May Day Part 2
“He’s never been in a go-go bar,” John told Brian.
“Really? Well, you’re about to lose your go-go bar virginity mate,” said Brian laughing a manic laugh.
We were standing in the middle of Soi Cowboy and I was completely overwhelmed by the neon lights and girls and noise and mayhem. I didn’t know where to look next and I had absolutely no idea what bar I wanted to go in.
“You lucky bastard,” said John.
“What do you mean? I thought you guys said you didn’t come to these bars anymore.”
“We don’t,” Brian said, “but I love to watch new comers like you go into a bar for the first time.”
He laughed his maniac laugh again as I looked around feeling bewildered.
“We’re pretty tired of it, but it’s your first time, it’s all new and exciting for you,” John explained.
“I get it. I just wish I was a lot younger.”
“Don’t worry. You’ll feel a lot younger as soon as you step through the magic curtain.” Brian explained.
“Magic curtain? I’m lost.”
They both laughed.
“Well, you two are gonna have to choose a bar, I don’t have a clue.”
“What would you prescribe for a first timer Brian?” John said.
“Nothing too extreme, let’s drop into The Sting Ray Bar.”
“Plenty of beauties in there,” said John as we walked further down the street.
The magic curtain was swept aside as I followed John and Brian into the bar. My senses were immediately overloaded.
I saw a sea of legs at eye level. I was partially blinded by the lighting. Pounding dance music filled my ears. John was immediately talking to a girl in a school girl uniform. I looked up at the girls dancing. Wow! They were gorgeous and they all seemed to be looking right at me! Next thing I knew I was sitting at the small stage, right up close to the action. I’d always been a leg man and the legs in front of me had me speechless.
“Get your jaw off the floor!” said Brian giving me a friendly punch on the shoulder.
John just sat there grinning.
“What beer do you want,” asked Brian.
“What?” I asked, turning my head to see the girl in the school girl uniform standing between us. She was stunning and I noticed she had a number pinned to her shirt.
“Beer, what beer do you want?”
“Anything,” I mumbled as I turned and looked up at the girl gyrating right in front of me. She had lovely big eyes, long eyelashes and an incredible smile and she was staring right at me! She gyrated down lower for a moment and stroked my cheek. She kept smiling at me as I sat paralysed and speechless.
John gave me a satisfied look. “Are you ok?”
I glanced around at the long legs, firm bodies, long eyelashes and sexy hairstyles. I’d never seen so many gorgeous girls in one place.
“I’m feeling pretty good!”
At some stage a beer appeared in my hand.
“So what do you think?” John said.
“Are you sure you two don’t come to these places anymore?”
“There is the odd visit,” Brian confessed.
“So, the truth comes out! Well, I’m feeling pretty happy. I love the way these girls shuffle too,” I said, my eyes glued to the three girls nearest to me.
“They do shuffle well,” Brian agreed.
It took me about twenty minutes before I realized all the girls had numbers pinned to their skimpy uniform.
“They’ve all got numbers!” I blurted.
“Name, rank and serial number, that’s all you need,” said John, “in fact you don’t even need the name.”
I heard some Thai being spoken over the sound system and then all the girls suddenly lined up and exited the platform.
“A team’s off; B team is on.” John explained.
As the second group of girls starting filling up the platform I felt two arms wrap around my waist. The girl with the amazing smile had me in her clutches.
“Hello,” I smiled.
“Hello. How are you?”
“Quite happy, do you want a drink?”
“Oh, thank you,” said the girl, immediately signalling to the drink girl in the school girl uniform.
“You don’t waste any time,” said John.
“I’m just making the most of it,” I said as I slipped one arm around the girl.
The girl told me her name was Pen. She had an amazing body with silky smooth skin.
“Have you worked here long?” I asked her.
“Do you like working here?”
“It’s ok but some men are bad.”
“I can imagine.” I said feeling a little bit sorry for her.
Her so called Lady drink arrived and she put it on the ledge in front of us. It looked like flat coke.
“You’re looking quite at home,” said Brian.
“I have a beer and a fine maiden. I’m feeling very at home.”
I couldn’t believe John and Brian were jaded by the bar scene, that concept just didn’t make any sense to me as I sat there sipping my beer and squeezing Pen. Although I thought she was absolutely gorgeous I found my eyes wandering around at the other girls.
One girl on the opposite side of the platform looked familiar. This was a bit strange as I didn’t know any girls in Bangkok.
“You like that girl?” Pen asked. She’d noticed me staring.
“No, it’s ok. She just looks familiar that’s all.”
I nudged John and told him to check out the girl I was looking at.
John looked confused. “Which girl?”
“The one with the nice legs.”
“They’ve all got nice legs!”
“The one at the end with her back to us. Look at her face in the mirror. Does she look familiar to you?”
John looked at the girl and then Brian checked her out too. They both seemed perplexed. Then we all looked at each other in confusion.
“Shit. That looks like May!” Brian finally said.
“That’s what I thought.”
“It can’t be!” John said.
“It looks exactly like her,” said Brian.
“Do you know that girls name?” I asked Pen.
John suddenly stood up and went to the men’s room in the corner of the bar. On the way back he had a closer look at Fon.
“So, what do you think?” I said when John rejoined us.
“Well, she looks exactly like May, but a bit younger. I’d say that this girl must be her sister. I think May’s about twenty seven. This girl looks about twenty three.”
“Well, the plot thickens,” said Brian angrily.
John ordered another beer. “Interesting, Dave never mentioned she had a sister.”
Pen told us that Fon had only worked in the bar for two months. She didn’t know if Fon had a sister, a real sister that is.
“If Dave’s got us into something bigger than he’s saying, I’ll bloody kill him myself. I keep telling him he’s a moron,” Brain ranted.
“Maybe he doesn’t know May’s got a sister,” I suggested.
“He’d have to know,” John mused.
Pen looked confused. I gave her a reassuring smile. She responded with a kiss on the cheek. Then I noticed that Fon had a tattoo.
“John, she’s got a tattoo!”
John momentarily looked very serious then he relaxed. “Most of these girls have tattoos. It doesn’t mean anything.”
“But is it the same tattoo May supposed to have?”
“I can’t see from here. But even if it’s the same, it doesn’t mean it’s the same girl. You should go and walk past her. See if she looks at you.”
I didn’t have to walk past her, as once again, the girls filed off the stage and the other team marched on. Fon walked behind us and I took a good look at her. She didn’t look at me. I thought she definitely looked younger than May.
“It’s not May.”
“It can’t be anyway,” said John, “May’s a freelancer. She couldn’t work here as well. It’s her sister alright.”
“There’s another thing,” I said over the pumping music, “when I walked up to May outside that bar, she said that she knew I’d been looking for her. What do you make of that?”
“I don’t think that’s anything to worry about. It’s just the jungle telegraph. We were all wandering Sukhumvit asking every girl we saw if they knew May. Not surprising she knew you were coming. One of those girls would’ve called her.”
“The other thing is she seemed extremely emotional. I know what you’re gonna say but I trust my gut feeling. I don’t think it’s a simple case of being ripped off. She didn’t want to take the money.”
“But she did take it,” Brian said seeming mildly annoyed.
“Yeah I know she took it. I think we need to speak to Dave a bit more.”
John threw back his whisky. “Well, he’ll be here in a few days or so. He told me he’s gonna come here and find out what the hell’s going on. Death threats won’t keep him away from Bangkok.”
“Do you think there’s any real danger?” I asked.
John looked at me and laughed. “Well we’re certainly gonna find out aren’t we!”
I stroked Pen’s smooth soft skin and wondered what the hell was going on. I looked at the semi-naked girls dancing in front of me and thought about the crisis that was ever slowly escalating. Had I somehow stepped in a movie?
I tried to forget about Dave’s dramas and chatted with Pen for quite some time until I saw that my friends were looking a little bored.
They’d seen this all too much. I suggested we get going. I gave Pen a big tip and thanked her for her time. I said I’d probably come back and see her again. And with that, we paid up and left the bar.
“You could have taken her back to your room if you wanted too,” John advised me when we were outside.
“I know,” I replied as I looked around at all the girls along the street. “I don’t think there’s any rush though.”
John got a call from Barry as we walked out of Soi Cowboy. Barry was drinking, as usual, at Nana Plaza. He claimed to be searching for May. He hadn’t seen her of course. I decided that I’d go to Nana Plaza and hang out with Barry and then we could also have a quick scan around for May. John and Brian had to work the next day so they decided to call it a night.
Brian asked me if I knew where I was going.
“I’ll be right, straight down Sukhumvit, past Nana station isn’t it? By the sounds of it I don’t think I could miss it.”
“Call Barry if he’s not out the front,” said John.
John and Brian jumped into a taxi near the Asoke Sky train station and I headed towards Nana Plaza. I kept an eye out for May but I didn’t see her. A few girls and lady boys called out to me but I didn’t stop. I eventually got to Nana Plaza which was very easy to spot.
No surprise that Barry wasn’t out the front. I was about to call him when I thought I saw May across the road. A girl who looked like her was heading to the big intersection. She was walking quite quickly so I decided there was no time to disturb Barry from his bar girl shenanigans. I decided to follow her by myself.
I crossed the intersection and followed the girl back towards Nana sky train station. I had almost caught up to the girl near the station when I was sure that she glanced behind and saw me. If she had seen me she’d ignored me. She then suddenly ducked down a dark side street. When I reached the street I noticed there were no shops or bars, nothing at all. She was avoiding me for sure.
I walked down the dark laneway and immediately found May sitting behind a big metal bin. She didn’t look up at me. She just stared at the ground in silence.
“May, are you ok?”
“Why you follow me,” she said looking very annoyed.
“I just want to make sure you’re ok, that’s all.”
“I told you I ok.”
“We both know you’re not,” I said squatting down beside her.
Her sad face in the dim light filled me with a sense of fear and helplessness. I wanted to help this girl but I had a dreadful feeling that it was too late. Could I control this girl’s fate? Could I, with all my strength and will power, reverse the forces of the universe?
May silently started crying. I began to feel very uneasy.
“What is it May?”
“Why don’t you speak to Dave? Just a quick call. He’d feel a lot better.”
“Just leave me alone.”
“I just want to help you. Can’t I buy you a drink somewhere?”
May slowly shook her head and continued quietly sobbing.
Eventually she asked me if Dave was in Bangkok.
“No, he’s still in Singapore.”
“Good. Tell him to stay there.”
She looked at me angrily. “Because I don’t love him anymore! I don’t care about him or his money,”
I’d been rejected enough times in my life to know that she wasn’t being honest. Her anger was directed at my persistence.
“Why don’t you just tell him that?”
May was silent. The anger in her face faded and once again I could see a girl in immense pain. The new plan upon finding May had been to photograph her and check her tattoo. How could I? I couldn’t be that cold. She was obviously the girl we were looking for anyway. I didn’t know what else I could say to May, then I thought about her sister in Soi Cowboy.
“You have a sister, don’t you?” I said calmly.
May looked horrified. She momentarily looked into my eyes with dismay then she fell into my arms and clutched at my shirt, sobbing even more. As I knelt on the ground, holding her, I knew that I had a good idea of what was going on. I shuddered. If I was right, then I was in deep trouble. I knew I could get on a plane the next day and never come back, but there was no way I could abandon this girl. I couldn’t leave her. I felt almost as alone as she did. I knew she was in serious trouble, but even my own friends didn’t seem to believe me. What May said next sent a chill down my spine.
“If anything happen to me, help my sister! Please help her! Take her out Thailand! Please!”
May looked at me with desperate eyes as she clung to my shirt. I looked back into her eyes, stunned, unable to speak.
“I don’t care if I die. Help my sister!”
I stared at May’s sad beautiful face, agonized by her desperate words.
Eventually I heard myself speaking. I wasn’t sure what I said.
When May calmed down I helped her to her feet.
“Rob, can you do something for me.” She said weakly.
“Of course, anything.” I was ready to hand her all my money. “I can give you all the money I have, one hundred and fifty thousand baht.”
May looked at me blankly for a moment.
“Could you hug me?” She whispered.
I cringed at my insensitivity. “Of course.”
I pulled her close to me. She squeezed me as tightly as she could, her face pressed hard against my chest.
She held me as if her life depended on it.
A few minutes later I begged her to leave Bangkok with me. She didn’t answer me but I felt her body tremble a little.
I begged her again, this time with tears in my eyes.
May looked up at me and smiled weakly.
“You helped me so much. I not forget you.” She whispered, giving me a very soft kiss. “Now I must go. Please, you not follow me.”
I nodded with great anguish. I knew I had to let her go.
I watched her walk out of the dark laneway in the greatest pain I’d ever felt. She didn’t look back.
I leant against the wall until my eyes dried.
I knew I’d never see her again.