It’s Monday night and I’m having dinner with Stella and Michael. Michael is telling some absolutely enthralling story about how he saved over one hundred dollars on his home insurance policy when my phone rings. It’s an unfamiliar number and I excuse myself to take it, hoping it’s not Sophie with bad news.
by Sarah Brooke
Previous episodes of A glimpse into the shadows: An insider’s adventures in the world of escorts:
“Sarah? Can you hear me?” The phone line is a little bit crackly but not so bad that I can’t make out her words.
“Yes, I can. Soph, what’s going on?” I escape into the bathroom, closing the door behind me.
“He saw my passport.”
“Fuck.” I can still hear Michael droning on so I turn on the tap, hoping it drowns out my own voice as well as his. “And what happened?”
“He freaked out Sarah! I managed to keep the passport away from him on the way there but as soon as we got to the resort and I went to the bathroom he went through my bags and found it.”
“We were here for FIVE MINUTES and he was already looking for the fucking thing.”
“Did he freak out?” I could guess from her tone of voice that he must have.
“Yes, he absolutely freaked out. He started yelling at me, actually yelling, screaming at the top of his lungs, telling me that I was a no good whore and that I was a liar just like every other girl out there.”
“Soph, you have to come home. Where are you right now?”
“I’m in the lobby. He tried to follow me but I told him if he did I would tell the resort he was harassing me. He went back to the room I think.”
“Did you take your stuff with you?” It crossed my mind that maybe Jeff was capable of doing something terrible like destroying her passport just to spite her.
“I put everything important or valuable in my purse before I left. I don’t know what to do.”
“They said the next flight back is tomorrow night. I’m just so fucking mad right now. How dare he betray my privacy like that?”
The words “I told you so” are on the tip of my tongue but I hold them back, knowing they would not help the situation any. “Because he’s crazy. What does it matter what your name is? Like he said, all escorts use fake names.”
“I know but he thinks that what we have is special and that I should be completely honest with him.”
“Clearly from how he just behaved you were right not to be completely honest with him.”
“I’ve come all this way and now I’m going to have to come right back again. This is my worst nightmare.”
“Just relax Soph, you’re still on a sandy beach with all inclusive alcohol and food. Enjoy the next day or two before your flight home, just try to avoid him. Rent your own room and don’t go back to his no matter what.”
“I have to, I still have most of my clothes there.”
“Bring a security guard with you. Do NOT go alone.”
“I’ll bring someone with me, don’t worry. God, that fucker threw my stuff everywhere. He better have cleaned it up by the time I get back there to pick up my stuff.”
“So he basically lost it on you completely?”
“He started screaming at me, Sarah. Screaming. It was terrifying. I just did not think he was capable of this.”
Again I bite my tongue, not bothering to tell her that I had had my own suspicions. It never does any good to gloat after the fact, especially not when she was clearly so upset.
“Of course you didn’t. This is crazy person behaviour. I get that he might be a bit mad to find out your real name isn’t Carmen but he went through your belongings to find out that information. It’s not like he innocently discovered your real name. He waited until you were out of the room to sneak through your stuff and blow your cover.”
“Oh god Sarah, he knows my full name and everything.” her voice is getting panicked. “It has my fucking address on the passport, Sarah. What if he wrote it down?”
“You’ll have to move.” At first I say it half joking but then I realize that there may be some truth in my statement. “Shit, you might actually have to.”
“I know! This is terrible. I just signed another year lease at my apartment, too. My landlord is going to be pissed.” I can hear her sniffling and I know she’s probably wiping away tears. “Oh god, there he is. I have to go.”
“Sophie, no you don’t, don’t go. Just ignore him. Don’t go anywhere with him, bring a security guard to get your stuff and rent a room for the night. Take the first flight home and do not go anywhere with him.”
“I can’t avoid him, the resort isn’t that big.”
“Don’t go anywhere alone with him Sophie. Promise me.”
I can hear a man’s voice in the background and Sophie covers the phone with her hand. I can hear mumbled words but can’t make out anything.
“I promise. I’ll call you soon.” And with that she hangs up on me.
Upset, I stare into the mirror for awhile, trying to process everything that’s just happened. I turn the tap off and turn my phone volume to the highest setting, wanting to make sure I don’t miss her next call. I give myself another minute to gather my thoughts before heading back out to the dining room. Sitting down, I fake a smile and ask Michael to please continue where he left off. He starts babbling about insurance policies again and I do my best to seem interested while my mind is off somewhere else, worrying about Sophie.