‘Yeah. I’m well aware what I wanted when I called you over.’
Over the years, I’ve come to accept what I am, the lifestyle I chose for myself but being told to my face what I am, what I do for a living, put me on the defensive.
‘Now that we’ve reestablished the fact that I’m a prostitute, can we get back to fucking?’
I turn my face away from him, refusing to see the look of pity reflected so clearly in his eyes. It seems he understands my feelings. He says no more, his lips touch my forehead gently. This singular act almost breaks me. Almost. Why? I find it difficult to wrap my head around why he treats me so nicely? As if I am a princess, an egg he is scared would break at the slightest use of force.
Suddenly, I’m a little girl again. I can almost feel mummy’s hands on me as she tries desperately to scrub away daddy’s hands, his scent from all over me. The memory of what he did to me triggers me. My body goes cold and rigid and I force myself not to react. To gain back control of my emotions, I pull his lips to mine. Using both my tongue and hands to drown all feelings of shame and pity. Shame, regret and pity has no home here.
‘Sooooo! How did it go? Give me the details!’ Naomi screams.
‘I usually don’t care.’ Ruth begins, ’…but what happened to our no sleepover rule? Huh? Do you want to get hurt again?’
That hurts. Ruth always knew where to stick the knife in.
‘You guys make it sound like I hooked up with some random guy on the street. Oh wait? I did! We all did! That’s what we do!’
I’m well aware that Ruth and Naomi have the best intentions towards me. The fact that I’ve shared so little about myself and yet they’ve accepted me, welcomed me as a part of their family is a bond I haven’t felt in a very long time…and I’m not ready to lose.
‘I’m sorry guys.’
‘We know.’ They replied in unison.
They’re too accepting. I don’t deserve them but I’m glad they don’t think like I do. I soak in their warmth; the only warmth I allow myself to feel. Their arms encircle me and I’m home.
‘He was the weirdest customer I’ve ever been with.’
They both push away from me almost immediately. Their eyes immediately scan my body. I know what they’re indiscreetly searching for.
‘No. He wasn’t violent or aggressive. It’s actually the complete opposite.’
I can’t blame them for having that confused look on their face. If I didn’t experience it first hand, I wouldn’t believe either.
‘Are you sure it wasn’t because he wanted a “lil extra”?’
Ah! Yes! Good old Ruth ready to drop reality on your lap whether or not you want to accept it.
‘Oh Ola! What did he do?’
I smile at this. Naomi is too sweet for this life. I just can’t wrap my head around how she managed to salvage an iota of optimism and romanticism in our line of work. Especially with a sister like Ruth. I let out a sigh.
‘No Ruth. It’s not because he wanted a “lil extra”.’ I say sarcastically as I make air quotes with my fingers. ‘He actually paid more than the usual before and gave me a huge tip after.’
My grin must have been wider than that of the Cheshire Cat or at least I know how he must have felt. I glance at Naomi noticing how hard she’s trying to control herself. She must really want me to spill.
‘To answer your question Naomi, he was the perfect gentleman. Opening doors, forehead kisses… it was new to me and… it brought back conflicting emotions. Well, good riddance to bad rubbish!’ I say flippantly.
Naomi seems to be satisfied, I can see she’s already on cloud 9, imagining a romantic scenario which involved her but Ruth isn’t easily satisfied.
‘That doesn’t explain why you’re late.’
‘In case you didn’t notice, I’m not a child!’
‘In case you forgot, we need to always be informed so that we can be ready when shit hits the fan because no matter how careful you may want to be or are, shit always finds a way to come raining down.’
Even as she lets go of my shoulders, I can still feel the pain left behind by her fingers as well as the pain behind her words.
Ruth’s words have the needed effect and the words come spilling out of me. ‘After having sex, I tried getting out of bed to dress up but he didn’t let me. He held me tightly to himself.’
‘Yeah. Oh!’ I reply, turning to look at Naomi. ‘It wasn’t easy but I waited for him to fall asleep before I was able to get him off of me.’
‘Maybe he likes…’
I silence Naomi with one word. She’s such a romantic and It’s not something I want to dwell on. Why should I? It’s a once in a lifetime thing. Clients don’t usual snuggle up with their purchases. He probably mistook me for someone else and there will never be a repeat of such an episode. Ruth on the other hand, remains silent.