Disclaimer: I own nothing :0( (only what happens to be in my imagination) All characters belong to MGM
At first there was Rick. Then there was Sacha. Then there was me.
Rick owned the bar and Sacha worked at the bar. And me? Where did I fit in? Well, I was with Sacha…and Rick. It wasn't what you think. Or maybe it is exactly what you think.
I'll start at the beginning shall I?
Years ago, Rick opened his bar, Rick's Café Americain, and obviously he needed to staff it. That is where Sacha fitted in. Rick hired Sacha to work behind the bar and serve drinks.
He hired me too. As a waitress. That's how I met Sacha. We fell in love over bottles of Bourbon and glasses of Champagne cocktails. I was good at my job. I served food, drinks and cigarettes. Like all good waitresses I also flirted and smiled. It was a good job that Sacha wasn't the jealous type, as all my flirting and smiling had gotten me noticed…a lot. He would just smile and in his thick Russian accent just say Yvonne, I love you.
Nothing ever happened. I wouldn't do that to Sacha. That is until Rick noticed me…
Rick. How does one describe Rick?
Well, Rick was bad tempered and cynical and a good ten years older than me but Rick was the type of man that no one, no girl at least, could ever refuse him anything.
Soon after Rick *happened* I stopped working at the bar. I didn't like the idea of taking money under false pretences. Rick was paying me to waitress and I wasn't waitressing. Instead I started drinking there, Sacha didn't like me drinking but he served my drinks anyway. I always drank more when I wasn't there waiting for Rick. Its not that Rick himself caused me to drink, but the situation that I found myself in did.
You see, my relationship with Richard Blaine was well known. It was one of those secrets that everyone knew about. All the staff in the saloon did and somehow the patrons too. Well, the regular ones did at least. It wasn't that we weren't discreet. We were. Very. But somehow discretion wasn't required. What we were doing, it was just, well...it was just accepted.
So you can see my position: I was having a relationship with my boyfriends' boss and my boyfriend knew all about it. And his work colleagues. Not only that, Rick knew that Sacha knew about us. It must have been simply humiliating for him. Sacha was wonderful about it though… he always kept up his cheerful, laid back attitude despite feeling anything but cheerful.
My other problem was again, not a simple one.
Simple. What is simple?…
Anyway. My problem. My problem was that the more time I spent with that rough-around-the-edges landlord the more I found I was falling in love with him. .
I felt terrible for what I was putting Sacha through. I used to drown my sorrows about him in bourbon too. I did love him which made things so much more painful. I don't think I could ever imagine what he used to think of me…or Rick. Who could blame him? I didn't . I understood completely if he were to hate me.
I used to beg Sacha to leave the bar, to find another job but I knew it was an impossible ask. His response was always the same Yvonne, I love you but he pays me. I suppose if Sacha were to question Rick then he would have just been dismissed and Sacha really needed the job. He just couldn't go back to Russia.
Saying that, Rick was a wonderful employer. He was generous and kind to all his staff, even to Sacha but especially to his piano player, Sam. Rick loved Sam.
So Sacha suffered in silence. Never saying a word about what I was doing or where I was going, because he always knew… I was going to Rick's. Although it wasn't always to be his lover…sometimes he just wanted a drinking partner.
Thinking about it now, I should have hated the very sight of Richard Blaine. Hated what I was doing with him but as I mentioned earlier, I was in love with him… so I couldn't even though I wanted to..
Every girl Rick ever met fell in love with him. He was un-believably handsome, with dark hair and eyes of a deep warm chocolate brown. He had a look about him too. One that made you think of danger and excitement and romance all at the same time. Although he was never arrogant or conceited about any of it. It was one of those things, a fact of life. Women loved him and men wanted to be him… that was just how it went.
I know through my own experience that part of Rick's allure has a lot to do with the fact he was troubled and distant. I mean that apart from Sam, no one was ever close to Rick. He never let anyone get close. Maybe its true, maybe it isn't, but all I know is that most of Rick's girls all wanted to be the one who fixed him. They all had wanted, myself included, to be the one who mended the hole in his heart and broke through that cold, frosty shell of his. No one ever managed it though…not to my knowledge at least.
As I said, it was well known that Rick had liked his girls. He had had a few in his time but you never felt used and discarded when your time with him, for that night, was over. You might be forgiven for thinking that there was a constant stream of girls coming out of Ricks bedroom, just one after aother, like a conveyor belt, but it wasn't like that. For all his faults Rick was a gentleman. He respected women. At any rate, he respected them well enough to love only one woman at a time.
When Rick was with you, he was with you. You were his only thought. He loved you as though you were the only girl in the world. He was gentle and careful and just perfectly wonderful. Until the dawn came. As sunlight returned to the world so did that bitter, harsh, chain-smoking, smart-talking business man.