Until November(6)By: Aurora Rose Reynolds
Meeting all of my family is a little terrifying. My dad’s brother, Uncle Joe, is a little bit taller than my dad but has the same body type. You can tell that he takes care of himself like my dad does they. They both have bulky muscles my uncles. My uncle’s dark hair is starting to gray and he looks like he could model for a cool biker magazine with his goatee and tattoos. He brought my cousins too. His twin sons are the complete opposite of each other. Chris and Nick are twenty-five years old. Chris looks like a surfer with dirty blond hair and a golden tan. Nick looks like a rock star with dark brown hair and light skin covered with tattoos. My dad’s cousin, Maddy, her husband, Mark, and their two-year-old daughter, Alyssa, are also here. They even have a few other family friends over to meet me.
Breakfast is delicious and I am really enjoying getting to know everyone. They all seemed genuinely nice. We were talking about what I plan on doing after getting settled. I explain about having a degree in business management and that I’m planning on helping my dad at the club. That’s when the vibe changes and all hell breaks loose.
“You’re what?” Uncle Joe asked, yelling so loud his face turned red.
“Um, I'm going to help my dad?” I say, my answer sounding like a question. I look around, wondering what I missed and why he’s so upset.
“Watch it, Joe,” my dad growls.
“No niece of mine is going to work at the strip club…that we own together, I might add.”
“Strip club?” I ask in complete shock.
“She is not going to be working in the club. She’s going to be doing the books and managing the office. She won’t be there during club hours and will never be in the front of the house.”
“I don’t care if she’s working in the front or in the fucking alley, she’s not working there.”
“Last time I checked, she is my daughter and I own half that club. You have no say in what she does or doesn’t do. I want her to work for me and, like I said before, she will never see the front of the fucking club.”
“Do you want to work there?” my uncle asks me. I feel put on the spot and I really don’t want to answer him.
“Um… I… ugh.” I take a deep breath before trying to respond. “I didn’t know that it was that kind of club,” I say in a whisper. Not that I had anything against strip clubs. I mean, to each their own, right?
“Okay, Joe,” Grandma cuts in. “If November wants to work there, that’s her choice. And, Mike, if she doesn’t want to work there after finding out what kind of club it is, that’s also her choice. Now you know that I don’t love that club but I do love you both and I supported you in your decision to open it. But, as for November, it will be her choice and her choice alone if she wants to help you out on the business side of the club. I'm not happy about the look on her face right now and I'm telling you both that you will let her make her own decision.”
After Grandma said her peace, everything went back to normal, but I could still feel the tension between my dad and uncle. I wanted to work with my dad but I also didn’t want to cause a problem between him and his brother. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that my dad owned a strip club. When I imagined a strip club owner, I pictured an evil, fat old guy with beady eyes, tacky suits and a bad comb over. Not someone like my dad. He’s a kind, handsome, put-together, forty-five-year-old man. After pondering this for a few minutes, I realized that I was proud. Knowing my dad and the kind of man he is, I couldn’t help but think of the women who work for him and how lucky they are. I'm sure in the stripper industry, respect is hard to come by. But one thing I know for sure, he respects the women who work for him. I'm sure that’s not always the case in strip clubs. So, with those thoughts floating in my head, I turn and smile at my dad. He smiles back even bigger.
After two weeks of getting settled in and healing, it was time to start living in the real world again. The world where you needed things like a job and money to survive. Me and my dad are going to the club to meet some of his main employees. To say I'm nervous is an understatement. It took me longer than normal to get ready. I mean really! What do you wear to the strip club that your dad owns? After settling on my gray, empire waist sweater dress with black legging and black boots, I curl my hair in large waves down my back. I put on light makeup. Looking at myself in the mirror, I’m happy to see all the bruising is gone and I look like myself again. I go upstairs to give Beast some love before me and Dad take off. I know that Beast is happy here. He has a large backyard and room to run and I take him on a walk every night.