I’m sitting in Angel Escorts basement office, responding to an email when an unfamiliar face walks in. A tall and very pretty brunette who I assume must be Chantal. Her eyes are dark red and bloodshot and I wonder if she’s slept at all the previous night. She looks about as tired as I feel.
by Sarah Brooke
“Hey-Roxy. It’s nice to finally meet you.” She practically stares right through me and there is no smile in her greeting.
“Hi! Likewise. Are you Chantal?” I say, hoping that my guess is right.
“That’s me.” She sits in the chair next to me and turns on the desktop computer. She doesn’t say anything and just stares into space waiting for the computer to start up.
“I didn’t know you were working today.” I say, hoping that I didn’t get the schedule wrong. Maggie, Syndy and Taylor were on today, no one told me that Chantal would be in.
“I wasn’t supposed to be but I was in the area so I thought I’d come in.” Her computer finally loads up and I can see out of the corner of my eye that she is checking her email. Her leg is bouncing up and down and I have a keen desire to ask her to stop or maybe just place my hand on her leg and force her to stop. I turn my head to my own computer and resolve to distract myself. I’m tired and grouchy and I don’t want to start something with a coworker if I can avoid it.
“When is my first appointment of the day?” She doesn’t bother to turn and look at me, she just keeps staring at an open email message on her computer.
“No one told me you were working today, you aren’t on the websites schedule either.” I had brought up the website and double checked. She isn’t scheduled to work for a few more days.
“That’s bullshit.” She says, turning towards me. She isn’t quite looking at me so much as she is looking through me. “I told Tim to book me for today. Fuck!” She continues to stare through me and I’m starting to wonder if maybe she is drunk or on something.
“Sorry… he didn’t mention it to me and he didn’t add you to the schedule. I can let the clients who call know that you’re on.” Throughout this entire conversation her leg hasn’t stopped bouncing up and down and it proves quite distracting.
“Can you offer a special today? Fifty bucks off any of my half hour appointments. I’ll take it out of my cut so you guys aren’t out any money.”
“I’m sorry Chantal, I’m really not allowed to do that.” I say, shaking my head.
“What do you mean?”
“We can’t offer specials, especially for one girl only.”
“Why can’t you?” She asks.
“It’s just not allowed.” I hope that she accepts this answer and moves on. No such luck, of course.
“It’s just for one day, it’s fine.”
“Look, if you want to talk to Tim about it you are more than welcome.” I turn my attention back to my computer, hoping that will be enough to end the conversation.
“Tim is not going to have a problem with it, trust me.” She spins around in her chair again to face the computer. At no time does her leg stop bouncing.
“I can’t make that kind of decision. You’re going to have to talk to him and he’s going to have to tell me directly that it’s okay. Sorry, my hands are tied.” I turn my head towards her and give her a half smile but it’s wasted on her because she’s lost in her email again, not paying the slightest bit of attention to me.
“Okay.” Another few moments go by until she rises from her seat. “I’m going to go to my room. You have my number, text me if I get a booking.”
“Oh, um, the rooms are all already spoken for up there today. Sorry.”
“Oh.” She stands there, staring off into space for a minute. “I guess I’ll just hang out in the living room then.” With that she disappears up the stairs and I’m finally left undisturbed. I rest my head on the desk for a minute, enjoying the soothing feel of my eyes finally being able to close. I wish I had remembered my eye drops, my eyes are probably as bloodshot as hers. The shrill ring of the phone knocks me out of my pleasant interlude and I get back into my persona to answer. It’s a booking for Maggie and once the caller hangs up I begin texting her to let her know. Before I have the chance to send the text, I hear footsteps coming down the stairs.
“Was that a booking for me?”
I raise my head and see Chantal standing there, her eyes droopier and more blank than they were five minutes ago.
“No, sorry. It was for Maggie.”
“Fuck.” She stands on the stairs, looking down towards the basement at nothing in particular.
“Sorry.” I say, not knowing what else to tell her. She decides to walk down the rest of the steps and head back to her spot on the desktop next to me. I do my best not to let out an unhappy sigh and instead I get to work on making the daily ads for the girls. “Here, I’m putting up an ad for you online so that you should hopefully get some calls coming in soon.”
She has no response to my statement and instead stares blankly at her computer. I almost decide to repeat myself to make sure she’s heard me but instead I focus on the task at hand. A few minutes later she breaks the silence.
“Can you put an ad up for me, please?” She turns her head towards me and stares right through me again.
“Yeah, sure, I just said that I was going to. Are you feeling okay?”
“Yes.” She gets up from her chair and practically runs up the stairs again. A few minutes later my phone rings. It’s Taylor. “Can you come and get Chantal please?” What the hell could she be doing up there? I abandon my task for the moment and take the steps two at a time.
I knock on Taylor’s door and push it open without waiting for a reply. Taylor is sitting on the bed, looking perplexed. Chantal is seated on the edge of the bed, licking her lips over and over again and staring down at her cell phone.
“Oh, hey, Chantal. Taylor already has this room claimed, remember?”
“It’s okay.” She doesn’t look up from her phone and her voice sounds distant.
“Why don’t you come hang out with me downstairs or you can hang out in the living room as well.” I catch Taylor’s eye and she shakes her head slowly. I don’t know what she means and I give her a small shrug in reply.
“I’m okay here.”
“Chantal, this is Taylor’s room for the day. You can’t stay here.” I say, doing my best to sound friendly and not let the annoyance I’m feeling creep into my voice. “You’re welcome to come downstairs with me, there’s a computer for you to use.”
“I want to stay here.” She isn’t so much looking at her phone as looking through it.
“You know what, it’s okay. You stay here.” Taylor hops out of the bed and grabs her purse and shoes.
“I’ll go downstairs and hang out with Roxy.”
I back out of the room slowly, unable to look away from Chantal. Her face hasn’t changed at all, she just keeps staring.
I wait until the door is safely closed behind us before letting out a deep sigh. Taylor shakes her head and starts down the stairs.
Once we’re seated next to each other in front of the computer she finally speaks. “She’s back on the fucking pills again.”
“I thought she was drunk.”
“No, it’s pills. It might be alcohol too but it’s definitely pills.” Taylor grabs her phone and starts texting. “I need to tell Tim.”
“What is she on?”
“I have no idea, probably a few things.”
“Is this a common occurrence with her?”
“She was fired before for coming to work high. She swore she had been to rehab and that she was over it so Tim hired her back.”
“She’s really out of it.”
“She’s probably been up all night taking pills.” Taylor shakes her head and sends the text to Tim. “He’s going to be pissed.”
“Great.” I can’t help but remember that he’s already pissed at me. Today might be even worse than I had imagine. “He’s already pissed at me, he’s going to be in quite a mood when he gets in.”
“He’s not pissed at you. Why would he be pissed at you? Oh- about the phone thing yesterday. He won’t hold a grudge about that, don’t worry. He takes drug abuse very seriously though, this is going to piss him off.”
“She wasn’t even supposed to be working today.”
“Yeah, this is exactly what she did last time before he fired her. She started showing up randomly and demanding shifts. It pissed all the girls off because she’d come in high as a kite and basically steal our appointments.”
“The customers must notice that she’s whacked out of her mind?” I ask.
“When he fired her before it was after he received a complaint from a customer. She had fell asleep during the appointment.”
“Like… during during?”
“Yep, right in the middle of the act. We had to reimburse the guy his money and ended up giving him half off of his next appointment. The guy used to be a regular but he never even came back for his discounted appointment.”
“Shit.” A text comes in on the work phone and I look down to answer it. It’s a request for Taylor asking what services she offers. I tell the client to refer to the website for a full list of her services and then I turn my attention back to Taylor. “That one was an inquiry about you. Not a definite booking yet, but we’ll see. Anyways, do you think Tim is going to fire her this time?”
“I have no idea. They’ve been seeing each other for a long time now, he has a soft spot for her.”
“You mean they’re having sex too?!” I say, completely shocked.
Taylor laughs. “Yeah, don’t remind Dixie of that fact though, she’d go nuts.”
“Who else is he sleeping with?”
“I think that’s it but there’s no way to know. Dixie and Chantal aren’t discrete in the least, so it’s entirely possible that one of the other girls is banging the boss, but we just don’t know about it.”
“Doesn’t that cause friction between them?”
“Not really. Chantal has a boyfriend so I don’t think Dixie really sees her as competition.” She looks down at her phone. “Okay, Tim is coming in to deal with her.”
“She was asking for me to advertise a special for her today. I explained to her that I couldn’t do that but she just kept asking.”
“She did that last time too. Sounds like she’s in desperate need of some money.” She stands up and stretches. “Come on, let’s go back to my room and wait for Tim to get here. I don’t want to miss what happens next.”