the drunk guy had been twerking on earlier and is twining around the stem seductively.

One or two guys from other booths whistle.

When the girl finally turns to face us, I realize that she's the one who had touched Dionisio's head and winked at me. She must have seen the recognition pass over my face, because she winks again and dropped down from the metal pole — to my shock — into my laps.

I gasp and start to push her off, getting annoyed now. Who does she think she is? But she'd dropped straddling and I can't seem to push her off easily.

She laughs and I hear the others do the same behind her.

"Relax man," one of the guys says. "It's just a bitch, not a monster."

More laughter at this.

The girl is planted firmly on my thighs and is grinding her ass into me, she takes hold of my face and starts to bend her head. I shove her hands away roughly.

She seems startled at this — either that, or it's all part of an act.

"You don't like me?' she says, her voice throaty. She widens her eyes and lean closer. Her dark hair smells like peach when it hits me in the face.

"You really should get off," I say as sternly as I can while trying to get her off me. The truth is, my body had responded to her of it's own accord and I don't want her to feel that. I'm still in shock at the way a certain part of my anatomy had developed a will of it's own. Damn it!

It had to be that damned local drink! Note to self: never consume the local liquor again.

"Get off now, I'm not interested!" Nikita would have a heart attack if she happened to enter and see me this way.

"Calma," Guillermo says looking thoroughly amused.

I frown at him, wondering why it's okay with him. The blasted bastard must be cheating on his wife regularly!

The girl makes a sound, in-between a gasp and a moan and then grinds harder against me, a wicked glint on her face. The fucking bitch had felt me!

That's it! I'm having none of this shit again!

I lift up my legs from underneath her, perfectly displacing her and storm away, ignoring the barely covered titters rolling around behind me.

Once I'm far off from them, I sigh multiple times and lean against the doorway to right my swimming vision. Phew, that was close!

I'm never going to be a fucking lamb again, just look where that got me! Fuck, I'm piss drunk, too!

I'm outside now and everywhere environment is drenched in darkness with only a few street lights to be seen in the distance. The only way I can see in front of me is by the flashing neon signs of the nightclub.

I squint through my blooming headache and look around. We didn't come in through here. I remember passing beside the kitchen and look around more closely as it dawns on me that this is the backyard, which means I am now in the alley.

Everywhere is quiet as the dead, the only sign that I just came out of a nightclub is the dull noise and music floating out from the building. Turning on my phone flashlight, I wave it around me in the darkness and then turn on GPS, too. I don't know my way around in broad daylight yet, not to now talk of night.

The map shows that I'm twenty three minutes away from my estate by foot and I curse softly. I decide to go round the alley to the front, hopefully those burras operated at night. They were those ubiquitous brightly colored buses that traipsed the streets of Guatemala. Chicken buses, I think that's what they were called.

"Gam!" somebody calls from the doorway. I pause and turn my flash towards them and immediately regret doing it. It's the whore, again.

"I thought I told you to fuck off."

"Tarado," she murmurs, now already in front of me. "I am not stupid. I know you felt it " She hisses.

"Gam, what else are you looking for? I'll treat you right, better than you have ever been."

"What do I do to get this bitch off me?" I ask the night.

"Is it because of your wife?" She chuckles. "No need to worry, she's not here, she can't know. What you don't know can't hurt you."

Suddenly, before I can step back, she grabs at my crotch, grinding herself against my body. I step back, more unsteady on my feet than ever. The bitch won't let go off my dick and the fucking bastard had jumped to attention again! Whatever the fuck is wrong with me? Why is my body reacting so gross?

"Let go, bitch," I say, cursing at my body for responding to a stranger, a prostitute! Whatever had been used to brew that drink?

She whines and smashes her lips against mine, and to my shock, I find myself kissing her back. The phone had long dropped from my hand and I hear the sound of it breaking as we step over it. Something seems to be painfully pounding away at the back of my head and in-between my eyes, the headache is getting stronger, but I manage to slam the bitch against the wall and continue to eat at her mouth.