The lights in the bar were low, soft neon hues from various tacky signs on the walls making, what Trevor’s boss called, an aesthetic. Although it was a Friday night, many seats were empty and those that went had their occupants passed out. It wasn’t exactly a popular bar by any means, in fact the highest attendance they got was the girl groups out on bachelorette parties with a low budget.
As Trevor cleaned up the few glasses scattered on the bar from its sleeping customer, he glanced at his watch with a sigh. It was barely even midnight and he could already tell it was going to be a long night. He was the only staff member in the bar that night, his co-worker tucked away in the back room watching Netflix, and so all Trevor could do was stack away the glasses then drag a bar stool behind the bar and sit himself down.
He had only been scrolling through his phone for about ten minutes when the door was pushed open to the sound of loud chatter and laughter. Glancing up, Trevor smiled at the sight of his usual customers. The group of 8 turned up every Friday without fail at midnight, and Trevor wold admit that it was the highlight of his week.
“Aye, Treyco!” the jersey accent rang out through the room, causing Trevor to stand so quickly that the stool slammed to the ground behind him.
“Shit,” the boy mumbled, scrambling to stand it back up. When he resurfaced, the group was crowded around the bar all smiling at him.
“Everything okay, Trevor? Or are you just so happy to see us?” it was a British voice that teased him, the bartender just nodding.
“Uh, yeah. It was quiet until you guys turned up. Usuals?” Trevor questioned the group, willing to change the subject as quick as he could. He did not want to get on the wrong side of these people.
With a response of nods, Trevor began mixing up drinks of various kinds, surprised he could remember all these orders and yet still fail his college exams.
The drinks were handed to each person, them thanking him in turn. And then conversations sparked. Trevor, by now, knew each of them by name and more due to the amount they loved talking to him. Gavin and Michael teased him a lot until Michael had a bit too much and found his way to Lindsay. Gavin would then complain and latch himself to Jeremy, who did not take too kindly to it and try to pass him off the Geoff. Geoff would talk mostly with Jack, flirting with her too. But by the rings on their fingers, Trevor could only awe at their relationship. Jeremy spoke a lot with Alfredo, most work talk. Lots of chats about guns and knife and various other weapons Trevor had never even heard of. And Ryan. Ryan would sit silently at the end of the bar. He’d sip on his glass of soda and just observe. Until tonight.
“You’re in college, right?”
The question came as a small shock to Trevor, firstly for the fact that it was a voice he hadn’t heard before. But with the way Ryan was looking at him, he could only assume it came from him. The others never really asked about him, Trevor didn’t mind though as he was too busy ogling in awe at all their stories. But with the others distracted with alcohol or by each other, Trevor stepped closer to Ryan and cleared his throat.
“Uh, yeah, I am. I’m just in the middle of my fourth year now,” he replied.
“What do you want to do when you leave?” Ryan’s question was quick, his eyes cold towards the boy and his facepaint still prominent.
“When I leave? I was just gonna either keep working here or take a place at my mom’s office. Pretty sure she’s got an opening,” he mumbled, picking up a half empty glass and starting to clean it.
“No, I asked what you want to do, not what you are doing,” Ryan said, and Trevor seemed to freeze. That was a fucking good question. What did he want to do? As Trevor began to get lost in his own mind, over thinking his future way more than any 21-year-old should, Ryan spoke again. “Okay, let me make this easier on you. What do you like to do now? And what are you good at?”
“Well, I like painting. Kinda obvious since I’m taking an art course. And, uh, video games are cool too. Although, besides that, I’m not exactly good at things,” he confessed, starting to feel a little sheepish. Ryan wasn’t exactly the friendliest looking guy and the way he was speaking wasn’t making Trevor any less uncomfortable.
“I doubt that, Trevor. I mean, you’re handling a bar on your own. That’s a lot of responsibility. Quiet or not, that takes some form of organisation, charisma, and patience.”
A smile came on to Trevor’s lips. Yeah, maybe Ryan was right. Maybe Trevor was charismatic, and patient, and whatever else he said.
“Tell me this, Trevor, if I offered you a job, what would you say? It wouldn’t be anything major at first, think of it like an internship, but you’d be able to work your way up to higher ranks.”
Trevor’s mouth dropped open and uttered, “holy shit.” Ryan’s face finally showed an emotion. Happiness.
“I’ll take that as a yes. I’ll talk to Geoff about it more tomorrow morning but by next Friday, you should be part of the Fakes,” Ryan confirmed, and Trevor felt almost queasy. Whether it was with joy, fear, or excitement, he didn’t know. But he didn’t care.
Trevor Collins had just been accepted into the Fake AH Crew by the mother fucking Vagabond.