She wanted, craved, discreet. She was also punctual, something she found pride in. Pulling into the vacant parking lot behind the hotel, she hid her tote bag under a towel under the passenger seat and grabbed only her keys and phone. Walking around to the main entrance, she feared someone would block her from going upstairs. That the multiple police cars parked in the front or even the security would ask for her identity. Who she was meeting.
But when she walked into the air-conditioned, marble-floored lounge, no one was in sight to question her. She strutted (and yes, she had practiced this before) to the elevators (her shelter) where thankfully she could gather herself in peace.
To the 4th floor. Room number 409.
Once on the right floor, she hung back a few rooms before arriving to her "destination", his king-sized bed. Ugly thoughts crashed into her fluttery mind. There was still time to back out. Time to disappear. To go home. She hadn't been spotted yet. But instead of listening to the rational side of her brain, she walked and waited in front of the looming gold plated 409, sucking in her gut and acting cool, earrings bouncing, smile chill but fierce at the same time.
Three light knocks. After a few seconds (twelve to be exact), he opened the door, a corpulent man (and what she would find out later a wealthy and elite businessman and manager in the music industry) with a wide smile. He ushered her in and treated her like "royalty" compared to her prior obsessive thoughts that he would tie her up and pull out a Beretta 92, killing her instantly and making a stealthy, pre-planned escape in a car that wasn't his, under a name he borrowed from a dead person.
But no, it was just business "as usual". He was staying at a newly built hotel where the whole staff catered to his every whim and knew his favorite food and called him by his oh-so-ordinary first name. He wanted to top off his last evening in the city with a fine dining experience and a young "lady" to service him. Which happened. All too easily. Among the 5 pm traffic on Coliseum. While listening to bands from the 70's like Chicago.
Afterwards. Does anyone ever talk about the afterwards? How it feels to still be alive yet feel like floating into a nonexistent space? Let's talk about the grotesque "now". The beasts not buried yet.
Now, she wants to puke every time she sees a man that reminds her of him. Or them. Any of them. She wants to claw at her already scarred skin and dig her heart out every time she sees the touch of a man on another body. Her eyes are now empty irises. Hollow oceans. Carved out from where the crows pecked out her youth and dreams and hopes.
She wishes it could all be taken back. EVERYTHING. Erased from her history. But she can't. She chose to disrobe innocence, betray purity, strip herself of any dignity that remained.
She never gave out her real name. Ever. Perhaps it was too "sacred" for her? He really liked her name this time. Said it was unique, interesting, had a story behind it. That she (her body) moaned and curved in all the right places. Perfectly. That she did more than he asked for. Went above and beyond. Made his whole entire day.
How hard it is to make a person's day then? Is it that simple? Is that all it requires? The passionate breaths, sounds, positions, reactions. Just the right amount of innocence compromised.
Her legs were shaking- hard. Still are. Probably half from the full pot of coffee she drowned in this morning. Half from the commitment to self-destruct by way of meeting strange, all too nonchalant, shadows that care too less for love and too much to cover up. She allowed a few tasteless tears to escape after she left him, in the safe lonely confines of her car, while the sun smiled its last on her forlorn face.
Thank God they hadn't hugged. Yet he thanked her SO MUCH for everything that occurred. So naturally to him. So painfully for her.
Lost again, she is drowning in this. Keeping others sane while she fights the battle of actions that are unable to be defended. Her shield of dignity now rusted. She is bits of scraps here and pieces of trash there, so far away from becoming whole again. How can she end this? Trust herself once more? Be vibrant, unafraid, willing to be proactive in doing nothing but what is good for her soul.