The crowd was restless, constantly moving in one place like a sea bodies pushing against the shores of the room. They jabbered at each other, talking to fill the space with waves of sound. There was no clock on the wall, but they all knew what time it was.
The doors opened at seven, letting them in as small groups, couples, trickling into the empty room where canned music was largely ignored. They weren’t there for the stereo. The dance floor had slowly disappeared under clumps of feet as the night wore on.
Stella shook her head as she made her way through the bodies. With five minutes to go, the floor was packed. She had to use an elbow judiciously here and there to make it all the way to the bar. She was had been having fun watching everyone glance up for a clock, then down at their cellphones and watches. Everyone around her was antsy with anticipation. She was jumping up and down in place waiting and yelling along with the crowd.
Then her boss called and she had to push through the sea of humanity.
“Stella, I’m so glad you were already here. I can’t believe Ryan called in sick,” John shot her a look of gratitude as she reached the bar. His large hands never stopped moving, pouring shots and pulling beers for the crush of bodies against the long wooden bar.
Stella slipped behind it and tied an apron around her waist. She quickly braided her long brown hair back and secured it with a hair tie. Wrinkling her nose, she grabbed a glass and started filling it. “Just wait until it’s time to add all this overtime to my check, boss man. This is my favorite band.”
She filled the order shouted at her loud and clear as the canned music shut off. The silence lasted only a moment before the crowd filled it, chanting the name of the band. The house lights had gone down and bodies were starting to take their places on stage. Stella sighed, turning her back on the sudden flare of stage lights, and making change at the cash register.