It was the third night in a row she had gone without a client. Three nights in a row! It was a fact she could not even begin to fathom. She stared at her wrist watch for the third time in as many minutes. It was almost 3Am. Times were hard of late, confirming her worst fears. It was time she changed careers. As she sat at the bar stool playing with her empty martini glass, someone came and spanked her from behind. She turned immediately hoping it was a client. It was not. It was her friend Brenda.
“Hi Angela.” Her friend said breathlessly
“Hey, what’s with you? You sound excited,”
“That’s coz I am. 10,000/= for short time, is what,”
Angela arched her eyebrows suspiciously. “Those are rare to come by nowadays. First time foreigner?”
“It can’t be a Kenya kimbo, that’s for sure. And he paid me cash. In Euros.”
“Damn. Good for you girl. Proud of you.”
“Want a cigar? I have a few imported ones. You look distressed.”
“Stole them?” Angela asked as she got her lighter from her clutch bag.
“No, he gave them to me.”
From the corner of her eye, Angela saw Antonio, a man she’d gone with once. She hated the man to her very core.
“Hallo Angela,” he said as pleasantly as he could. Angela stared at his eyes and the memories came rushing back. Memories of how he’d defiled her, like no client ever had before. Even at this moment, the memories were still vivid.
“Go to hell,” she spat at him and he flinched.
“I’ve been watching you since the night begun. You haven’t had any luck today. I could take you for Short time?”
Ohh this was a Kenya kimbo for sure. Short time was the lingo they used for quick sex in exchange for quick cash. Thirty minutes max.
“Not in a thousand years Antonio. Get the hell out of my face before I do something drastic.”
“Like what? The police will skin you.” It was true. Every police in that small town was in Antonio’s payroll. Every girl had a police or two in their good books, whom they would have sex with occasionally for free, but that never beat what the foreigners paid them. When push came to shove, they would always take the money side. Unless the police man was really into you. And police men were never into anybody. They despised their own mothers.
Angela stared straight ahead and tried to ignore him. Which was a hard thing to do because he was breathing hard on her neck with a foul garlic smell. Brenda had long disappeared. Antonio’s reputation was legendary. She looked at the bartender with pleading eyes. The bartender looked away. Coward, she thought miserably.
“Why don’t you go and look for another girl? This place is full of them.”
“Because I want you. I still remember you very well Angela. You are the best—-“
“Stop it now!” Angela hissed.
“Why? Why do you hate me so?”
“Because you are scum. And the shittiest person I ever met.”
She stood up to leave, pushing him out of her way. She almost ran to the exit, her heart beating fast. If he really wanted her, he could get her by force and there was nothing anyone could do. As she stood at the gate breathing heavily, a hand touched her shoulder and she jumped in fear.
“Easy, I’m not going to hurt you.”
She turned to look at him. A new face. It was becoming harder to come across one in this town of late, what with the decline in tourists.
“Who are you?” she asked, looking him over. Another damned white man. Yes she needed their money, but she was so tired of them.
“Alfonso. What’s yours?”
“Sandra,” she lied.
“Beautiful name,” he said as a terrible cough seized him.
“Cut the bullshit,” she said to him once his cough had stopped. “Short time- 7,000/= full night- 22,000/=. Those are my rates.
“What’s short time?”
“Thirty minutes of what?” he asked feigning ignorance. She rolled her eyes and started walking away. Not tonight. Tonight she wasn’t up for this kind of games.
“Wait,” he ran towards her and held her arms tightly. “I’ll pay you the amount of a full night for short time,”
She raised her eyebrows suspiciously. She’d been in this game for too long to know a wrong deal when she saw one. But she was too desperate to care.
* * *
The cottage was too isolated. She didn’t like it. She comforted herself with the fact that no matter how bad it could be, she’d been in worse situations. Like Antonio for starters. Him and his damned dogs. There couldn’t be dogs in there? Or could there. She reminded herself that this Alfonso was of the same nationality as Antonio. The troubling fact did nothing to calm her nerves.
The cottage was contrary to was she’d thought of it. Neat and clean. And no, there were no dogs. Halleluiah.
She sat on the bed nervously. No matter how many times she did this, the nervousness never really disappeared. You never knew what to expect from a client. Some were nasty and violent. Others were cry babies who just wanted you to hold them and let them talk. She loved those best. But they were the hardest to come by.
“Remove your clothes,” he said unexpectedly.
She took in a deep and did as she was told. “Just lie on the bed; I’d be back in a few minutes.”
She got into the huge bed, her heart beating wildly. Something wasn’t right, she kept telling herself. This was too easy. She got up and poured herself a glass of vodka from the bottle on the table. Alfonso came back in a hurry.
“I told you to lie on the bed,” he said angrily as another coughing fit seized him.
“i…..i just wanted a drink. That’s all.”
“Follow my orders girl and you’ll be fine. I won’t hurt you? Okay?”
She nodded as bravely as she could.
“Just lie on the bed. Slowly, yes just like that. Good girl. You have a great body do you know that? Now just lie there, spread your legs a bit, just like that, yessss. Now, lift them up abit and bend them on the knees. That’s right. Put your hands on your breasts, gently. And close your eyes. Let me take a shower I’ll be back. Don’t change that position.” He closed the door behind him.
Angela was in that position for a while, thinking of how awkward this was, when it hit her. How did he know that she’d gotten up to pour a drink? Her heart beat picked up again. Jesus, the guy had a camera hidden somewhere in the room. He could even be doing a porn video for all she cared. She got up immediately and grabbed her tiny dress as she ran to the door. She came face to face with him as he pushed her back to the bed hard. He slapped her twice on both cheeks. Hard slaps.
“You bitch!” he screamed and the tears came to her eyes. She should have followed her instincts a long time ago and quit. But no, she wanted the easy life. This was what she had to pay for it.
“Look at me whore!” he screamed again and jerked her face up using her hair. She looked up and came face to face with a hand gun.
“You will do exactly as I tell you.” He said with an evil grin and the coldest eyes she’d ever come across.