A bald, muscular man inspects Ashley’s fake ID. She’s wearing a tight dress and he keeps sneaking peeks at her body. He isn’t focused on her ID. It has her photograph on it and it’s passable. The man hands it back to her with a grin full of gold teeth.
"Have fun pretty." He says. His eyes leer at her.
Ashley enters the bar to an assortment of older men and trashy women. Every head in the place turns towards her. She is a blonde angelic looking girl and she is out of place here. She sits at the bar by herself and orders a few shots. Within a few minutes a man walks up to her. His hair has streaks of grey and is slicked back.
"Hi doll face. Can I buy you a drink?"
"No thanks, I’m good." Ashley says sweetly, motioning to the shots in front of her, 2 of which she has already gulped down. She turns back to the bar and takes another shot, ignoring him. While he is visible in the mirror next to her she stares straight into her own eyes. She wonders if perhaps there is another whole world behind that mirror. She wants to slink through it like it’s water. She wants to leave the suburban world of screaming fights kept quiet. She wants to run away from here where worth determined by looks and one’s last name.
Another man approaches her. He has an expensive suit on and looks about thirty.
"What’re you doing in a place like this?" He says in a rich, deep voice. She feels as though the vibrations of his voice are massaging her skin.
"Just trying to have some fun." She says, taking another shot.
"Whoa slow down. I don’t want to have to carry you out of here." He raises his eyebrow.
"I can take care of myself." Her throat burns from the alcohol and it calms her. She knows this means she’ll soon feel numbness.
"I’m sure you can. Now let me introduce myself. I’m Ted." A smirk is plastered on his face.
"Ashley." She stares down at her fingernails.
"What a cute name for a cute girl." He looks around then says in a low voice, "Ashley, would you like to have some fun?" This catches her attention and she glances over as he partially brings out a plastic baggy of cocaine and quickly stuffs it back in his pocket.
Ashley’s eyes grow wide. It’s her chance to go through the mirror. Well at least as close as she’ll get tonight. She sees the world as if through a kaleidoscope. That’s the rose-tinted vision she has had to develop. The world is a magnificent dream to her and she shuts the harsh realities out, preferring to think about stories with no endings and secret passages. She buries the bad deep down inside of her and pushes it far from her thoughts. Instead she skips school to do drugs and sleep for hours.
"For me?" She says cautiously.
"Yes ma’am. As long as you grant me the privilege of your beautiful company."
She gets up without a word and follows him out of the bar and down the street. The promise of the high and the escape is enough for her.
"Where are we going?" Ashley asks. She is starting to get cold.
"We’re almost there."
She shivers as they walk on in silence. She doesn’t have anything to say to him. After a few more blocks he stops and takes out a key. They are standing at a high-rise office building.
"I’m not supposed to be here." Ted winks at her. His face looks like a mask and her stomach turns but she follows him inside.
The building is dark and quiet as a tomb. It seems eerie to Ashley, almost as if she’s in a horror movie. She half expects a monster to pop out. They go up to his office; it’s a relatively small room but it has a pretty view of the city. They snort the cocaine by the light of a small lamp.
"Wow. Your nose is hungry." Ted says, "Who knew such a small girl could take so much?"
She pours out some more and makes two more thick lines. She doesn’t respond to him and snorts the two lines herself. As the miniscule specks fly up her nose and up into her brain everything seems easier. She feels as though she can conquer the world. She takes off her dress. She wants to feel the cold glass of the window against her skin. She wants to fly above the city and be outside of her body. Ted immediately forgets everything else and puts his hands all over her. She had almost forgotten he was there.