He has been having a recurring dream, the exact same dream every night for a decade and regardless of how many times he may experience it, often he is wholly and undeniably convinced that it is indeed real. The year is nineteen ninety-eight, early February in the midst of a severe and unrelenting winter. Lethargically nursing a glass of bourbon, he sits alone in a corner booth near inconspicious amongst the shadows paying no mind to the on-going raucous celebrations that surround him. The bar in the narrow backstreets of Ludendorff is poorly lit and there is the distinct stench of stale cigarette smoke and urine. The room is stiflingly warm and the thin material of his shirt clings to his slight torso like a second skin forcing him to tug at the sweat and alcohol soaked fabric irritably. Deafeningly loud live music played by an amateur band blares in his ears and the pounding bass that all but drowns out the scratchy vocals reverberates throughout his entire body until he feels the beat in his very bones, the steady rhythm thumping in his chest much like a second heartbeat. The air is thick and heavy with smoke which lingers two feet above the sticky wooden floors in long silver lines, and through the haze his eyes falls on her.
Standing by the bar she is watching him with a lopsided smile in which one corner of her lip tilts up at a sharp angle causing a small dimple to form over her upper lip; it is a confident look which very much implies that she knows something he does not. Attractive, leaning more towards handsome rather than beauty, with fair skin, high defined cheekbones and a long crooked nose. Barely a day out of high school and excessively slim in a way that many young girls are with striking blonde hair that is not quite white and not quite cream and which skims her shoulders in unruly waves, her face is long with a narrow yet highly defined jaw line, sharp and slender eyebrows offer her an aquiline appearance.
She studies him for a moment longer and then offers him a brief second look, and now she is purposefully striding towards him easily sidestepping a cluster of young drunks waiting for the club upstairs to open its doors. In his dream he tells himself that he has been given a chance to stop this, that someone somehow has offered him a second chance to put things straight. For the first time in his life he is fully in control, now he has the opportunity to put a stop to the disastrous chain of events he will inflict upon the two of them before they can even begin.
But he does not. Whether it is selfishness or simple stupidity he does not know. She slides into the booth next to him, her bare arm brushing against his own and speaks and he offers a grim smile and replies guardedly. In his dreams he does not fully understand the words exchanged between them; their words are little more than a haze any meaning lost after all these years but he knows that they are amusing as she throws her head back and laughs at something he has said, and then he also laughs although he remains on guard, dark eyes surveying the room as he takes in his surroundings a habit that he has learned from a young age. Even now he adores her laugh and the way in which he can see all of her straight white teeth when she does.
After several drinks, cheap bourbon with no ice and no mixer for both of them, the conversation flows easily back and forth and as he looks on he cannot help but to feel rather helpless, something that he dislikes greatly, as he knows first-hand what is to become of this young man and woman. Ultimately he feels powerless, trapped.
By this point she will have introduced herself as Kathy.
"I'm Kathy, Kathy with a K."
"What other way would you spell it?" He snaps, not yet introducing himself.
She is eighteen years old, ten years his junior and carrying a reasonably convincing fake ID in order to go out drinking with her older friends a group of twenty-something long-haired degenerates most of whom look to be severely lacking in personal hygiene, each one covered in more tattoos and piercings than the last. Kathy herself boasts several tattoos, dark tendrils encircling one slender arm and creeping up the side of her neck partially hidden by a mass of ringlets.
They continue to drink tossing back one after another from colourful and chipped glasses, and, feeling significantly more relaxed as the effects of the alcohol begin to take hold he introduces himself to the chatty girl.
She is quick to reply. "Would you like to dance, Trevor?" Her voice is deep and husky, verging on hoarse, but the effect is not quite seductive and sultry but rather verges on that of someone who has smoked forty a day for a good portion of their life. Her speech is beginning to slur, and her eyes do not quite focus on him, however he reluctantly agrees and allows her to lead him onto the small, crowded dance floor in front of the narrow stage where the band is beginning to pack up now having been replaced by songs from decades past. Pushed together amongst the other dancers he finds it almost compulsory to slip his arms around her waist as they move together. His past record has been limited solely to strippers and call girls when he needs a thrill, a regular occurrence as of late, however he has had enough to drink that he does not feel awkward about the closeness to a woman. He is not at all unattractive, far from it; tall, slim and muscular, his youthful looks are yet to succumb to his drug addictions and he is extremely confident in himself, yet the idea of being close to someone, of giving up who he is, is not something he has dwelled on for long.
Kathy does not object to their closeness, but rather she seems to relish it. One of her long hands, pianist's hands he thinks, is tangled in his dark brown hair that is now beginning to show signs of grey around the temples and brushes his collar uncomfortably. Her other hands runs down his solid stomach glancing over his protruding pelvic bone, it has been some time since he has had a decent meal, and across the front of his ill-fitting jeans and, as her fingers apply a slight pressure, he inhales sharply surprised by her touch.
Her hands continue to roam his body running down his thighs and over the back of his jeans her fingers sliding into the torn back pocket. He responds by pressing himself harder against her until his groin pushes against her stomach and, watching this unfold he knows that as he does so he is debating on whether or not he should kiss her. From the way in which her hands are exploring his body she certainly wants him to. Before he is able to however, the younger woman leans up and kisses him zealously, their lips and teeth clash painfully but they do not break apart as in a way this fleeting pain adds to the fervency of their first kiss.
They pause and she looks up at him flicking a strand of silver-blonde hair from her turquoise eyes which reflect the little light there is. Her eyes are peculiar, large with a distinct note of hardness that is unusual in someone so young, a light shade of blue with the slightest hint of green and darker blue flecks like sharks circling in clear water. She is smiling now, not that vague lopsided smile that had first attracted his attention but rather a wide candid smile. She is exceptionally tall, Trevor himself stands just shy of six feet four, and in her worn sneakers there is fewer than two inches between them. This close he can make out a light dusting of freckles on the bridge of her nose and a sharp jagged scar that starts below the tip of her nose and intersects her lip ending on her chin.
Caution thrown to the wind she kisses him again, this time however, the kiss is much more ardent and passionate. She nips lightly at his lower lip catching the skin softly between her teeth whilst her hands resume where they had left off in exploring every inch of his body.
When the bar calls for last orders at one o'clock that morning, despite her age he is quick to invite her back to his home to which the inebriated younger woman accepts and, lighting a cigarette, she follows him home stopping only once to push him up against the front door of a convenience store and slip one cool hand beneath the waistband of his boxers. Trevor, weak kneed and breathless, pushes her aside and orders her to wait until they arrive at his home.
Home is not much. He lives in squalor in a worn out trailer on the outskirts of the town with no neighbours, no streetlights and no class, but, he frequently reminds himself, it will of course make his, Brad and Michael's big payday that much sweeter when it does come along when he will finally say goodbye to his poverty stricken life.
The next morning when he awakes on the mattress on the floor his head pounding and feeling sick to his stomach, he discovers that he is alone. He is naked, his clothes lying scattered carelessly across the discoloured floor of his trailer and in his dream he racks his brain to recall what had taken place after the pair had arrived. They had drunkenly slept together, that much he knew. Little remained of the blonde and their night spent together, with the few remnants being a trail of angry purple bite marks on his neck, chest and hips and a pair of tan tights with a large gaping hole on the inner thigh from when he had rather over-enthusiastically tried to remove her clothing as they stumbled into the trailer.
On the floor by his makeshift bed, propped up against an empty bottle of beer is a small sheet of plain white notepaper. Bleary eyed, he moves closer and holds it close to read her hastily scrawled note the words swimming before him as he tries to make sense of her scribblings. At the end of the note she has included her cell phone number and Trevor Philips almost smiles as he scrunches the note into a ball and tosses it amongst the growing pile of garbage on the floor.