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Lakewood Times

“Sawyer’s” Extended Short Story

We have no idea what happened. We woke up in the morning and we had no idea where we were. I slowly raised my body up. My head was pulsating. As I was squinting around, I looked to see if there were any signs to see where we were. 

“El Palacio,” the sign said.

I didn’t know what language that was; I didn’t even know how to pronounce that. I continued to look around, looking for hints. It was a very bland room – brown walls, brown carpet, brown ceiling. There was simply nothing to it. We could be absolutely anywhere – the possibilities here were endless. I had to wake up the people I was with. I slowly stood up, almost falling back down again. There were gashes all over my knees. When I looked in the lone mirror, I saw that I had a black eye. I stumbled and went to wake up Derek.

“Derek! Wake up!” I yelled.

“Dude, what’s the problem?” he asked, naively. 

“Look around!” I yelled, even louder.

“Oh my God. Where are we?” he realized. 

His head was completely shaved. He looked like an entirely different person. Derek went to look in the mirror, just like I did. The next thing I heard was a loud scream.

“My eyebrows!” he shrieked. 

Oh yeah, I didn’t mention that his eyebrows were shaved off as well. There was one more guy with us and his name was Sawyer. I didn’t know Sawyer all that well if we are being honest. He is Derek’s wife’s brother. We just felt bad for him, so we had him tag along with us. He recently went through a rough divorce and he needed some support. We figured a night out would help him out. We searched everywhere for him, and we couldn’t find him. 

“Where is Sawyer? Where did he go? Dude, my wife is going to be pissed,” Derek exaggerated. 

I think we have to worry more about than just his wife if we can’t find him, Derek. We decided to leave the room and begin to figure out where we were. We took it step by step, each step felt heavier and heavier. We were a mess – blood, bruises, gashes all over our bodies. I started to laugh – I couldn’t take Derek seriously with his bald head. We walked outside the room and all of the directions were in a different language, just like in the room. 

“Greg, this is in Spanish,” Derek realized.

Were we in Mexico? There was simply no way. 

“Okay. Okay. We will be fine. Let’s check our pockets,” I suggested.

As I checked my pockets, I felt a piece of paper. I pulled it out and I began to read it. And wow, was I shocked. It was a plane ticket from San Diego to Mexico City, Mexico. We messed up badly. Of course, we wanted to leave this place as fast as we could. But, we couldn’t leave without Sawyer in our possession. In other words, we were screwed. Our mission was simple – we had to find Sawyer. As I saw the plane ticket, I remembered something:

We were all together – me, Derek, and Sawyer, all sitting at the bar. We were talking about how me and Derek have always wanted to own a bar together and how fun it would be. 

“Dude! Think about all of the money we’d make!” he explained.

I think at one point in every man’s life, they have contemplated buying a bar and running one. We continued talking about the bar – what the name of it would be, how it would be decorated, and even what the food menu would look like. Sawyer, who hadn’t said a word in the conversation, decided to jump in on the conversation. 

“I’m so down guys!” he said. We all stood silent.

“How do we know that we can trust you?” Derek asked.

“How can I prove it to you?” Sawyer continued.

“I think we have an idea,” I said.

Bull-riding. That’s what we decided on. I know, it sounds dumb. Me and Derek in college were given a dare to ride a bull for a certain amount of time. We decided that if Sawyer would be willing to get on a bull and ride it for us, we could trust him as a friend. 

So, I remembered that. How did we end up in Mexico? Derek continued looking through his pockets trying to find something. He pulled out a brochure. The brochure said “¡Monta de Toros!” In case you didn’t know, this meant bull-riding in Spanish. Then, I got a quick flashback:

“Dude! Look at this!” Derek showed me.

“Oh my god. He has to do it,” I said, referring to Sawyer.

“C’mon Sawyer! We are going on a lil’ road trip,” Derek said.

Derek went on his phone and quickly bought tickets for Spirit Airlines. 

I have no idea why we didn’t just go bull-riding in America somewhere instead of traveling all the way to Mexico. I also don’t understand why there would be a brochure for bull-riding in Mexico in an American bar. Nothing made sense now. Both me and Derek both knew what we needed to do. We needed to go to the address of the bull-riding joint. We walked out of the hotel. There were people everywhere. We asked the person at the front desk where this place was. When we got up to the front desk, both of us couldn’t speak a word of Spanish. So, we decided to just show him the brochure. When we showed him, he pointed in the direction it was located. We rushed out and began to speed-walk our way in that direction. Luckily, we picked a hotel on the main strip. As we kept walking, eventually we ran into the place. Me and Derek checked the brochure. Then, we checked the sign. Both of them had the same logo – a bull with fire firing out of his eyes. We entered this place and we immediately went up to a worker.

Luckily, Derek knew a few words in Spanish from his high school days.

“¿Dónde está Sawyer?” he asked. The worker looked confused.

“Show him a picture dummy,” I said. Like, duh, of course he wasn’t going to know his name.

He showed him a picture from his phone.

“Ahhh, sí, sí. El hombre duerme en la mesa,” he said to us.

We had no idea what he just said. We gave him a confused look. Then, we motioned us in a direction. He brought us to another room. And there he was – on top of the table sleeping. Booze was all around him. Bruises and cuts were all over his body. His skin tone changed due to the dirt. We immediately ran up to him.

“Sawyer! Thank god you are okay!” I yelled in excitement. 

“Where am I?” he asked as he slowly woke up.

“Mexico baby!” both me and Derek said.

This still didn’t answer how we had cuts all over us and how Derek lost all of his hair. A man soon after walked in. He looked American.

“Hey guys. Rough night, huh?” he asked.

“What happened?” we all asked.

“You guys don’t remember? Oh man,” he said, almost surprised. 

Apparently this is what happened:

We arrived at the place all very drunk. We attempted to explain how we wanted Sawyer to ride a bull. So, they listened to us. Derek decided to make a bet with a random guy sitting next to us.

“Aye, I’ll bet you he lasts at least ten seconds,” he said. “I’ll shave off all my hair if not,” he continued. 

As we all can guess, he took the deal. As Sawyer got on the bull, we got close to the cage, in excitement. The moment that Sawyer hopped on the bull, he fell. At that moment, both me and Derek decided to jump inside the cage. We tried to protect him and in that process, we got beat up as well. 

Apparently, the man we spoke to was the one who saved us from anything worse.

“You guys need to watch yourselves,” the man said.

We grabbed Sawyer and we left the bull-riding place. As we walked, we realized that Sawyer deserved our trust. As we walked down the street, we decided on naming our bar “Sawyer’s” in honor of him. 

When we arrived back in San Diego, we all went home. We all reflected on what happened. I considered ourselves lucky. Things could’ve ended much differently. The next day, we all got together. We continued our conversation about the bar we wanted to own. We were hoping to make it a reality soon.

A couple of months later, we bought a bar. We put up a sign that said “Sawyer’s” on the top. We put a bull with flaming eyes next to the name. And the rest is history.

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