by Bec Fary

I took some friends to a restaurant, or maybe it was a pub because we were lined up at the bar. We wanted to eat. My friends ordered and I panicked, frantically searching the menu but I couldn’t understand what was written there. I knew the menu was written in English but the words were jumbled and made up of strange symbols that I knew I could read but I couldn’t process them. Everyone was looking at me and I could tell they were getting impatient. I nervously looked up at the bartender, who was either very tall or the bar was raised because I had to crane my neck. I was hoping he’d have an answer for me but instead he just beckoned and I followed.

He told me I didn’t need to order anything because he’d given me a job at the bar/restaurant. I knew I already had a good job but I didn’t want to disappoint him. We were in a back room now and a phone rang. Confident I was meant to answer it because of the job offer, I answered: ‘Hello -‘


I knew there was more I was meant to say but I choked. I couldn’t remember where I was or why I was answering the phone. I shook my head and tried to speak but no words came out. I looked at the bartender but he turned away.

I struggled again to find words but instead found myself in another room. The bartender was standing by a window and I hurried over and started to apologise but he didn’t answer me. I tugged at his arm and spoke louder. ‘I’m sorry.’

He faced me and only then did I realise he was talking to two tall men in a dark clothing who were on the other side of the window. They stopped speaking and looked at me and I could tell they wanted to be left alone.